The Institutional Leadership of JNTUK System in Embracing New Paradigms in Engineering Education
Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University Kakinada (JNTUK), Andhra Pradesh, India, is one of the largest providers and facilitators of engineering education, having 289 affiliated colleges of engineering and technology, management, and pharmacy under its fold. The rapid spread and proliferation of engineering education and the entry of private sector have brought in quality concerns in their wake. The hands-on experience reveals that the notable gap between expectations and realizations is the cumulative symptom of ineffectiveness of what is being practiced hitherto, in addressing the quality concerns. JNTUK system has left no stones unturned to channelize its resources and deliberate, research, and innovate the mechanisms and practices to reduce this gap, in tune with the new paradigms showing up in engineering and higher education. It revises the curriculum of UG and PG for different disciplines in affiliated and constituent colleges incorporating outcome-based education (OBE) and is the first government university to take up the task of OBE approach in the country. As JNTUK has to manage 289 colleges, it has evolved a quality assurance tool for uniform application across all its affiliated institutions. JNTUK has demonstrated its leadership to lead and contribute for quality assurance in technical education at regional and national levels, in collaboration with apex bodies of UGC, NBA, APQN, NPTEL, IUCEE, Mission 10× of Wipro, and Campus Connect of Infosys. To bridge the gap between expected and delivered technical education, JNTUK has planned to establish incubation centers for transdisciplinary product development and research promotion in the focused areas of research with private and public partnership. This paper outlines how the JNTUK system sustains the quality through concerted efforts of empowerment of faculty, use of ICT for better management, delegation of ownership, and developing models of quality assurance. The university intends to share what it has achieved and leaves the scope for achieving further by learning from others in the arena of engineering and higher education.