Kerala - known as 'God's own country' is a better place in terms of basic infrastructures and literacy. However, there exist few communities, who are still waiting for somebody to shed some rays of hope into their lives. The people living in a nearby village of Adi Shankara Institute of Engineering and Technology (ASIET) located in Kerala was also one such community but not anymore. In that village, almost 80 houses have not had the electricity connection and the kids in those houses were studying under the light of kerosene lamps. When the concerned government authorities were reluctant to provide electricity to this village due to the deficiency in fund, a team of electrical engineering students and faculty members of ASIET took up the challenge of helping the villagers. Supported by Kerala State Electricity Board, from the necessary wiring to giving connection, the students from ASIET did a perfect job and now the villagers have electric bulbs and fans working flawlessly at their homes.
Established in the year 2001, in a modest campus with four batches and 240 students, the engineers from ASIET are known for such social empowerments using the practical face of what they have studied in their classrooms. Parallel to the path of Electrical Engineering department students, students from other branches also have carried out similar efforts. Recently the students from Computer Science department have shown their commitment to the society by helping the kids at a nearby orphanage called 'Jana Seva Shishu Bhavan.' by teaching them the basics of computers. With the financial support of college management, they donated 30 computers to 'Jana Seva Shishu Bhavan.' A team of Computer Science students visit the orphanage on every weekend and welcome the abandoned kids to the new world internet and other advantages of computers. "Helping the society is an unavoidable part of our agenda. We believe that, by helping the needy using the education that we receive will make us more committed towards the society. That is the real purpose of education," says Dr. S. Gopalakrishna Iyer, Director, ASIET.
By providing high quality education, which is indented to help the society, ASIET gained reputation among the engineering aspirants of Kerala quickly. It resulted in receiving the cream of academically brilliant students across the state, while many government colleges and private colleges were struggling to fill their engineering seats. At present, ASIET runs seven undergraduate programs and four postgraduate programs in engineering with an intake of 560 students. One of the reasons behind this fast-paced growth is nothing but the innovative methodologies in their pedagogy, which has been assisting the institute to produce horde of modern day engineers with social commitment and relevant industry knowledge.
Preparing the Next Generation of Engineers
Understanding the needs of industry, ASIET is providing many add-on courses, which are beyond the regular university curriculum. "Even though the university curriculum is stagnant, we are providing many add-on courses for the students to equip them with the latest trends in industry," says Gopalakrishna Iyer. For this purpose, the college has tied-up with two major recruiters in India -Infosys and TCS. When they collaborate with in-house team of dedicated trainers of ASIET, students are getting a chance to learn many things, which are not even mentioned in their textbooks but definitely useful in their career.
"We have given our maximum efforts to reduce the gap between industry and academia by providing such add-on courses and it has been appreciated by the industry and that has resulted in good placements," claims Gopalakrishna Iyer. To schedule these add-on courses and assist the students in getting good placements, ASIET has employed a functioning Placement and Training Cell under the leadership of Dr. Santharam Rao. Over the years, the department has maintained symbiotic, vibrant and purposeful relationship with Industries across the country and as a result, has built up an impressive placement record both in terms of percentage of registered students placed, as well as the number of companies visiting the campus. At present, ASIET has more than 80 percent placement and Infosys, Accenture, TCS, UST Global, Accenture and Huawei Technologies are few companies, which are recruiting the students of ASIET continuously.
With constant efforts from the management and faculties, ASIET stands out as the first new generation engineering college in Kerala to receive the most coveted ISO 9001-2000 certification for the quality systems from KPMG quality registrar in the year 2002 and upgraded to ISO 9001-2008 by ISOQAR in the year 2012. These kinds of appreciations are only mere instances to display the quality of ASIET. However, the institute's social commitments and courage to take actions beyond the stagnant curriculum provided by the university, depicts the characteristics of a new generation engineering campus, which is a rare combination in today's higher education sector.
K. Anand, Managing Trustee
Adv. Sri. K.Anand, a humanitarian and scholar has taken up the reins of Adi Shankara Trust since 2013. He started his career as an advocate in the High Court of Kerala in 1984 and has since handled many cases on service, labour and contract issues. He was later elevated as the Senior Advocate in November 2012. During his tenure in the High Court he has handled several cases which have gathered media attention and many have been reported in various legal journals. As the harbinger of Adi Shankara Group of Institutions he has great visions for their future developments.