Training Students for Experiential Learning
Samayapuram, a suburb located in the north of the city of Tiruchirapalli in Tamil Nadu, houses K. Ramakrishnan College of Technology set up in 2008. Despite the challenge of catering to 70 percent of the students who are from rural areas, the institute prevails in its vision of providing education that leads to employment. A key contributor to the institute\'s success is that the focus on problem based and experiential learning instead of competency based learning. This goes on to show how much of the student\'s requirements are kept in mind while setting up the curriculum at the institute. \"We believe learning is more important than assessment. Assessments should be provided to enhance the learning experience, rather than to rank students,\" says, Dr. Srinivasan, Principal, K Ramakrishnan College of Engineering, while talking about their guiding philosophy.
Most of the students from rural backgrounds face difficulties in expressing themselves in English and many cannot express themselves even if they understand the rules of the language. To help the students develop a confident and self reliant personality, the institute has set up a communication department with the aim to help the students in areas such as writing, reading and dialogue. Communication department is one of the most distinct features of the institution. This department has been able to train students and produce creditable results from the very first year of its establishment, with three hours a week dedicated to the communication trainings. Dr. Srinivasan believes that if the students are trained regularly then they will be able to take informed decisions in the near future.
\"Our student\'s success is our success,\" Dr. Srinivasan proudly exclaims while telling us about the training they provide to the students. Personality development of the students is of utmost importance to get them into the industry and also to help them sustain in it. Extensive personality development trainings are provided to the students, as a part of their pre placement training which is followed by the acquisition of the all important technical knowledge. Hence, the students are trained extensively in the technological aspects, they are given specific trainings related to their departments and fields. For better training facilities the institution maintains several MoUs with organizations like Intel, who have set up their lab in the campus to train the students in technological aspects of their subjects. KRCE maintains MoU with National Instruments for trainings pertaining to communications system.
The MoUs not only help the institution with the trainings but also in bringing in companies for the yearly placement drives. With the help of the MoUs they maintain, the institution organizes workshops and seminars where many companies are invited. The collaborative events result in many new companies visiting the campus for the yearly placement drives. The institutes placement figures rose from 82 percent in 2013 to 95 percent in 2015, with major recruiters such as TCS, Wipro and iNautix offering packages up to 5.5 lakhs. Students of KRCE are able to grab the jobs of their choice.
With more than 50 papers published in many national and international journals, the faculty of the institution is actively involved in all the research activities in the campus. A research and development committee consisting of five members has been instituted in the campus to encourage research among the students. The committee being headed by the principal Dr. Srinivasan himself, works tirelessly on inculcating research among the students. The faculties also participate in many international conferences and present their papers and make the students participate in all the conferences they attend. With faculty development programme in place, the institute makes sure that the faculties are updated about the recent changes in the education sector and the teaching pedagogy.
Holistic development being the prime focus of the institution, with all the right facilities and the quality education they provide, the institution plans on retaining the quality and improving the research facilities. To establish centers of excellences, to bring in external funding for research projects and to get international collaborations for joint research projects and faculty and student exchange programs are the immediate plans of the institution. The institute also plans on gaining the autonomous status and becoming a deemed university in the near future.
Dr. D. Srinivasan, Principal
Dr. D. Srinivasan is a Doctorate of Philosophy in Manufacturing Technology from REC, (presently NIT). Among many other things, he has acted as an assessor in Board of Studies and Academic Council Member in various Universities and is the current member of the Academic Council of Anna University, Chennai. In his academic career spanning 25 years, he has been a key person to establish modern laboratories like Mechatronics, CAD/CAM by acquiring various project funding. He is a recipient of state award for best UG project and for best Kaizen example.