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AICTE Norms and Role of Technical Staff in Higher Technical Education
AICTE Norms & Role of Technical Staff :
In Technical Education, practical training and developing expertise in application of the theoretical knowledge has a great importance. Engineering is an art of applied sciences, more precisely, an applied knowledge through practical, where the Technical Staff plays crucial job in the Computer Centers /Laboratories/ Workshops etc.
As industries need engineers with sound practical back ground, Technical Staff plays a key role in capacity building of the engineering graduates. Practical Training and Demonstration is a base of an Engineering Education, where Technical Staff, also plays significant role in teaching process parallel with the teachers. Such staff, apart from assisting in laboratory experimentation and workshop practice, is also the ones who are primarily responsible for the maintenance of laboratory apparatus, measuring instruments and workshop equipment.
The purpose of the Technical Staff in the Engineering institutes is to support the process of transformation of technical skills among the students (Teachers’ role) and also to provide support to the faculty, staff and any other constituents of the institutes. These services include supporting classrooms, laboratories, offices, and any other technical services that are deemed necessary.
Present Status of Technical Staff : In the present education system, in schools, colleges, institutes and universities only classroom teachers and students are at the centre of concentration of all. The curtain raisers, human resource (other than teachers) serving in these institutes are overlooked all the way, as if they are not essential part of the education system. The non-teaching supporting staff includes both technical and administrative staff. Of these, it is the technical supporting staff which has a more direct bearing on the quality of education.
Qualified Technical Staff working as a Lab. Assistants, Lab. Technicians, Technical Assistants, Programmers, Computer operators, Instructors, demonstrators who train the students in a laboratory have negligible importance in the vision of the colleges, universities, DTE, UGC & AICTE and MHRD, and they are treated as Non-Teaching at par with administrative & others supporting staff.
The present practice for providing technical supporting staff is to specify that, the cost of hiring such staff should be a certain percentage of the cost of hiring the teaching staff. Such artificial norms are no longer adequate. Technical supporting staff should be provided on need-based norms.
At present there is short provision for training and development of technical staff under quality improvement programme. With change in the instructional and developmental processes and the utilization of more sophisticated and delicate instruments and equipment, the need to train and develop this category of staff is being felt acutely.
Although laboratory work has a crucial and specific role to play in engineering education, so far not much work has been done for the improvement of laboratory instruction. To meet diverse requirements and challenges in the profession, a Technical Staff will have to be provided facilities for his continuous education and for acquiring new competencies. Advanced technical courses would be useful in this context. There is need for a change in the philosophy. The schemes for the training of technical supporting staff, on the same lines as the QIP schemes for teachers, should be started soon. No attempt at quality improvement would, therefore, be complete without giving due attention to this category of staff.
By considering the significant role of Technical Staff in higher technical education, MHRD/AICTE should lay down the norms and standards with prescribing their Pay Scales, Service Conditions and Staff Pattern uniformly all over the country.