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10 Top TECH Schools
|You’ve got through the West Bengal Joint Entrance Exam. Which college should you plump for? V. Kumara Swamy furnishes a list of Bengal’s top engineering colleges|
Sujay Chakraborty has got through the West Bengal Joint Entrance Exam (WBJEE) but is ranked only in the high 2,000s (he refuses to disclose the exact figure). He has given up hope of securing admission to either Jadavpur University (JU) or Bengal Engineering Sciences University (Besu), Shibpur, Howrah, which undoubtedly top the list of institutes. But he wants to study electronics and telecom engineering at the best possible college.
“I am doing as much research as possible so that I can choose the best one,” says Chakraborty. He wants a list of top colleges in hand so that he knows which one to choose among the ones offered to him during counselling. All those who get through the WBJEE have to attend counselling where they are helped to choose the course and college most appropriate for them.
Among 1,10,000 candidates who appeared for WBJEE this year, nearly 40 per cent would qualify for the counselling, scheduled on July 5. At the time of counselling, students will be given the institute of their preference according to the merit list prepared by the state’s Central Engineering and Technology Selection Committee.
The top 300 rank holders in the WBJEE will probably get courses of their choice at JU or Besu — universally acknowledged as the top two engineering institutes in West Bengal. But how do students who have ranked lower decide which engineering college to choose?
“Students have to look for four things — the infrastructure, faculty, courses and the placement record — in that order,” says U.K. Shome, principal, Pathfinder Education Centre, a Calcutta-based coaching institute.
To lend students a helping hand, we try and list the top engineering colleges in the state. Rankings are based on a survey of top rankers in WBJEE, last year’s closing ranks for engineering and technological colleges of West Bengal indicated in the merit list, ranking by peers, the opinion of top coaching institutes, and details provided by engineering institutes on their placement and the mandatory disclosures as posted on their websites.
On these counts, JU is undoubtedly the topper because only students who managed to rank between 1 and 79 (the closing rank) last year were eligible for the coveted electronics and telecom engineering course. While JU’s electronics and telecom engineering, electrical engineering (closing rank 294) and computer science engineering courses (closing rank 167) get top billing, Besu follows close behind.
“I would have chosen JU’s computer science and engineering course, as I know that it has one of the best faculties in country. I also rate Besu fairly high, although I am put off by the politics on campus,” says Snehashis Chakraborty, the eight rank holder in WBJEE, who is eyeing a physics honours course at the Chennai Mathematical Institute.
“Our greatest strength is the faculty. Almost everybody has a PhD and their research papers are published in some of the best journals in the world. The teacher-student relationship is also very good,” says Anup Kumar Bandyopadhyay, professor and former head of the department of electrical engineering at JU.
Going by JU’s placement record, it is one of the best in the country with almost 100 per cent placement, with some students commanding salaries of around Rs 8 lakh per annum in their first job.
“After the IITs, top companies look to our university to recruit the right talent,” says Bandyopadhyay.
Besu also scores very high on the list of WBJEE rank holders. “We are a 164-year old institution, and that heritage in itself is something. But we have progressed with the changing times whether it is with the introduction of new courses or forging alliances with institutions around the world,” says Manas Kumar Sanyal, head of training and placement, Besu.Sanyal points out that except in the computer science department, Besu had a 100 per cent placement record last year. “Unlike other universities, we don’t allow third-year students to sit for placement exams. We want them to concentrate on studies,” he says. Besu was a completely residential college but has thrown its doors open to day scholars in recent times.
JU and Besu have virtually remained untouched at the top for many decades now. But a few private institutions have built such a reputation in recent times that they can nurse dreams of dislodging these Goliaths, though maybe not in the near future.One of them is the Institute of Engineering and Management (IEM), Calcutta. Established only a decade ago, it couldn’t accommodate students who ranked below 1,600 in WBJEE last year. “We had students who were ranked between 200 and 300, and who could have got admission to other top institutions,” says Rajiv Lal, manager, planning and development, IEM. The most coveted courses at IEM are electronics and computer engineering, and computer science and engineering. IEM also claims 100 per cent placement.
The field gets fluid as we move further down. The race to fourth position is a very close one between Kalyani Government Engineering College and Jalpaiguri Government Engineering College. Proximity to Calcutta may be one of the factors why students prefer Kalyani to Jalpaiguri, but if we look at infrastructure, placement record and even the faculty, the latter comes out a clear favourite. Highly rated courses include mechanical engineering, and electronics and communications engineering.
“Our placement record was 97 per cent last time, and we took in students ranked between 500 and 2,000 last year. Some of last year’s recruiters included Infosys, Convergys and Tata Consultancy Services,” says J. Jhampati, principal. The National Board of Accreditation (NBA) has also accredited two of the college’s courses. Kalyani has had none of its courses accredited by the NBA though the computer science and engineering, and electronics and communication engineering courses are rated highly by some academics.
One great advantage with government-run institutions, such as the two listed above, is the fees. “Students with a fairly good rank and who may not be in a position to bear the burden of fees in private colleges always opt for government colleges, not only because of the fees but also for the fairly good infrastructure,” says Shome.
The Heritage Institute of Technology (HIT), Calcutta, is another private college that has made rapid strides in recent years. “We have quite a few students who were ranked in the top 500 of last year’s WBJEE. Our greatest strength is our faculty and world-class infrastructure,” says D.C. Ray, deputy director, HIT. “Our students have earned gold medals for meritorious performance in the exams conducted by the West Bengal University of Technology (WBUT),” says Ray.
The Government College of Engineering and Ceramic Technology (GCECT), Calcutta, is also popular among recruiters, especially for its ceramic technology students. Some even get annual packages as high as Rs 6-8 lakh. The college also offers a course in computer science and information technology. But that still doesn’t qualify it for the seventh position.
Techno India in Salt Lake, Calcutta, offers a wider variety of courses with better infrastructure and faculty. Engineering courses in electronics and instrumentation, and food technology also make it a good fishing ground for recruiters. So GCECT has to settle for the eighth position.
The Asansol Engineering College, Asansol, with the reputation of providing a good grounding in core subjects like mechanical engineering, and a good computer science faculty and telecommunications courses, establishes itself in the ninth position. It is because of this that companies such as Wipro, Accenture, Tech Mahindra, Larsen & Toubro, Infosys and Mphasis have recruited its students in recent times.
The race for tenth position has institutions such as the Meghnad Saha Institute of Technology, Calcutta, Dr B.C. Roy Engineering College, Durgapur, Government College of Engineering and Textile Technology, Serampore and Netaji Subhash Engineering College, Calcutta, but the one that comes out on top is the Academy of Technology, Adisaptagram, Hooghly, not only because of its infrastructure and placement record but also the steady rise in the opening and closing rankings in the matrix and a growing reputation among students.
Shome says that preparing a top 10 list for engineering colleges, that too limited to West Bengal, is not without its risks. Many of the private colleges have put all their effort into only a few popular courses. “Many government colleges offer basic courses like civil and mechanical engineering, and the facilities are comparable with the best. But since students do not prefer these courses, the colleges are low on popularity,” he says.
“Ultimately, a student has to decide where he or she has to study. But the one thing I would advise them to do is to do careful research. Go through the institution’s record for the last few years and then take a call based on their ranking,” says Sudipta Chaudhury of Aakash coaching institute, Calcutta.
1) Faculty of engineering and technology, Jadavpur University (www.jadavpur.edu)
2) Bengal Engineering and Science University, Shibpur, (www.becs.ac.in)
3) Institute of Engineering and Management, Calcutta (www.iemcal.com)
4) Jalpaiguri Government Engineering College, Jalpaiguri (www.jgec.org)
5) Kalyani Government Engineering College, Kalyani (www.kgec.ac.in)
6) Heritage Institute of Technology, Calcutta, (www.heritageit.edu)
7) Techno India, Salt Lake, Calcutta, (www.ticollege.org)
8) Government College of Engineering & Ceramic Technology, Calcutta, (www.gcect.ac.in)
9) Asansol Engineering College, Asansol (www.aecwb.net)
10) Academy of Technology, Adisaptagram, Hooghly (www.aot.edu.in)
A cut above -- a report by "The Telegraph" newspaper
Actual link --> http://ww.telegraphindia.com/1100617/jsp/careergraph/story_12572429.jsp
Far from the madding crowd of Calcutta and its suburbs, the Academy of Technology (AOT) at Adisaptagram in Hooghly district has joined the top league of tech schools in Bengal within seven years of its inception. Its remarkable piece of architecture, which is spread over 10 acres and blends with lush green, is close to the Kalyani industrial hub, around 45km from Calcutta.
“We want to build an environment that helps students enhance their intellectual, emotional and physical development,” says Jagannath Banerjee, founder and chairman of the institute. An alumnus of IIT-Kharagpur and IIM-Calcutta, Banerjee and his team selected faculty members with at least a masters in technology or engineering and 10 years of teaching experience. In fact, one out of eight of them has a PhD. “Thanks to our faculty, today the AOT is well-known for its academic standard, examination system and placement record,” says director Dilip Bhattacharya, who had been a professor of electronics and electrical communication engineering at IIT Kharagpur.
“Our superior teaching-learning environment tries to create a genuine interest in the subject. We also lay emphasis on attendance,” adds Bhattacharya. In fact, the administration rewards those who have 100 per cent attendance in an effort to discourage “class bunking”, which is prevalent in most tech schools.
“We have also enforced a foolproof examination system — be it for an internal exam or the university exam — to maintain academic integrity and make the students work hard for every mark,” says deputy director Murari Mohan Kundu.
“Such strict discipline naturally doesn’t make the administration very popular with the students initially, but in the long run they appreciate it when they excel in the exam and get good placements,” says Banerjee. Bonny Banerjee, an alumnus of the 2007 batch who is working with the software firm Capgemini at Hyderabad, agrees. “The strict discipline enforced in college helped me adapt to corporate norms,” he says.
AOT offers BTech courses in eight disciplines, including computer science and engineering, electronics and communication engineering, information technology and mechanical engineering. It also offers a postgraduate (MTech) course in computer application and PhD programmes.
“Our computer centre consists of eight sophisticated laboratories equipped with the latest equipment and a round-the-clock power support,” says Dilip Kumar Maity, professor of computer science and engineering. “We encourage students to learn through experiments.”
“The emphasis on practical training helps us gain sound technical knowledge,” says Arka Chakraborty, a fourth-year student of IT. “The faculty members do their best to help us stay ahead in the placement race,” adds Deepta Guha, a third-year computer science student.
In addition to the technical know-how, AOT students are trained in leadership and communication skills. “For this, we invite experts at regular intervals,” says Banerjee.
One of the greatest strengths of the institute is its eight-member placement cell stationed at Salt Lake, Calcutta. “We not only try to provide the maximum number of campus interview opportunities to students, but also offer them prolonged placement support for more than two years,” says Sujoy Krishna Mitra, head of training and placement. As a result, placement statistics rose to 92 per cent between 2005 and 2009.
“Despite the current slowdown, 43 companies visited the campus in 2010 and a sizeable number of students has already bagged offers,” he adds. Nokia Siemens Network, Mahindra Satyam, Godrej & Boyce, Ambuja Cements, CMC Ltd, and so on, are the lead recruiters this year.
The AOT is approved by the All India Council for Technical Education and affiliated to the West Bengal University of Technology. It charges Rs 44,000 a year as tuition fee for BTech, and around Rs 50,000 during admission.
However, the fee structure is likely to be revised next season. “Since a large number of students hail from poor families in the rural areas, we offer at least 90 full scholarships and a number of fee waiver schemes,” says Banerjee.
According to Banerjee, one of the few drawbacks of the institute is its weak industry-academia interface. “Because the growth of industry in the state has somewhat slackened, it’s becoming difficult to involve big names in research and development projects,” he says.
The institute is seeking tie-ups with industries in other states. It is also planning collaborations with foreign universities to attain international standards.”
WHAT IS IT? A degree engineering college affiliated to the West Bengal University of Technology
WHO’S THE BOSS? Dilip Bhattachary is the director
WHERE IS IT? G.T. Road, Adisaptagram, Hooghly Phone: 9836197157 / (033) 23595873
PROS Strict discipline, fool-proof examination system, robust placement cell
CONS Secluded campus, weak academia-industry interface
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