Mohandas Pai asks education institutes to focus on lab work, teach coding

Our Bureau Mangaluru | Updated on February 12, 2021

T V Mohandas Pai (file photo)

Engineering colleges need to focus more on laboratory work than theory, according to TV Mohandas Pai, Chairman of the Manipal Global Education Services Pvt Ltd.

Delivering the keynote address at the virtual meet on ‘Promoting entrepreneurial ecosystem in coastal Karnataka’, organised by Manipal Academy of Higher Education (MAHE) and other universities, he said that there is too much theory in engineering courses now. Even old theory, which is no longer relevant, is being taught.

Create a lot more lab work experiments so people can be curious, and put that into the degree programmes too, he said.

Pai said it is the application of engineering principles that matters, and not the theory.


Suggesting the need to introduce coding at early stages of study, he said now coding has become a life skill just like reading, writing and mathematics did to the older generation. When the students learn coding, they can identify problem as software is going to be the dominant force all over in future technologies, he said.

Cutting-edge tech

Urging the need to create higher quality skills among students, he said many engineering colleges are yet to focus on courses in big data analytics, artificial intelligence, machine learning, he said.

Making a point to teach entrepreneurship as a course programme in colleges, Pai said such programmes will help them understand all the issues related to entrepreneurship. He asked the participants of the virtual meet to make sure that the coastal Karnataka becomes the hub of entrepreneurship and at least 20-30 unicorns come out of the coast by 2030.

Lt Gen (retd) MD Venkatesh, Vice-Chancellor of MAHE, gave an introductory talk.

Prakash Rao Kalbavi, Chairman of Mangaluru chapter of CII, said the coastal Karnataka has the major ingredients for entrepreneurial ecosystem with its human capital and excellent financial institutions. What it lacks is the critical interactions and exposure to industries.

“CII hopes to play that critical role in bridging this gap in these industry-academia interactions and try to create that spirit of entrepreneurships in students. My call is that it is not just the students who need this exposure, but more importantly the faculty too,” he said.

He said the educational institutions in the region should create an entrepreneurial cell that will focus on creation of start-ups even while the students are learning.

Published on February 12, 2021

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