Newly appointed Vice Chancellor of Himachal Pradesh Technical University (HPTU) at Hamirpur, Professor SP Bansal advocates uniform curricula in engineering and management institutes in the state.

Formerly VC of Indira Gandhi University, Meerpur, Rewari with additional charge of BPS Mahila University, Sonepat in Haryana, noted tourism management expert, Bansal joined the new assignment at state-run university in home state HP on Tuesday.

“My effort would be to improve the quality of technical education in HP. With government’s support, I would like to work out a system where private varsities in Himachal, which offer engineering and management courses, also come in the network for this academic exercise,” Bansal told The Statesman in an interview. Bansal, an alumni of Himachal Pradesh University (HPU), Shimla and is expert in the fields of marketing management and quantitative techniques. As well.

He was chairman (founder) of Institute of Vocational Tourism in HPU from 1999-2007.

Known for his academic and administrative leadership experience over last 24 years, Bansal has been on various expert committees of UGC (University Grants Commission) and has been serving as guest faculty in universities abroad. He is also the member of Course Review Committee of All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) for tourism and hospitality.

He said there was a big gap in the formulation of technical courses in management and engineering. “The private universities are compromising with quality. It becomes clearer in job interviews, when the candidates are unable to tell even the basic details of their field,” he said.

Bansal disagreed that with mushroom growth in engineering institutes, the demand for such professionals has gone down.

“I believe that we are not preparing the demand oriented engineering graduates. They don’t fit into the industry,” he said. Bansal plans to hold training workshops to develop course curricula matching with the industry needs. The HPTU VC said the choice based credit system is good, but it is not being implemented properly.

Bansal, who is national director with e-PG pathshala for two projects—Tourism Hospitality and Management and MOOCS (Massive Online Open Courses), said he would promote e-learning in the Technical University. He said a faculty development programme would be taken up to change the mindset of teachers.

The eight-year-old HP Technical University has 43 affiliated colleges (five off campus colleges) with a strength of 15,000 students. It is one of the four state universities in HP.

“So far the HPTU is not eligible for Central grants, on priority, I will get it done that so that it flourishes fast,” the new VC said.