List of Top 7 Engineering Colleges in India

July 3, 2018

One of the biggest dilemmas an engineering student will face, is choosing the right college to get a degree from. There will be a variety of criteria to consider and it can be confusing to decide which to allocate more importance to. This can include the proficiency of faculty, course ranking amongst other colleges offering the same kind and companies that come for placements. If you are unable to make a decision on which university or college to apply to, don’t fret, because it’s not that scary. Below, in no particular order, are the top seven engineering colleges in India.

Birla Institute of Science and Technology, Pilani
While BITS also has branches in Dubai, Goa and Hyderabad, their Pilani campus is undoubtedly the most popular and well-known. All the branches make use of research and development, seminars and conferences in their teaching methods and conduct the all-India computerized entrance exam, BITSAT. Their programmes include chemical, civil, computer science, electrical and electronics, electronics and instrumentation, mechanical and manufacturing.

Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore

Times Higher Education’s list for 2018 lists the Indian Institute of Science (ranking between 251-300 in the world) as the best engineering college in India, while QS World University Rankings place it at 190th in the world. The campus includes six canteens, a gymkhana, a football and cricket ground, four dining halls, none hostels, a library and two shopping centers. Their faculty for engineering subjects numbers over 247. Their programmes include aerospace, chemical, civil, electrical communication, electrical engineering, electronic systems, materials and mechanical engineering.

Indian Institute of Technology

IITs are well-known institutes in the country, with 23 campuses across the country. In Times Higher Education’s list for 2018, IIT Bombay ranks between 351-400) and IIT Delhi ranks between 501-600. QS World University Rankings place IIT Delhi at 172th and IIT Bombay at 179th in the world. In the India Rankings 2018, NIRF, MHRD, IIT Madras in Chennai ranked number one for its engineering programmes. Every year in December, Asia’s largest science and technology festival, Techfest, is held at IIT Bombay. If you prefer to live more comfortably, IIT Delhi’s resembles a small town, with many of the same facilities.

Manipal Institute of Technology

MIT holds its own sway with the vast variety of engineering programmes that it offers. The campus is spread over 188 acres, has 10 academic buildings and 21 residential buildings, two tennis courts, two badminton courts, a gym, a basketball court, cricket field, football field, volleyball court, hockey field and swimming pool. The university uses a credit-based system for all 16 of its engineering programmes which include aeronautical, automobile, biomedical, chemical, computer and communication, computer science and engineering, electrical and electronics, electronics and communication, industrial and production, electronics and instrumentation, mechatronics, and mechanical engineering. The institute also has a number of technical clubs and hosts a fest every semester.

PSG College of Technology. Coimbatore

PSG is one of few institutes in the country to offer three five-year integrated programmes that combine classroom learning with industrial training. Its programmes include automobile, civil, computer science and engineering, electrical and electronics, electronics and communication, mechanical, metallurgical, production, mechanical (sandwich), electrical and electronics (sandwich), production (sandwich), robotics and automation, biomedical and instrumentation and control engineering. The campus has five dining halls, an auditorium, a library, a computer center and a guest house.

Sri Ramaswamy Memorial Institute of Science and Technology

More commonly known as SRM University, it has branches opened up in Chennai, Kattankulathur, Ramapuram, Vadapalani and Tiruchchirappalli in Tamil Nadu as well as in Amaravati, Delhi NCR, Gangtok and Sonepat. In 2016, SRM was ranked No.1 by the Times of India Engineering Institutes Ranking. They have had over 6000 on-campus placements for over 38,000 students with over 140 funded research projects. Their programmes include options under civil, mechanical (four programmes), chemical, electrical and electronics (four programmes), bioengineering (five programmes) and computing (three programmes).

Vellore Institute of Technology

The original campus is located in the outskirts of Vellore in Tamil Nadu, while other campuses have come up in Amaravati, Bhopal and Chennai. Students can make their own time tables, choose their own subjects and faculty. VIT also organizes different engineering industrial workshops as well as the GRAVITAS and Riviera fests. The former is a techfest while the latter is a sports and cultural festival. The institute offers programmes like civil, chemical, computer science and engineering (with two other specializations), electronics and communication (with three more specializations), electrical and electronics, electronics and instrumentation,  mechanical (with two other specializations) and production and industrial engineering.

Why is lateral thinking important and how to develop it?

July 3, 2018

Have you ever wondered where creativity comes from? How is it that only human beings have this special quality of being creative and the ability to ‘think out of the box’?

This ability is commonly known as lateral thinking. The term was first originated by a Maltese physician, psychologist, philosopher and author Edward De Bono.

What is Lateral Thinking?

According to Dr. Edward De Bono, lateral thinking is the process of using information to bring about creativity and insight restructuring. Lateral thinking can be learned, practiced and used. It is possible to acquire skill in it just as it is possible to acquire skill in mathematics.

Edward de Bono contends that there are two forms of thinking: vertical thinking involves the implementation and utilization of already existent ideas (“digging the same hole deeper”) whereas lateral thinking involves developing new ideas (“digging a hole somewhere else”) (cited in Parnes, 1999).

You may have noticed how some people are naturally gifted when it comes to thinking outside the box. However, anyone can develop this skills through techniques and practice.

De Bono stresses the importance of positive emotions for lateral thinking, and thus uses strategies like humor, fantasy and play extensively.

Why should you develop lateral thinking?

Who doesn’t want to be smarter than their peers? Teachers and professors love to have creative thinkers in their class! After all, where is the fun in being mundane and boring?

So, the benefits of developing thinking ability are manifold. You not only can become successful; shine in social life; attain emotional, social and economic maturity but it is also possible to transform one’s aggressive tendencies.

It has been found by Dr.Edward de Bono that when school students were taught to think effectively, their ill-temper and aggressive tendencies reduced significantly. Clinical psychologists have also found that those who have neuroses are poor thinkers compared to normals.

But most importantly, you need to develop critical thinking and lateral thinking skills to succeed in competitive exams. Many of the entrance exams have a section on aptitude test and logical thinking. Even though you may have prepared really well for the subject related sections, you can lose out on the rank if you don’t do the aptitude section well.

In order to ace that, it is imperative to have sharp lateral thinking skills, which can be developed with various techniques and practices offered both online and offline.

How to develop lateral thinking skills?

As mentioned earlier, you can do many online courses that specialise in developing lateral thinking. Many of them use De Bono’s techniques. There are physical coaching institutes as well who specialise in teaching De Bono’s lateral thinking ways.

One of the most popular metaphors that De Bono uses is the “six thinking hats”. These hats refer to modes of thought. The white hat represents a neutral perspective that allows the individual to collect and use data and information. The red hat represents an individual’s emotions, affect, feelings, intuition, and hunches. The black hat represents judgmental modes of thought and criticism.

The yellow hat represents an optimistic perspective and emphasizes the benefits of an approach or solution. The green hat is for a kind of fertility, at least fertility of alternatives and ideas. De Bono suggests that “the green hat is for creative thinking … for new ideas … additional alternatives … [and] for putting forward possibilities and hypotheses”. Finally, the blue hat controls the thinking process. It monitors and summarizes. De Bono suggests that the blue hat usually is worn by a chairperson if the creative work is being done in a group. He suggests that the blue hat is “for thinking about thinking”, which, in the cognitive sciences, is labeled metacognition.

The six hats technique is very useful when solving complex problems involving multiple variables. Next time you are racking your brains for a solution to a problem, whether real or imaginary, try approaching it using different hats and see if you can derive a workable solution.

We’re sure you won’t be disappointed.

So, go ahead and sharpen your brain with lateral thinking skills and secure a bright future for yourself!

8 Useful Tips By Successful Rankers To Crack Exams

July 3, 2018

There are not many people who would jump in joy at the name of examinations. It is not a term that evokes happy feelings, butterflies in the tummy and a general feeling of exhilaration.

In fact, the feelings associated with exams are quite the opposite! Whether it is the schools exams or entrance exams, in a student’s life, examinations are their constant partners.

So, how can you ease your journey with such a difficult partner? Here are some tips from top rankers who have qualified tough exams and here’s how they did it.

  1. Plan well – Set your goals/achievements on a daily basis and plan your daily activities around achieving that goal. While maintaining a study schedule of 12 to 14 hours a day, you need to give importance to the quality of your study.
  2. Manage time– Have a clear picture of the time regarding month, week, days and hours. Keep a track of all your activities that you perform from the time you get up till you go to sleep. This will help you avoid the unproductive activities and can balance the schedule of your studies.
  3. Refer to only one suggested reference book – There is a common misconception that you have to study from multiple books apart from the prescribed textbook in order to achieve success. However, all you need to do is study from just one book that covers all aspects and study it intensely. Remember, quality is more important than quantity.
  4. Combine self-study with group study – Yes yes, we all know what group studies end up becoming! While you should ensure that you don’t miss out on the fun part of it, you must also dedicate serious hours towards group study because that is when maximum learning happens. Assign a chapter or topic to each member and let each of you play the coach/teacher and explain the topic to the group. You will be surprised at how much you remember during the exam.
  5. When in doubt, ask out – Never let your doubts simmer in your head. Get them cleared by teachers or your seniors and move on. Most often, small doubts can shake your fundamental foundation and you may end up making silly mistakes in the exam.
  6. Write, write and write – Scribble down key takeaways and important highlights at the end of every chapter or topic. Writing always helps you remember things better.
  7. Practice Mock Tests – However much you prepare and know your concepts well, the art of writing the actual exam in a given time is a different ball game altogether. Solve as many sample papers as you can and time yourself on each. You will get an idea of the kind of questions that are asked on a single topic and how much time it takes you to solve it.
  8. Take regular breaks and stay healthy – Just as white spaces are very important in any design, rest and leisure time is absolutely necessary while preparing for your exams. Take breaks often to refresh your mind, exercise and eat healthy. Play a sport in your break, or do some art and craft work. A healthy distraction is equally important. However, be strict with yourself and return to your studies once the break is over.

The tips look easy right? But, believe us when we say that these are the exact tips that most successful rankers follow. Just do this and you can definitely become a ranker yourself! All the best for your exams.

The Indian govt may soon turn to private sector to boost higher education system

July 3, 2018

This sounds like good news right? It is indeed so, for those of you who just completed school and are stepping into the world of higher education.

The higher education scenario

However, there is more to it than meets the eye. This move is an attempt to address many concerns that the Indian education system is riddled with; namely access, equity and quality.

For example, while India’s higher education system is the world’s third largest in terms of enrollment, next only to China and the USA, its Gross Enrollment Ratio currently at 13.8%-significantly lags the world average at 26%.

Even within states, and within different social stratas, there exists a wide disparity. What this means is that in different parts of the country, within urban and rural population and within lower and higher income groups also, access to education is not equally distributed.

When it comes to quality – faculty shortage, deficient physical infrastructure, poor academic standards and unaccredited institutions are some of the top reasons for abysmal quality of higher education in our country.

So, how does the move help?

The Indian government is planning to rope in private companies and high-net individuals (HNIs) to finance and promote higher education across the country. The ministry of human resource development has prepared a draft of the plan and will present it before the Union cabinet for consideration.

According to two government officials, bringing in industries or industrialists or high net-worth individuals for HEFA equity will have three benefits:

  • Structured and clean private funding
  • Outside experience of managing higher education funding
  • Curb chances of manipulation at institutional level

With a boost in funding and combined with increased government spending on education, students can expect to receive better quality of education and affordable prices.

So, if you are at the threshold of entering the higher education network, improvements are in store.

Planning To Study Abroad? These Tips Will Come In Handy

July 3, 2018

As silly as it may sound, if you have dreams of studying abroad, you must have a passport first!

Once that is taken care of, we can get to the matter at hand. Some of the most popular countries that students prefer for an overseas education is USA, Canada, Australia, Singapore and the UK.

As the process to apply for most international universities is quite demanding, it is advisable to start your application process at least a year in advance. So if you want to pursue and undergraduate abroad, you should ideally start collecting the required documents and experience a little after mid terms of Intermediate 1st year or Class 11th. For programs starting in the fall (September/October), applications will generally be open from early in the year (January/February) until the middle of the year (June/July).

Here are a few tips to keep in mind before starting your application process:

  1. Choose the right program. This should be based on your interests, objective of pursuing that course, the job prospects, unique features of the institute and how you will add value to them in turn.
  2. Get the required tests and submit scores before deadline. Most colleges across USA require the SAT but there are several other tests for specialised courses and for specific countries as well like ACT, LSAT, TOEFL, IELTS, UKCAT, BMAT etc.
  3. Collect experiences. Your application can be strengthened by having as many co curricular activities as you can. Take up summer internships, join hobby classes and get a certificate if possible, participate in sports etc.
  4. Procure recommendation letters. Get a few of your teachers/coaches/employees to write you recommendation letters to strengthen your application. Most colleges have a specific format for it so ensure you use the right one.
  5. Write your essay. The Statement of Purpose (SOP) is one of the most important pieces of your application. Look at samples, take help if needed and write an immaculate SOP to strengthen your chances of getting into your dream university. There are several websites that can help you crack this piece.
  6. Submit your application with original transcripts. While the application process itself is online, most colleges require that students send their original documents, transcripts and supporting documents via post. Ensure you do this much in advance of the application deadline.

Once you submit the application, it is just a matter of patience and wait. You will be intimated via email and post about your acceptance (or not) to the university you applied for. If you get accepted, you will also receive the required document (like the i20) to apply for a student visa, following which you can book your tickets.

Another important factor to keep in mind, when it comes to US application, is the different types of deadlines. There are 5 types in total:

  • Early DecisionWith Early Decision, you submit your application around November and usually get your decision by December.  However, this means that you agree to join if admitted and must withdraw all other applications. It is for students who are 100% sure of their best fit college.

  • Early Action – This is the same as Early Decision except that it is non binding. You can apply to other colleges and can choose between multiple admissions.

  • Single Choice Early Action – Single Choice Early Action is a non-binding but exclusive deadline; it functions much like the typical Early Action deadlines, except you can only apply to one school this way (hence “single choice”).

  • Regular Decision – These deadlines are non-binding and widely available. Regular Decision deadlines for fall admission usually occur in the preceding January or February, and students receive a decision by April.

  • Rolling Admissions – Schools with rolling admission deadlines (also non-binding) accept applications until the programs fill up, often as late as April and through the summer.

Now that you are fully equipped to apply for an education abroad, don’t wait and get started! Let your international dream become a reality.

Why Internships Are Important And How You Should Approach Them

June 29, 2018

Remember how important and integral Robert De Niro’s character had become in the movie “The Intern”? If you haven’t watched it yet, that should be your first before you start applying for internships!

The reason there is no example of an Indian movie is because there is none. And this fact has a direct correlation to the importance given to internships in India. (However if you do remember an Indian movie on interns or internship specifically, our bad. But do let us know!)

The State of Affairs

Most people think internship is unnecessary and is a position designed to get coffee or take print-outs for full time employees. But, that is not true and the reason is a systemic one.

Unfortunately, the Indian education system, especially higher education, is not designed to make students industry-ready and prepare them for the real world. Where, sometimes getting coffee regularly for the manager may be a reality for many. And there is nothing bad about that by the way! Many leaders have made their way up the top by keeping their noses to the grindstone initially.

However, there is a far deeper problem. Firstly, most Indian graduates do not work in the same field that they graduate in. Secondly, those who do end up working in the same field are completely unprepared. By the time they finish studying the 10 year old technology taught in the textbooks, the real world would have embraced the future, leaving students and their knowledge, redundant.

Moreover, the number of jobs available at any given time does not correlate with the number of applicants available. According to a report by NDTV, 50 lakh students graduate every year in India, with a 15 percent year on year growth in the numbers.

Enter. Internships.

Why Internships?

Because they are a great break from the boring lectures. Duh! And the thrill of working in a real office, with real colleagues for the first time is good for the adrenalin.

On a more serious note, the value internships provide are often worth more than the pay that you could get from a part-time summer job unrelated to your field of interest. Since they offer multiple ways to enhance skills in a specific job function, internships are a great way for graduates to break into a new career.

Unlike working in an unrelated job for the summer, an internship will give you an opportunity to gain real working experience, and possibly get hired by the company with which you’re interning.

An internship can offer:

  • A professional work environment to work in
  • Credits for college
  • A chance to become a potential candidate for a new hire
  • An opportunity to build your resume
  • Time management skills
  • Industry contacts
  • A chance to build and practice new skills

How to approach your internship?

At the outset, you should be clear of the kind of industry/company/type of internship that you want to do. Whether paid or unpaid, there are several factors you must consider before undertaking an internship.

Some internships offer no remuneration but a rich experience in the field of your experience, while some others offer good remuneration but monotonous work. Be clear of your priorities.

Here are some steps you can consider to approach your internship:

  • Research, research, research. About your field of interest, companies that provide internships, their requirements and terms
  • Keep your resume up to date and ready to submit at a moment’s notice
  • Be an early bird. Search and apply to the internship early to avoid competition
  • Get in touch. Either with the HR of your desired company or ask your institute’s placement cell to guide you
  • Brush Up. Your analytical, logical and communication skills
  • Tease your brain. Solve puzzles and games to keep your mind sharp. They are also often asked in the interviews
  • Be open to learning and be proactive. Don’t hesitate to ask for work

So, next time your college vacations are round the corner, make sure you invest your time in doing an internship and prepare yourself for the real world!

As Richard Branson once said – “If someone offers you an amazing opportunity and you’re not sure you can do it, say yes – then learn how to do it later.”

Why Is India’s Alliance With College Board Good News For You?

June 29, 2018

You may have heard the buzz around SAT exams owner and developer College Board’s alliance with Indian universities. This is indeed good news!

Especially for Indian students seeking admissions within Indian universities because the alliance aims to establish a world-class, common entrance exam to ease admissions.

Today, India is prominently placed on the global higher education map in terms of having more globally-reputed Indian institutions, significant student and faculty mobility, presence of/ collaborations with quality international institutions.

According to Linda Liu, Vice President International at the College Board , “the time is right for us to work closely with innovative universities in India to provide more access to underserved populations, rethink admissions in an Indian context, and ensure India’s leading universities continue to shine on the world stage.”

Just to jog your memory, SAT stands for Scholastic Aptitude Test which is a standardized test administered by College Board and used for admissions to colleges in USA. The SAT is taken by high school juniors and seniors and measures literacy, numeracy and writing skills that are needed for academic success in college. Scores on the SAT range from 400 to 1600, combining test results from two 800-point sections: mathematics, and critical reading and writing.

What is the Alliance all about?

Providing a common platform to the private Indian Universities and the students, the College Board has announced the launch of India Global Higher Education Alliance. Through this, they will administer the common entrance examination for various courses for the universities they have associated with.

This will ease otherwise lengthy application process organise and will enable Indian students to appear for just one exam instead of taking separate entrance tests for each varsity.

The founding member universities include Ashoka University, Azim Premji University, Manav Rachna University, Ahmedabad University, BML Munjal University, SRM Institute of Science and Technology and Manipal University.

Columbia University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, McGill, Pomona College, Purdue University, University of Cambridge, and the University of Hong Kong are affiliate members.

Additionally, the College Board announced scholarship programmes for the low-income students in India who have achieved high marks. The SAT fee reduction for the Indian students will be scaled according to the family income. For students from families making less than Rs 4 lakh annually, they will be charged 10% of the US fee, which makes it roughly Rs.600 to Rs.700 and for students from families making an annual income from 4 lakh to 6 lakh will receive a fee reduction of 50% (approximately  Rs.300 to Rs.3500). The current fee structure for the SAT is $95 without essay and $109 with the essay.

What the alliance means for students?

It is no secret that transition from school to college is tough for most students. Often, the transition is so drastic that many students find it formidable to cope with.

Making some headway in this direction, the alliance aims to provide a platform to bridge the gap between postsecondary and higher education in India.

The alliance will ease the transition through a community of innovative leaders from the education industry. It also plans to establish a forum that will share the best global practices for admissions around the world and help members adopt these practices while adapting them to the current context of higher education in India.

So far, College Board has helped over 7 million students prepare for a successful transition to colleges and universities. And with this alliance, Indian students are set to gain the international advantage.

The Importance of Placements

June 13, 2018

You are close to graduating and freedom is the first thing that probably comes to your mind. The world is now your oyster. Placements are an easy way to avoid confusion and long-term stress. Rather than finding your own job individually, college placements offer an easy way to get one. Read on to know the advantages of placements –

They save time

If you are doing a job search on your own, it can take up a lot of time and resources. Waiting in long lines for interviews all day can be a very daunting process. Placements allow you to sit for interviews with companies of your choice and more or less at one go.

Competition is drastically less

Outside of a placement programme, looking for a job means that hundreds of people may be competing for the exact same job. College placements remove the competition and pit you against fewer people, meaning that there will be a higher chance for you to land the job of your choice.

Easy access to companies

Some companies may not openly host recruitment drives or post about job openings. This is where your college will be easily able to get access to these hard-to-crack corporates.

Secure job while you search

Sometimes your dream job is not one that even your college can help with. Instead of sitting around unemployed, get a job and use it as a stepping stone to get to another place. It doesn’t hurt that you will also be earning in the process.

So get cracking on those placements, you never know, you may land the job of your dreams!

How To Choose The Right Engineering Field

June 13, 2018

There was once a time when just a couple types of engineering programmes existed for students to choose from. Now there are now upto 200. Broadly, engineering is divided into five major branches: mechanical, chemical, civil, electrical and IT, and there are sub-branches under these. With all the choices, it should actually make your decision easier, but the vast number of options make actually make things more confusing. Below, are some tips on what you should consider.

Should I choose the best college or branch?

Never compromise when it comes to either of these options. Choose the course that best caters to your interest, and choose the college that offers it the best. Sometimes lower-ranking universities and colleges can offer better better education in a specific field than even some top-ranking ones. Look at past placements, teaching faculty, costs and infrastructure before making your decision.

Study what you love

It is easy to get influenced by parents, friends or teachers when making a decision. Choose your passion rather than what other people suggest to you. Even if a specific field has better opportunities, you might not love working in that field. Remember, it is always better to earn a good amount of money and be happy, rather than rich and unhappy.

Talk to professionals

If you are curious about different fields, want to know how they are different from eachother and what you will need to study to gain a degree, get in touch with professionals already working in those fields. They will be able to tell you what they studied, where they studied, what life is like after studies and what work life is like.

Whatever you choose, engineering will always be an in-demand option and it will offer great work opportunities. Good luck in your search!

Why You Should Consider Career Counselling

June 12, 2018

The question of “what do you want to do?” is one that has stumped many a student when the time comes for them to choose a career. Influenced by society, parents and peers, students often do not pursue their own interests. It is only much later, after they have already been pursuing a study course for a certain amount of time or even after they have started a career.

Picking a career, begins with picking a field of study. Picking a field of study can be influenced by numerous external factors. Picking the right field of study, happens only when a student knows what a specific course entails and if that aligns with his/her career goals and interests. Quite often students have different abilities and different interests. They also may have distorted and impractical ideas about certain careers, so a counsellor can help debunk some of those notions.

Why it is necessary

Students often take advice from more authoritative figures, whether they are knowledgeable or not. This often leads to many working in jobs that they are unhappy in. Counselling allows students to discover more about themselves and thus understand their potential. Schools should hence have career centers where students can look at different options. Especially in a time when one degree can help you get a variety of jobs within the same field.

What to expect

Meeting a counselor for the first time can be intimidating, but they are there to help you.

A counselor will help you

  • work out what you want to do with your life by helping you understand your thoughts, doubts and feelings
  • determine your interests and skills
  • identify resources to help you with your education and career goals
  • develop a game plan to help you achieve your goals

A counselor will not

  • tell you what you should or should not do

In addition to career guidance, counsellors also advise on studies, CV writing, applications, job searches and interviews.So whether you are a student, graduate or someone who is already working, a career counselor can help you better understand yourself to find a career that best suits you.