Lalan Tiwari is an academician and academic entrepreneur who has earned an M.Sc. in Chemistry. He is the Principal at Lalitpur Engineering College. Lalitpur Engineering College, affiliated to Tribhuvan University, is one of the leading engineering colleges in Nepal. College Readers has caught up with Mr. Tiwari to discuss his achievements and further plans. Excerpts:
Lalitpur Engineering College is one of the top-notch engineering colleges in Nepal. To what extent do you think that the objective of the college establishment has been fulfilled in the 12 years’ span since its establishment?
Lalitpur Engineering College, affiliated to Tribhuvan University, was established in 2066 B.S, which aims is to impart quality education and to prepare Quality Engineers to fulfill the need of the nation. We believe that our graduates can compete in global market which has been bolstered by our phenomenal teaching. The objective of the college is to prepare creative and innovative graduates that will be capable of developing professionalism and will generate various technical professions by using their own expertise. This expertise will enable them to emerge as competitive leaders in the nation and beyond it. The college is enriched with appealing physical infrastructures and teaching equipment. So, we are fully successful in accomplishing of our objective of the college establishment.
The functioning procedures of the university have made the provision of operating at least four programs by completing required criteria which we have fulfilled. But due to the denial of TU to grant permission for running the programs in a full-fledged way, we are currently offering only two programs despite our full preparation for running all the programs.
Lalitpur Engineering College offers civil engineering and computer engineering programs affiliated to Tribhuvan University which most of your contemporary institutions do. What makes your institution so special that the engineering aspirants should join this college?
Lalitpur Engineering College has been established and managed by the by a group of visionary and eminent Nepalese professionals. The team never compromises on the best possible quality. The faculty of teachers is highly experienced, dedicated and enthusiastic to satisfy the aspirations of students. We have managed to recruit most faculty members who are working at Pulchwok Engineering College. We care for our students individually. The college has maintained peaceful academic environment and situated at the prime location of the city.
The college is sufficiently rich in physical infrastructures with spacious playground. It has well-furnished lab, library and capacious classrooms. We give equal focus on both curricular and extra-curricular activities. Apart from regular courses, we facilitate our students and teachers with frequent lectures from the experts of various fields. We have provided our students with phenomenal opportunity of their involvement in research and field visits.
In your analysis, how is the scope of engineering and IT sectors in the context of Nepal?
Engineering education is widely popular across Nepal which incorporates globally acclaimed quality. Moreover, the syllabi are competitive and are globally accepted, which have been designed by imbibing global requirements. So, the range of scope of engineering is wider in comparison to information and technology. Tribhuvan University has introduced very few IT programs except B.Sc. CSIT and BCA. So, in the context of Nepal, IT course has not appealingly drew the attraction of career hopefuls in Nepal.
Even in the present context, less importance is given to research and internship courses in engineering education in Nepal which is the reason behind students’ mediocrity that is conspicuously mocking them in their workplaces. What’s your interpretation about such anomaly?
Internship is essential for the students to acquire pragmatic knowledge of their work which they can perform confidently in their workplace upon graduation, but it is not yet included in the curriculum. Due to this reason, our graduated students are facing several problems in their workplaces. Therefore, these issues are to be raised in various levels since they are today’s requisites. So, I hope it will be included in curriculum and made it compulsory. However, we are happy that our college provides internship privileges to our graduands and graduates as it has established tie-ups with several corporate houses.
The dropout rate in engineering program in Nepal is considered to be more than other fields of study. Is engineering a difficult course to peruse? What could be the reasons behind such complications?
Engineering itself is not a difficult course but it is the howling of our educators, parents and students that played a major role in making it complicated. There are several reasons behind the increment in the drop out ration in the engineering discipline. The major reasons are: overseas study and shift to medical field. If students are able to complete the visa process for study abroad program, they immediately quit their study in half-way with a hope that they will settle well in a foreign land. Similarly, if they pass the medical entrance exam, they abruptly join the medical course without having second thought. However, some students drop out due to their personal reason.
Despite increasing importance of research and innovation courses in the modern era, the university has ignored such courses in the engineering program in Nepal. What could be the reason behind such negligence of the university?
The course content is long and heavy. This could be true most colleges focus on only the course completion and student preparation for the back logs. Unless the university includes research study as a compulsory course in its curricula, it will remain in limbo. However, since I mentioned earlier, our college gives priority to research and innovation with a view to make our graduates competitive, engaged and innovative.
Since the Covid-19 pandemic has affected most sectors in the world, how has it affected the engineering sphere in Nepal? In your view, how should engineering college go forth?
The Covid-19 pandemic brought about adverse impacts in most sectors in the world. The educational sphere, particularly engineering education, has had harsher effects. Since engineering is a practical course, it’s not a cent percent scientific and suitable to have students teach virtually. However, we followed virtual teaching and learning activities as an alternative to resist the force-majeure of coronavirus threats.
Finally, what would you like to suggest ten-plus-two graduates for their bachelor’s study pursuits as the Principal of Lalitpur Engineering College?
In the present context, engineering education has a high scope in Nepal and globally. Most hydel power and development projects require a massive number of engineers. And the engineering education of Nepal is of global standard. So, I would suggest the ten-plus-two graduates to earn their bachelor’s degree in Nepal since most colleges offer globally acclaimed engineering qualifications in the country. Lalitpur Engineering College is one of them that can satisfy the needs of engineering aspirants. So, I suggest they visit the college virtually or physically before making any further decisions.