The student clientele of today has changed. The 21st Century generation is different in several ways. They are wired differently, tech savvy with different aptitudes & attitudes, information at their fingertips, selectively concentrate on material of their interest, attention span of only about 10min, and disinterested in traditional methods of teaching. Yet, our educational system remains fixed on the traditional model. We need newer approaches, new paradigms and pedagogies to cater to the 21st century generation.

This s what the author has attempted to do in this book. A modified approach that emphasizes a new paradigm shift in engineering education and learning has been proposed.

  1. It optimizes the numerous educational resources freely available globally, along with providing high quality faculty that encourage lateral thinking, self-learning, innovation and creativity, to cater to the young, internet savvy population, in the rapidly changing technological world of today.
  2. The emphasis is on holistic education to generate newer skill sets, creativity and innovation ability, critical thinking, sound theoretical basis with real life, complex, and multidisciplinary problem solving capabilities, personality development, and strong ethical values.
  3. This dynamic and flexible education model is an experiment in new thinking:
    • admission process, curriculum, courses (reduced course load and teaching, and increased learning space and time for understanding, assimilation, and application).
    • knowledge imparting approach (move from teacher-centric education to student-centric active learning; involve the learners in the process of teaching and learning).
    • incorporation of modern technology, use of internet and media, quality and skills of graduates, with constant feedback, to provide inputs for desirable changes, promptly implemented, for the benefit of its learners from around the world.
  4. The new institution that focuses on teaching, research, and innovation, striving for excellence, will make continuous effort to remain inclusive, modern, relevant, and current.

A green campus has been suggested, with multi-cultured variety of plants and trees, minimum environmental pollution and degradation, ensuring every resource is recovered and recycled. The buildings will be functional with a flexible classroom environment to cater to new ‘constructivist classroom’ set-up.

The model elaborated in this book should be of interest to the entire spectrum of education and learning – KG to PG to Lifelong learning. I expect this book to be useful to teachers, educators, parents, entrepreneurs, professional societies, change agents, policy makers (State & Central Governments – HRD Ministry, UGC, AICTE, and other such bodies), Corporate & Business leaders, and community. It is the author’s sincere hope that those, who wish to improve and modernize existing technological and scientific institutions, and establish new institutions will benefit from this effort, not only in India but in several other countries of the world.

These are exciting times, and a new challenge and opportunity exists for Indian public and private players to offer education and learning in dramatic new ways that will propel the country to global levels of excellence, and make a real difference to the society at large. Let us work together, my dear students, colleagues, private and public enterprises, and the state and central governments, and make it happen and soon.

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