– Article by Sheetal Sohoni and Dr. Sohum Sohoni.
The Illiterates of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn.” – Alvin Toffler
Learning, unlearning and relearning is exemplified by 93-year-old Dr. N. V. Ratnalikar, the founding editor of what is now the Journal of Engineering Education Transformations (JEET). Prof. Ratnalikar was born and raised in Hyderabad in pre-independence India. He studied engineering in Urdu, and even after decades of teaching engineering in English, he still remembers the Urdu terms for various phenomena like electromagnetic flux! This was his first experience with the ever-changing mode of education. In his own words: “One should become a learner, because there is an end to teaching, but no end to learning.”
In 1984, Vasant Dada Patil, then chief minister of Maharashtra allowed private engineering colleges to establish in the state, and thus 80 engineering colleges opened up soon after. To create an engineering education community, Dr. Ratnalikar started a conference in engineering education in Maharashtra in which 30 Engineering colleges participated in the first year. Soon after, with a view to reach those who could not attend the conference in person, and to have an archival record, Dr. Ratnalikar started the Journal of Engineering Education in August 1986. The journal was published quarterly from Tuljapur with the support of then state technical education director G.S. Kadu, and printed with the help of Pune Vidyarthi Gruha’s printing facilities. Ratnalikar initially invested his personal funds for starting the effort, and later the journal became self-sustaining via subscriptions. From 1986 to 2007, Ratnalikar served as the editor, and published a number of special issues with contributions from authors all over the world. These special issues focused on international efforts, on national initiatives, and also included articles from non-academic engineers and engineering managers to bring in industry perspectives.
In 2013, the journal became the joint responsibility of Rajaram Bapu Institute of Technology (RIT) and the Indo-Universal Collaboration for Engineering Education (IUCEE). As IUCEE has grown to become the prime mover in improving the engineering education ecosystem in India, JEET has served as an important pillar in as the outlet for faculty and organizations to share their success stories. Since IUCEE started the International Conference on Transformations in Engineering Education in 2014, selected papers from the conference have been published in JEET. The journal has achieved several milestones in recent years, including approval from UGC, approval for indexing by SCOPUS, and a top 20 rank for engineering education outlets in Google Scholar Metrics.
Jointly, IUCEE and RIT have a team of volunteers who work hard to ensure that the journal maintains a high standard. Spurred in part through the efforts of IUCEE, a number of engineering colleges are on a commendable journey in transforming themselves and achieving high quality. This has directly resulted in a significant growth in the number of articles submitted to the journal, and the JEET team now has efficient processes in place for plagiarism checking and preliminary editorial reviews to handle this growth. The journal has a rich history and a dedicated editorial staff. With the improvement in quality of engineering institutions in India, the journal is poised to play an important role as an internationally recognized outlet for the scholarship of teaching and learning in engineering.