EDUCATION AND CULTURE
In the year 1948, the then Government of Bombay set up the Department of Technical Education and technical education at all levels in the State was entrusted to it. The department looks after technical education imparted by such institutions as engineering colleges, polytechnics, industrial schools and technical high schools of which some conduct post-graduate courses and research. This Department till August 1963 conducted examinations for diploma and certificate courses offered by the polytechnics and some of the technical institutions in the State. A separate Board of Technical Examination was constituted in August 1963. Apart from the above, the Department also looks after the craftsman training scheme, apprenticeship training scheme (under the Apprenticeship Act of 1961) and evening classes for industrial workers sponsored by the Government of India.
Industrial training institutes: The aim of this type of training is to equip the trainees as skilled artisans for suitable industrial employment. The other type of training is mainly 'vocational' where training is offered in cottage and small-scale industries extending over
a period not exceeding twelve months, with a view to preparing the trainees for gainful employment. There is one Government industrial training institute in Sholapur district, which provides training in moulding, draftsmanship, welding, electrical fitting, printing and fitters work. In 1974 the sanctioned intake capacity was 488 while total enrolment was 567. The duration of the courses conducted is of two years.
Technical high schools: Technical high schools are essentially secondary schools with a technical bias. Their aim is not to train students specially for entering into wage-earning occupations but to give them a broad-based training in basic engineering work-shop course without neglecting the academic subjects. The course is spread over a period of four years from standards VIII to XI and students are prepared for the S. S. C. examination with a technical bias, in Sholapur there were seven technical high school centres, out of which one is run by the Government, i.e., the North Cote High School, Sholapur. It has a technical section which provides facilities for training in arts, technology, drawing, electrical engineering and mechanical engineering. The intake capacity of all the institutes was 2,649 in 1974.
Polytechnics: In the field of technical education there is one scheme which comprises scheme for expansion of existing polytechnics, taking over private polytechnics and starting new polytechnics. Under this scheme a Government polytechnic was established at Sholapur in 1956, providing for diploma courses in civil, mechanical and electrical engineering. The duration of the course is of three years. Those who have passed the secondary school certificate examination or its equivalent are admitted to the polytechnic and preference is given to students coming from the technical high schools. Students with first class in diploma examinations held in Maharashtra State in engineering are eligible for admission directly to the degree courses in engineering colleges, on certain conditions. In 1958-59 the enrolment in the polytechnic was 141. The figure rose to 350 in 1960-61 and stood at 483 in 1964. In 1966-67, 312 students were admitted to the polytechnic. Of these, 107 students were studying in civil engineering, 106 in mechanical engineering and 99 in electrical engineering. The total enrolment in 1974 was 508. It is proposed to introduce the automobile engineering diploma in the Fifth Plan in this polytechnic for which a provision of Rs. 3.55 lakhs has been made.
Other technical institutions: Apart from the degree and diploma courses, a number of engineering and technical courses like draughtsman, engineering apprentice, tracer, wood turning, hand-loom and power-loom weaving, wool knitting and weaving, etc. are also conducted
by the various Government and non-Government institutions. These courses are approved by the Board of Technical Examinations of Maharashtra State. Moreover there are courses in arts, crafts and needle crafts, tailoring, etc., approved by the Board. In Sholapur district there is one engineering institute situated at Barshi established in 1963. It is managed by a non-Government agency. The courses offered in this institute are mechanical draughtsmanship, civil draughtsmanship and tracer. The duration of mechanical draughtsman and civil draughtsman courses is of two years and students who have passed the S. S. C. examination are admitted. The duration of tracers' course is of one year and the students who have passed VIIth standard are admitted to this course. In 1966-67 the intake capacity of the institute was 60.
There are fourteen crafts and needle crafts institutions in Sholapur district. The duration of the course in these institutions ranges from one to two years. The intake capacity of all these institutions was 465 in 1966-67.
Other technical schools: There is one Government power weaving training institute at Sholapur, the total enrolment in which was 70 in 1966-67.
Basic training centres: The aim of the basic training and related instruction centres is to acquaint the students with the basic principles behind the working system of tools and machinery. There is one such centre in the district. The intake capacity of the centre is 100.
Part-time courses or evening classes for industrial workers: Evening classes are arranged by the Government to improve the theoretical knowledge of industrial workers who are already employed in occupations demanding skill without undergoing any scientific training and without any theoretical background. The subjects covered are work-shop mathematics, reading of blue prints and elementary trade theory and use of precision instruments. The duration of courses is of two years and classes are held twice a week for about 20 to 25 industrial workers. A nominal fee is charged while materials like drawing board etc., are supplied by the Government. The trades approved for training are draughtsman, electrician, fitter, motor mechanic, turner, radio mechanic etc. One such part-time course was conducted at Sholapur with 51 trainees in 1963-64. The number of trainees for such a part-time course conducted in 1967-68 was 100.