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Engineering In India: A Concoction That Needs Concern

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By Mallikarjuna Kanala:

Every year there are nearly 60 million Indians passing out as graduates and 2 million engineers are among them. With the education system designed to emphasize the importance of mathematics, science and technology, we are producing the man-power required to drive the world forward. There a good number of Indians in almost all the reputed corporate giants and definitely it is something to cheer about and draw inspiration from. Individually working, we Indians are comparable to the best in any business.

With the increase in the number of seats offered and the augmented job opportunities in software and core industries the number of students preferring the field of engineering has gone up steadily. There are nearly 3700 engineering colleges in the country offering admission in various streams of engineering. Among them we have the internationally reputed IITs, NITs, BITS, Deemed Universities and the engineering colleges affiliated to government universities. Though the quality of the education provided differs in various institutes, the quantity and the content does not differ much. The business-minded people have made innovations even in the field of engineering offering new course which are the hybrids of the existing streams.

Indian Institutes of Technology are considered as the best places for pursuing Engineering and they are internationally acknowledged as premier institutes for technical education. This is a known fact and hence the competition is also very high for attaining a seat in these prestigious institutes. It is almost a certain dream for any +2 student in India good in mathematics to be in an IIT. The kind of infrastructure available and the quality of the students are the important attributes that make them the esteemed universities they are. Unlike in schooling, the role played by the faculty decreases in higher studies and it is the duty of the students to use the lecturers and gain knowledge from them. Then coming to the other institutes that offer engineering education there are many good aspects available in educating the students along with some discrepancies and disorders.

Every student starts his B.Tech or Engineering after rigorous hard work in the +2 for securing admission in an institution of high quality. They come to the college with a lot of hopes and with the wings of freedom. Then the system of our engineering slowly starts taking its toll. The basics of all streams will be taught in the first year without any emphasis on the elected stream. But the saddest part is that there will be same number of credits accredited to basic civil engineering and electronic circuits for an electronics student. Many students choose the groups on popular public opinion than based on their interest. This problem arises because many students are not well-informed about the different groups and so they end up choosing wrong subjects. This is one of the biggest problems faced by the students and there are not many solutions available for this. Then coming to the lifestyle and the work done in an engineering college, one can confidently say that for a residential engineering student there will be a lot free time and many of our students do not know the different ways to use the time well and hence they learn wasting or killing the time, and that is one of the worst things that can happen to a student in that particular age. Another important problem that has an enormous impact on students is the rapidly growing enforcement of western ideas which hinder the general inherited Indian growth thus making our future engineers ardent followers of the pop and Facebook culture.

Coming to the curriculum, there are some electives and some compulsory subjects for every stream and unfortunately the electives are not electives after all in many colleges. They are electives that are compulsory making the name elective meaningless. Then the staff will most probably be either of highest standards or below par, making the subjects tougher than they actually are. The assignments which lack innovation and creation make the students virtual Xerox machines where a single interested bookworm does the work and others just reproduce it and thus save a lot of time which can be spent in watching some meaningless movie or work on their passion which is by no means their own subject of engineering. Then there are technical and cultural fests that are intended to bring the creativity and problem-solving capabilities of the students to light and to some extent they serve the purpose but there are many instances of mismanagement of these fests by students themselves setting up a bad precedent for the future nation builders. Then finally during the final stages of the course the project work will be imposed on all the students and the final outcome is there are a good number of companies selling the final year projects, and the business has become one of the best in recent times.

This work is not intended to criticize a single institution or a group of institutions but the problem lies in the system itself. The engineering field which is the most sought-after should be made more flexible, helping the students to choose their field of interest, and before that the students should be well-informed about the course they are going to pursue. The HR ministry should definitely look into the present engineering system which according to many corporate companies is producing only 10% of employable candidates. With proper planning and implementation and without taking any radical steps a lot of improvement can be seen in the near future.


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An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

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Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

Read more about her campaign.

MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

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A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Find out more about the campaign here.

A native of Bhagalpur district – Bihar, Shalini Jha believes in equal rights for all genders and wants to work for a gender-equal and just society. In the past she’s had a year-long association as a community leader with Haiyya: Organise for Action’s Health Over Stigma campaign. She’s pursuing a Master’s in Literature with Ambedkar University, Delhi and as an MHM Fellow with YKA, recently launched ‘Project अल्हड़ (Alharh)’.

She says, “Bihar is ranked the lowest in India’s SDG Index 2019 for India. Hygienic and comfortable menstruation is a basic human right and sustainable development cannot be ensured if menstruators are deprived of their basic rights.” Project अल्हड़ (Alharh) aims to create a robust sensitised community in Bhagalpur to collectively spread awareness, break the taboo, debunk myths and initiate fearless conversations around menstruation. The campaign aims to reach at least 6000 adolescent girls from government and private schools in Baghalpur district in 2020.

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A psychologist and co-founder of a mental health NGO called Customize Cognition, Ritika forayed into the space of menstrual health and hygiene, sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights and gender equality as an MHM Fellow with YKA. She says, “The experience of working on MHM/SRHR and gender equality has been an enriching and eye-opening experience. I have learned what’s beneath the surface of the issue, be it awareness, lack of resources or disregard for trans men, who also menstruate.”

The Transmen-ses campaign aims to tackle the issue of silence and disregard for trans men’s menstruation needs, by mobilising gender sensitive health professionals and gender neutral restrooms in Lucknow.

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A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

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A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

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