Engineering In India: A Concoction That Needs Concern

Posted on May 1, 2011 in Education

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.