Are our Engineers employable??

14 Sep
2007

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Rishabh Srivastava - Profile
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Engineers’ Day is celebrated every year throughout the country on September 15th to commemorate the birthday of Bharat Ratna Sir M Visvesvaraya. Let us see where engineering education of our country stands after 60 years of independence.

A serious problem is staring India’s higher education in the face. Its about the misalignment between education and employment.

We proudly claim to have the largest pool of engineers. This is the resource which forms the backbone of India’s rapidly growing IT industry along with the other sectors. But, India’s HUGE pool of young graduates actually have fewer number of suitable candidates employable by MNCs and their off shoring arms. Infact, only 25% of India’s engineering graduates are considered employable material by MNCs. The quality of education in India varies widely and while IITs and NITs are world class,other engineering colleges are nowhere close. Many factors contribute to malaise : outdated curriculum, obsolete equipments, teachers who don’t update their knowledge base, management that lacks commitment to academic excellence, rote learning, exam oriented teaching, lack of activity-based learning through team effort and lack of practical training.

The Most Valuable Employee

The biggest failure of our University system is that students are not taught “soft skills”- the competence to discuss, analyse, innovate and communicate.The findings of the committee set up by University of Mumbai found 42 affiliated engineering colleges falling way below the standards set by AICTE, and it even included reasonably well known colleges such as Rizvi College and KJ Somaiya, Sion.

Below are the few measures from a student’s perspective which can make him a better graduate:-

  1. Opportunities for students to do short term or certificate courses along with the degree courses. These courses should be linked to areas in which employment opportunities are opening.
  2. A common curriculum and syllabus throughout the country along the guidelines of the IITs.
  3. Emphasis on practical training rather than theoretical.
  4. A semester dedicated for Industrial training and honing technical skills under the guidance of the experts, which is absent in many major universities & colleges.
  5. Since the university system is not making the graduates compatible, many companies have to spend substantial resources to train fresh recruits. An “Industry based” syllabi is the need of the hour to produce “Industry ready Engineers”.

The government currently spends only 0.1% of GDP on technical Education, which is a very miniscule number.

In India most of the top Engineering graduates emigrate.

This apart, only 4% of India’s graduates are engineers whereas this figure is as high as 20% in Germany and 30% in China. Therefore, as recommended by Moily Oversight Committee, new IITs and NITs should be setup every year all over the country, in order to counter the shortage of quality engineers.

NASSCOM estimates shortfall of about 5 lakh employable graduates by 2010. Hence, it is important to ensure steady supply of young graduates so that India does not lose the advantage of having a large population.

India has a long way to go, both in terms of quality and quantity in higher education. An urgent reform in education has become a necessity. Since our Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh himself has once served as the chairman of UGC, we hope he will push for the reforms in the education system which will propel us in achieving the status of a developed nation.

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6 Responses to “Are our Engineers employable??”

  1. Mitesh Ashar says:

    You know what?
    Our engineering college has around 1000-1100 students.

    Can you guess what is the total bandwidth of the Internet connection available to the college.

    Just 128 kbps!!!

    We dare not try to access any resources from the college, because the efforts go in vain.

  2. Abhishek says:

    Hi,
    In response to your article, I would like to say that obviously the education system needs a lot of reform, but first we are the one who need reform. tell me a single student today who has passed engineering with a complete understanding of all the subjects.

    we all are habituated to learn by rote and this habit follows us through the graduation system where instead of absorbing the knowledge and gaining profound technicality, we just want to memorize it for a day or two and then just write it out on the exam paper scoring first class marks.

    tell me don’t IIT’s have the same system as we have. But still Y IITians are considered as geniuses worldwide. the simple reason is their attitude towards learning. They follow a systematic approach and gain good amount of technical knowledge and not only that, they even apply the technicalities to their daily based projects or even to inventing their own unique device.

    now tell me here that is the education system at fault or we are at fault.

    the simple reason is that we just want to behave like the frogs in the well. for them their well is the entire world and don’t even look beyond it. if we have an opposite approach then we will surely shine out.

  3. Mitesh Ashar says:

    @Abhishek
    I agree with you that the approach needs to be taken care of.

    But does that mean the system isn’t at fault.
    The environment matters a lot. Your environment and your peers build up your approach. They make you think the way you do.

    You just said the the IIT’s have same system as we(i assume you meant other engg colleges) have. NO THEY DONT.
    Just take the example of the internet connection. IIT Kanpur has 36 Mbps internet connectivity, and that too divided among different ISP’s. That is just one point. There are so many other factors to it, viz. the complete infrastructure, the faculty, the facilities, etc.

    Just compare one of our professors with an IIT professor (if you have heard about one) and you’ll clearly notice the difference.

  4. KMX says:

    @Mitesh
    @Abhishek
    {
    Well.. the blogger, Mr Rishabh is IMHO very correct! The two of you above have an argument over the reason.. Probably, both of you are right! But reform starts from the core…[or so it *SHOULD*, whether it does or not!] And the core to this Universe (Yes I mean your universe, not just the world, everything that you see and feel, IS YOUR HEART && YOUR BRAIN && YOU!)

    /* HOW MANY OF YOU STOP THAT NASTY PRANKSTER FROM BREAKING THAT NEW SWITCHBOARD IN THE HOSTEL JUST BECAUSE IT WASN’T HIS FATHER WHO PAID FOR IT??
    */
    /*
    HOW MANY OF YOU THINK BEFORE COMPLAINING OF LACKING INFRASTRUCTURE, BUT NEVER BOTHER TO CARE ABOUT WHAT HAS BEEN PROVIDED TO YOU??
    */
    /*
    HOW MANY OF YOU THINK THAT YOUR COMPLAINTS *WILL* *EVER* *COME* *TO* *AN* *END*???
    */
    /*
    I DON’T THINK THEY WILL! BECAUSE
    - YOU ARE THE ONE WHO WANTS TO PASS THAT EXAM BY HOOK OR BY *CROOK*
    - YOU ARE THE ONE WHO CARES A DAMN ABOUT WHAT YOU HAVE!

    AND UNTIL YOU ARE THANKFUL FOR WHAT YOU HAVE, YOU’LL ALWAYS COMPLAIN!

    WHICHEVER COLLEGE YOU ARE IN, WHICHEVER CITY/VILLAGE YOU LIVE IN.. UNTIL YOU UNDERSTAND THE FACT THAT EACH INDIVIDUAL’S CIRCUMSTANCES ARE MUTUALLY EXCLUSIVE; [CHANGE THEM IF YOU CAN OR LIVE WITH THEM, THEY'RE YOUR CIRCUMSTANCES], WHY/HOW WOULD YOU GET THE MOTIVATION THAT MAKES YOU AN *EMPLOYABLE* GRADUATE / ENGINEER??
    */
    }

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