ENGINEERING EDUCATION CONUNDRUM
Engineers engineer our world. They dictate technology to work in our favour. It is the cherished dream of a youngster to become an engineer. From a bicycle to a dam to Artificial Intelligence is their creation, modern world itself is. The fate of the country is intricately tied to quality of engineers we produce. For the engineers to a make a difference to the country, what is urgently required is to fix the engineering education first. The days to come would be even more high end engineering intensive, cut-throat & deliverable based.
India today produces around 25% of the world’s engineers. With over 15 lakh engineering seats annually, India caters to a $2.5 trillion economy and with 1 lakh engineering graduates, US caters to a $16 trillion economy. We are pushing a failed dream a bit too far. While engineers dream of getting a job at Google or Microsoft, the harsh reality is that only half of them get jobs through campus placements.
There seems to a flight of capital where windfall gains are expected in the educational sector. Engineering education was the destination. Institution building is not directly proportional to capital invested is harsh reality to which engineering college owners are waking up to. Mushrooming of private engineering college might be the cause. At the rate of 80,000 less seats per year, around 3.1 lakhs seats would be slashed in next four years. Nearly 200 engineering colleges have applied for closure.
In the age of big ticket innovation, machine learning / artificial intelligence disruptive technologies and consequent wave of unfathomable automation the quality scenario is even more scarier. Aspiring Minds based on a study says that only 4.7% students are capable are capable of writing correct programming codes. About 60% could not write code at all. This cannot be the feeder for our famed software industry. An earlier study of the same organization showed that only 7% possess the skills suited for employment in core engineering jobs.
THE PACE OF TECHNOLOGICAL GROWTH IS DIRECTLY PROPORTIONAL TO THE QUALITY OF ENGINEERS.