Too much of discussion, no action on the ground: Pradeep Chaturvedi

Pradeep Chaturvedi, former chairman of the Delhi unit of the Institution of Engineers (India), has spent more than four decades in engineering. He speaks about the state of engineering education in India and the prospects for young engineers

pranita

Pranita Kulkarni | June 16, 2017 | Delhi


#Institute of Engineers   #jobs   #AICTE   #engineering college   #engineering  
Pradeep Chaturvedi, former chairman of the Delhi unit of the Institution of Engineers (India)
Pradeep Chaturvedi, former chairman of the Delhi unit of the Institution of Engineers (India)

What ails engineering education in India?
Fifteen or 20 years back, a large number of industrialists and businessmen started engineering colleges, looking at them as a business opportunity. A large number of engineering colleges came up in Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka, and also in Tamil Nadu. However, when the IITs – which pay teachers well and have a brand equity – have 40-45 percent vacancies in teachers’ positions, where was the possibility of small, low-paying private engineering colleges getting good teachers? Most students who have passed from small, private engineering colleges have been more or less ill-educated.

 
 
After the government allowed private and deemed universities, there hasn’t been quality control in engineering education. Ninety percent of final year BTech students wouldn’t have visited any factory. For quality control, you usually have third-party audits: here, when we don’t even have the second party (that is, teachers), where are we going to find the third party (that is, auditors)! That’s why, especially in the last four-five years, almost 50 percent seats in engineering colleges go untaken, and a large number of colleges are closing down. 
 
What are the prospects for engineering graduates?
We keep saying that we must move from an agricultural economy to an industrial economy and that manufacturing needs a boost. When we talk about manufacturing, the first thing that comes to mind is engineers. What we don’t realise is that we don’t need a large number of engineers for manufacturing, because factories are going for automation. Manufacturers may not increase their labour force by even one percent. These private colleges keep churning out students for whom there are no takers. Many of these students are from poor backgrounds, and take loans for their education. They end up earning as little as Rs 5,000-10,000 monthly. Those who perform better in their BTech exams have started opting for computer-based jobs, data entry, BPOs or marketing. In the last 10 years, a large number of them have been absorbed in marketing and the BPO sector. After doing mechanical engineering, electrical or civil, they would opt for well-paying software jobs, because there were jobs afloat. Now, they are gone too.
 
 
What can be done to remedy this situation?
Right now, the situation is: too much discussion, not enough action. The government, per se, cannot produce quality engineers. But it can ensure better quality engineering education. The government can run campaigns in schools to spread awareness. Children should know what prospects they have in any field. Here, they decide they have to go for engineering, and start going to coaching classes when they don’t even know what engineering is, and whether it is good or bad for them. The engineering curriculum has to be revised more often. We do it once in 10 years. Technology becomes outdated in two years. So the review of the education system has to be done, and delivery mechanisms also need to be updated. Engineering teachers also must undergo special courses. They should learn what is happening in the field at the national and international level. You cannot have good engineering education without good quality teachers.

pranita@governancenow.com

(The interview appears in June 30, 2017 edition)

Comments

 

Other News

Many roles of civil society during pandemic

The union government enforced a nationwide lockdown on March 25, 2020 to curb the spread of coronavirus as it was causing large-scale infection and disease. Challenges of pandemic management and levels of distress were revealed during this time. The fear of Covid spread like wildfire and a

Thackeray launches three fast-track DNA units under Nirbhaya scheme

Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray has launched three state-of-the-art human DNA units under the Nirbhaya Scheme for efficiency in criminal investigations. A wildlife DNA unit in Nagpur makes Maharashtra the country’s first state to have a forensic testing lab for animals.  

How foreign policy has been Modi’s focus right from the start

The Midway Battle: Modi’s Roller-coaster Second Term By Gautam Chintamani Bloomsbury / 400 pages / Rs 699 Gautam Chintamani, a film historian and author, has penned an in-depth chronicle of prime minister Narendra Modi’s second

Remove unauthorized constructions without pressure: Thackeray to BMC

Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray has instructed the Mumbai civic authorities to take immediate action on unauthorized constructions on war footing. In a virtual meeting held on Wednesday, Thackeray said no illegal construction will be tolerated in Mumbai and called upon the BMC to

Covid norms relaxed; Mumbai restaurants, shops to remain open longer

After extending timings of shops and restaurants as well as the reopening of cinema halls and theatres under specified SOPs from October 22, in view of the festive cheer, the Maharashtra government has allowed restaurants and eateries to remain open till 12AM and shops and establishments to function till 1

Global Hunger Index data collection flawed: Arvind Panagariya

Rubbishing the recently released Global Hunger Index 2021, wherein India has slipped to 101 position to be placed below Pakistan, Nepal and Bangladesh, Arvind Panagariya, professor of economics at Columbia University and former vice chairman, NITI Aayog, has said that data collection and methodologies used

Visionary Talk with Dr Arvind Panagariya, Professor, Columbia University & Former VC, NITI Aayog



Archives

Current Issue

Opinion

Facebook    Twitter    Google Plus    Linkedin    Subscribe Newsletter

Twitter