Peer pressure and flowing with the stream are not uncommon for our society. The narrative of declining relevance of engineering education has been successful in impacting intake year after year as evident from AICTE’s numbers that show a staggering 49 per cent vacant seats in last academic year 2018-19.
The process of making career choices is one of fresh hope, living optimism and a promise staring at future. The time is here again. It is raining results, central and other regional boards are declaring results of Higher Secondary examination held in early months of the year. For parents, guardians and students, these days are going to be tough and heavy, for they’ll have to cudgel their brains and work out best future career prospects.

 

Numerous factors come into play while making a career choice such as relocation compatibility, finances and subjects & courses of choice, beyond that not all colleges are for all students. Because of a large number of students engaging in admission process simultaneously, hectic and long counselling sessions follow up, which in turn are further followed up by makeup-breakup plans that are to impact next 3 to 5 crucial academic years. However, in last few years, there have been many attempts to ease the process with more and more administrations turning to digital means of admissions and counselling.

 

The makeup-breakup plans mentioned above are sometimes a consequence of unexpected results, at other times these are affected by extant situation of students, while at still other times the process is marked with a lot of judgements about various subjects and courses. Peer pressure and flowing with the stream are not uncommon for our society, for they impact larger scheme of things and fashion a generally acceptable point of view.

 

One such opinion that has dominated the mainstream narrative in last few years is declining relevance of engineering courses. Unfortunately, this narrative has been successful in impacting intake year after year as evident from AICTE’s numbers that show a staggering 49 per cent vacant seats in last academic year 2018-19. Government of India’s apex technical education advisory body, AICTE, has also received hundreds of closure seeking permissions from different institutes and colleges that might see a huge cut down for this year.

 

But then what do all these developments mean? Is there any demand supply crisis of market with regards to engineering profession? In other words, don’t we need engineers anymore? Truth is, today, we need engineers all the more, all the time and all over the places. Industry needs advanced skills and character that help in new innovation and overall growth. More growth means enhanced need of professionals. Only a dent in quality of engineers can prompt graduate engineers to be rendered as less relevant.

 

Instead of questioning relevance of engineering course itself, a focus on quality of course is warranted. Only a fine diagnosis of problem can help in proper cure. It’d be a tragedy for us if engineering education is undermined in the country for its current crisis. It needs to be taken care of like a baby who suffers from malnutrition.

 

India has always been a hub for producing great engineers, who earn a good name for India all over the world including world famous Silicon Valley in USA. Premium institutes such as IITs and NITs continue to harbour best of talent in the country. But as the number of seats are limited in such institutes, it is important to keep check of other institutes from which majority of students major each year in engineering and help institutes in equipping with quality that matters to students, their future standing in industry and health of institute itself. Colleges, regulatory body and government all need to work hard to reinstate people’s confidence in engineering courses once again.

 

For parents and students, it is important to understand that opting out cannot be a solution. Trust in change can shake the world. Collective push can make things happen in some extraordinarily amazing ways but all we yearn for is to reclaim the glory of our engineering schools.