Recently, I came across news where one of the engineering college workshop venues has been leased to coaching wrestlers. This was due to the fact that the engineering college was having zero admissions for the year 2018. With the demand for skillful engineers is on the rise due to the paradigm shift towards AI and Automation; these colleges are not able to meet the demand because of their inability to produce quality engineers. Quality is a big word with respect to education which cannot be measured with the existing forms of examination systems.
With the admission crunch in every engineering institute across the country, the colleges don't want to be strict in academics as they feel that this would affect their enrolment for the upcoming years. As a result, students take engineering very light and in-turn becomes unemployable graduates. The reasons for all these are manifold. Let me take you through them one by one. Follow them carefully while selecting an engineering college for your ward rather than just going by their advertisements and news articles or any falsified claims.
The ultimate purpose of the education is either to pursue the passion or to grab the opportunity available in the market
The main aspect of any educational institution is the qualified faculty members. Most of the institutes which run successfully including the IITs are run by qualified faculties only. If an institute is not able to attract the qualified faculties, their vision will be very much minimal. If an institute/department lacks vision, the future of your ward is at stake. Look out for the institutes which have people from premier institutes of the country. The vast experience of these people would definitely help the institute and the department to grow.
Infrastructure played a vital role 10 years back, but all the established institutes have their basic infrastructure otherwise they can't renew their affiliation with the governing bodies. Hence look out for the necessary infrastructure required to carry out research activities beyond the curriculum. Very few management spend on this and once again make sure there are visionary leaders to utilize this infrastructure for the benefit of students. Without visionary leaders, any good infrastructure will be in the dust as there will not be anyone to guide the students on how to use them effectively. If you are selecting a newly started institute then you should do a campus visit to the departments.
Support for Research
Engineering is all about "doing" rather than just "learning". An engineering institute should have a research center so that they can support their own faculty to conduct quality research. With the demand for engineering products and solutions scaling higher day by day, the faculties who are hardly doing any research would neither be able to update the students with the latest happenings nor they can motivate to do innovative projects that can get good opportunities for the students. Hence, look out for the department that has the facility to do research under well-qualified research supervisors. Students of engineering should be involved in research culture right from their first year of study. This is possible only when the institutes treat their students as engineers rather than just as a candidate for placement and focus only on preparing them for the companies without allowing their minds to think.
Colleges used to highlight their placement records through billboards, news publications and many more. However, parents should inquire about the support given by the institutes for off-campus placements in which majority of the students take after graduating. The college that doesn't prepare their students to reach out for better companies outside the region is, in turn, spoiling their future by preventing them to confidently approach the big opportunities. Hence, make sure that the students join the right branch to secure a good opportunity through on-campus and off-campus placements.
Rather than believing the words of others or falling trap to the mass trending among the students, better discuss with qualified academicians, learned people, domain experts to get the reality of what's best for your children. Often the decision to join a course is biased by the admission counselors who are quite unaware of the future trends. The ultimate purpose of the education is either to pursue the passion or to grab the opportunity available in the market. If a student is passionate to do a course, let them decide the course. But if they are not clear on which course to choose then, the course that provides them with a handful of opportunities in the future is a clear winner.
Last but not the least; engineering has a great demand in the future a lot more has to be done to make this country smart. However, the lack of quality has made the downfall of the majority of engineering colleges across the country. It's the high time that industry needs more engineering graduates as the kind of problems to be solved requires a lot of logical thinking. The industry demands a lot of smart thinking to address social issues through technology which requires engineering skills. Hence engineering is the right choice for the years to come. All it requires is to choose the right institute which can provide the platform for your kids to excel.
Prof. (Dr.) V.R. Raghuveer
Presently the Head of the Department Computer Science and Engineering, Geetanjali Institute of Technical Studies, Rajasthan, Prof. (Dr.) V.R. Raghuveer is also an educational consultant to the Indian & Western Universities for implementing Outcome Based Education through Learning Management Systems platform. He is a recognized research supervisor under RTU, Kota and heading the research center of CSE Department at GITS.