Considering the potential of India to become a global technology leader in areas like Chemical Engineering, Automobile Engineering, Defence, Space, Marine, The fields of Electronics and Electrical Engineering, Information Technology, Computer Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Civil Engineering, Aeronautics Engineering and so on. It is all important to understand the future path of the growth of engineering education in India with special reference of top engineering colleges in Punjab. In this present phase the road to engineering education is not smooth rather it has become slippery and tedious due to the challenges that come forth before the area of engineering education. Commonly discussed challenges are:
- Challenge of Proficiency in Language.
- Challenge of Faculty Shortage.
- Challenge of Lack of Absorbing Capacity.
- Challenge of Lesser Exposure in Reality.
- Challenge of Lesser Industry Interaction.
- Challenge of Employability.
- Challenge of Rapid Growth.
Unreasonable mushrooming of engineering and technical institutes has further aggravated the situation by passing a threat even to the existence of very good institution as the availability of seats in much more than the availability of quality intake.
The first challenge we face in engineering education is the of proficiency in English Language. Even after 10 years of Independence the force of the regional languages is mighty. Proficiency in English Language is the fore-most requirement for all sorts of good education and learning. I have firm belief that world’s local language is English not anything else. You can do without everything but surely you cannot do without English and Computers. Although awakening of this hard fact is there, progress is there but there is a lot that needs to accomplished if want the effective growth of engineering education.
Higher education, particularly engineering education is facing crisis. The availability of teachers for engineering trades as per data is almost 50% of the current requirement to pull on these streams well. According to a tentative estimate more than 300000 teachers are required but only 15000 are available. This huge gap is one big stumbling block to provide quality engineering education. As a step to tide over this situation, even the Union Ministry of Human Resource Development has permitted to appoint. Even Non Resident Indians (NRIs) and people of Indian origin to appoint as permanent faculty. As per AICTE guidelines a ratio of 1:14 is to be maintained but it seems to be a farfetched dream to realize.
As per 2014 study only 18.43% engineers were employable for software service sector. The position is equally critical for other engineering fields. Despite efforts from various govt. and non-govt. sectors the position has not much improves. Challenges of Lesser Exposure Reality and on the other side higher salary aspiration has further aggravated the situation. Either people want higher salaries or they do not want to become part of teaching field. This notion is based on the study of engineering students of more than 650 prominent engineering colleges of the country.
The challenge of lesser Industrial Interaction and the problem of employability are not being managed well despite numerous efforts. This means that the talent is getting expensive every year. 25% of employable candidates are beyond the reach of top most engineering colleges. This is a serious issue. Shortage of faculty for engineering colleges and expectation of higher wages are two interlinked issues. Majority of the good engineers do not prefer to be part of teaching profession. They want to join companies seeing better future prospects there. Teaching is not at all the first choice of good engineers who can provide their services for teaching of the 165 engineering college of Punjab. Hardly 1/4th offer M.Tech courses enabling engineering graduates to become eligible for teaching. Lack of Industrial Interaction is also prominent factor to attract good people from industry. Although AICTE has stipulated a pay scale for teaching position but not all private engineering colleges are offering that pay to the faculty. It’s a hard fact that only good pay can attract good people from the industry to teaching.
When opting for teaching as a career course to the mind then the question of growth of a teacher as professional also strikes in the mind. The case of universities, IITs, NITs and government colleges is different where the issue of one’s personal professional growth takes a back seat as the promotional avenues are abundant, time bound and systematic. But, what about private institutions where everything is based on the entire control and mind set of the people who run these institutions. Growth of engineering education in top b.tech colleges in punjab is a big challenge in itself. It has been established that unregulated and unbalanced growth of the private sector in engineering education has remitted in the decline of the quality teaching and learning impacted in these institutions.
Lack of inter-regional mobility is another issue. The regional imbalance continues to be a major issue. There is dire necessity that step should be taken to facilitate inter-regional mobility by the way of providing equal access to every Indian of requisite merit, regardless of his origins and regions.
Many people opting out to laud in other countries for career options. It has put a dent in the intake of engineering colleges.
All the above issues discussed need serious attention, extensive debates, govt. concerns, motivation, in depth analysis of the key issues and resolution. Hope these challenges can be redressed and situation can be all the best by the year 2025.