Friday, January 20, 2012
Engineering: public transport
Every year, in India, almost 35000 students aspiring to be engineers get selected into IITs or NITs. Actually, more than 10 lakh people try to get into these prestigious institutes every year. But, only 3.5 to 4 % of the massive crowd gets this opportunity. Here, I will talk about the rest 95 % of the students because I, myself fall in that category. These people either join other good, bad, average, government, private institutes or take drop for a year.
Now, every private institute claims to give the best. Best faculty, best laboratory facilities, best hostel and best placements. When you go for the counselling, you find every college has its own stall, like that you find in fun fairs, boasting their pros and previous achievements. It is almost like a sabzi mandi with representatives at the stall screaming “le lo le lo admission le lo, humara college best”. After you get brainwashed through these advertisements, you go into the main counselling room where you wait for your turn, as per you rank, to select the college you want. When you reach at the final table, you get about 2 minutes time to decide which college you wish to get belted in for the next four years. Just 2 minutes to decide your future. Even if you had decided to opt for which branch in which college, there is no surety of that seat to remain unfilled. Once you lock your choice of college and branch, you are kicked out of the main hall to make you realize your place in the crowd.
On the first day at college, you start attending lectures, you meet your new classmates and you are also introduced with the giant syllabus to be crossed in one semester. But you may feel good about the new college, new friends and a new start. This goes on for a while, the ‘feel-good’ moment. Soon it disappears as you find it is just repeating. You keep on reading and reading about the concepts of different theories of how things work and a few mathematical problems related to it. There really is no practical approach. They teach a concept and formulae related to it but never tell you where exactly it can useful in the daily life. You somehow learn the concept, understand it and clear the exam. Is that all? What they tell us certainly helps us score marks and clear the exams but what is the application of it? Where do you apply it? It is hardly taught anywhere.
At a point in your engineering, you find that it is just a formality to sit in the class, to listen to lectures and write exams, by hook or crook. After four years of so called struggle, you have a degree but not much of technical knowledge. For the four years, all that you do is read and read and do nothing that can be called practical.
Where is it taking you to?
What does one do after getting the degree?
Now, you stand in the middle of crossroads where you have umpteen options.
Even after finishing engineering, except for few, most of them those who get a job end up at an IT company regardless of their branch. Until and unless one has a technical job relative to his field of study, all that he studied for the last four years seems a waste.
All that you studied helps you clear your job interview but never after that.
Instead of just loading up the student’s minds with only stories and facts, there should be more about tackling the problems in real time.
Today, anybody can get engineering degree. There is no value of an engineer as much as it should be. An engineer is one who makes other people's life easy and keeps them happy. They are creators. But, now if there is nothing else to do and someone wants to be a graduate, first option he think for is to be an engineer...even if he has to sit in his daddy's grocery shop for the rest of his life.
It is like a Public transport bus which every one wants to board whether there is any seat or not. And public transport buses are always full. It has 50 seats, but takes in 80 people. Rest travel pulling, pushing and hanging through out the journey. But anyways everybody reaches the destination.
But it is true that, in the four years of engineering, an engineer, if interested, can learn a lot more than engineering. It is a lifetime in itself and teaches one to live life and how to manage things even in the last minute, how to adjust even if there is a cast away kind of situation. It all depends on the learner.