What are the major issues and impediments to engineering education and engineering profession in India?

The major impediments to engineering in India are a) highly empowered regulatory bodies who are not in sync with ground reality, b) misplaced priority for managers instead of resource creators, c) concern for quantity against quality, d) aversion to R & D and innovation, e) lack of transparency and accountability, f) problem solving mostly in reactive mode, g) decision making based on populist notions in place of scientific evaluation, h) belief in myths against reality, and rampant corruption in the system.

Centralized control has a negative correlation for creativity and innovation in all fields of life, be it music, sports, fine arts, science, engineering or others. The same applies to education in general and engineering in particular. The effectiveness and impact of national bodies engaged in education and R &D, such as UGC, AICTE, DST, DBT, CSIR and others are questionable. The poor status of the universities and research laboratories which had excellent reputation around independence, the lack of competence and scholarship of faculty despite having requisite qualifications on paper, below par capability of its graduates, the exponential growth of tutorial culture, over emphasis on marks as primary measure of competence, mushrooming of institutions that generate poor quality Ph D in large numbers, emergence of avenues that publish research articles of poor content without peer review for a price are clear indicators of the failure of the regulatory systems.

The education sector has suffered the most by making education administrators overriding authority over teaching faculty. Faculty are entrusted the task of producing honest, responsible, creative and innovative human beings but their working conditions are comparable to a daily wage earner. How does a system expect a faculty to produce creative human resources under the prevailing working conditions ? Each faculty is like a general in the field and the necessary freedom and authority has to be extended to her/him for results.

Dr. Anjan Sarkar,

Department of CSE, Techno India University, WB,

Ex Professor, Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur (IIT)

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