Looking Back to Basic Branches of Engineering: The Road Ahead

Need for students to look back to basic branches of engineering - The road ahead

The increased interest among the student fraternity, parents and the society in general towards information technology related disciplines for pursuing their bachelor’s degree has been the trend these days. There are several factors, which are promoting this and include increased job opportunities in this domain, increased number of organizations dealing with them, increased salary packages, easier access to knowledge and skills required for these jobs, ready availability of resources for the same and acquiring them easily in either online or hybrid mode. The salary packages are a big draw among the student and parent community. This has led to an unbalanced growth in the requirement and demand for these disciplines. The policies of the government have also been one of the contributing factors.

The advancements in areas like artificial intelligence is also one of the other factors, which has led to growth in related areas like machine learning, block chain, internet of things, cyber security and further automation and robotics. The environment to facilitate the growth in these areas is conducive not only in the country but also world over. The policies of the government like Start up India, Digital India etc., has more and more students getting attracted to information technology. India has the third largest number of startups in the world as per the latest statistics, as many of them are in this domain. The increased need for manpower in this domain and the demand has made the engineering colleges in India start undergraduate programs related to information technology. Introducing these programs is very easy for the college managements, as it requires investment in infrastructure only in terms of computers, software and networking. The facilities are commonly utilized by different departments offering these programs, which is an added advantage. The increased attraction for the same and the demand for these programs was evident in a recently printed news item in a popular English daily, where a leading engineering college in Bengaluru had revealed the fee it charges for NRI and management category seats. This reflects the current trend.

However, the basic engineering disciplines be it mechanical, electrical or civil are essential for creating the necessary skilled manpower for the growth & development of the country - in manufacturing, construction, power generation, infrastructure etc. Though career opportunities in these sectors have reduced due to various reasons, these sectors are a must for the growth & development of any nation. Incorporation of information technology & artificial intelligence in all these sectors has provided students with diverse skills along with their core engineering skills. The policies of the government, the current market scenario, the global geopolitical situations etc., are some of the factors for the current state of affairs.

As responsible faculty of the engineering fraternity, it is our responsibility to drive home these basic points into the minds of students. Well-known industry bodies like FICCI, CII and also influential industrialists whose statements make an impact, need to propel this movement of creating the required awareness and make students & parents aware of the perils of over dependence on one particular sector or skills. The current situation in the USA and countries all over the world in the IT sector in terms of job cuts is a pointer to the developing situation. Coexistence of all streams of engineering and balanced growth in all sectors, with balanced application of these new ideas including artificial intelligence, can propel a proper growth of the economy and reduce this imbalance in the skill and job sector and help in overall development of the country and the world as a whole.

- Dr. Srinivasa Pai P, Dept. of Mechanical Engg., NMAMIT, Nitte