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Engineering special

Its been quite sometime since I had something to say but unfortunately for you people I do now. A few days back, I heard that Mr. Kapil Sibbal is looking to establish more engineering colleges in the country. I ask, don't we have more than enough already? Do we really need so many engineering colleges in the country?
Let me start with our education system first. Unfortunately, we are in a country where the day a couple have a baby their brains start racing and they end up planning their child's future for the next twenty years and this invariably ends in the child growing up to graduate from a reputed engineering college. I'm not saying that its not good that the parents want to give their kid a bright future but our system is such that you invariably need an engineering degree to prove that you are smart, even if you are smart at things other than those you learn in an engineering college. An engineering degree is quintessential, if not mandatory, for a fresh graduate to land a moderately high-paying job. This being the scenario, irrespective of their field of interest, every student will aim to obtain an engineering degree which means apart from the few people that are genuinely interested, most people who opt for something other than an engineering degree after their schooling is bluntly-put an engineering reject. This brings down the standard of education among other graduation courses. That aside, since majority of the cream of every batch of students obtain an engineering degree, there arises a need for a further masters degree to distinguish themselves from their peers. Thus, engineering is slowly becoming a mandatory course rather than a specialization. Though this seems like a good thing on the face, it puts a lot of pressure on the low financial group families to provide their children with the opportunity to pursue an engineering degree followed by a masters degree which will prove to be a social hindrance in the long run as it will further increase the divide between the rich and the poor leaving the middle class families in limbo.
An effective way to deal with this is to encourage vocational training in schools which, if present at all, is slowly making way for IIT coaching classes in today's schools. Apprenticeship should be an option after schooling for every student. Instead of forcing him/her to do a graduation course, an option of apprenticeship must be provided. Right now, an unqualified apprentice (read one without an engineering degree), even if he is better than a qualified alternative who demands more pay, is not preferred to the other. This can only change if the ministry stops encouraging more and more engineering colleges and actually concentrates on improving the quality of education being imparted in the existing ones. Having more engineering colleges might allow more aspirants to obtain an engineering degree but the industrial productivity they achieve will still be low. Having enough productive engineers is more important than providing every school-going student a chance to be an engineer regardless of how productive he will be to the industry and to the country.
Engineering should be for those who are dedicated and interested and must not be a n"option" that every ambitious student has to take up.

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