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More Quantity with Less Quality - Engineering Scenario in the Country - Prof DN Reddy, Chairman, Recruitment & Assessment Center, DRDO, Member UGC, Regional Chairman of AICTE, South & Former Vice Chancellor, JNTU Hyd

Interview Date : 11-01-2013

What is the duty of the educational institutions? To prepare the students who can be useful to the society. What if they fail in their endeavor? Society will face lot of problems. There will be a mismatch between education and employment.

Students who hope that a degree will give them a job will remain a dream. Frustration will creep into their minds. Sometimes they become not only a burden but a nuisance to the society. However, it is the not the case with the entire world.

The mismatch between education and the employment has become a big problem in our country. Though we are able to produce 1.70 crore graduates every year, at least one tenth of them are not able to get employment. The situation is much worse in the technical education.

According to reports out of the 13 lakhs graduates coming out of the colleges, only 15 per cent are getting the jobs. The industry is complaining that 80 per cent of the students are not employable since they do not have enough skills that are needed.

The Career Guide has spoken with Prof DN Reddy, Chairman, Recruitment and Assessment Center, DRDO, Member University Grants Commission, Regional Chairman of AICTE, South and former vice chancellor, JNTU Hyderabad, on the issues pertaining to employment and industrial needs.

TCG: Sir, what is the technical education scenario of our country?

DN Reddy: At present there are about 600 universities, 43 central universities, 298 state universities and 130 deemed universities are there in the country. The colleges that are running for the last 10 years, having good record and are following the regulations of UGC are being given deemed university status. In the last 2 years, no university has been given the status due to technical problems.

The intake of students into the engineering colleges is about 13.5 lakhs every year and currently about 52 lakhs students are pursuing engineering courses in the country. There are 650 engineering colleges all over the country. One has to distinguish between technical education and engineering education. Technical education consists of courses like engineering, pharmacy, fine arts and hotel management. Engineering education consists of only Engineering education.

TCG: What about the quality of education in engineering education?

Reddy: Availability of faculty is a big problem now. There is no enough trained faculty in the country and the shortage is estimated at about 30 to 40 per cent. In most of the engineering colleges, there is a scarcity of basic needs like labs and other equipment. According to the reports, only 20 per cent of the colleges all over the country are having good infrastructure. The teaching methods being followed in the colleges are also not good enough and are not meeting the standards. There is no relation between industry and the education system.  Students are lacking needed skills and practical knowledge. The Industry is complaining that the freshers are not able to handle the matters on their own.

TCG: What is the scenario in the developed world?

Reddy: In the developed world, students are able to handle the issues on their own and are able to assist the industry in solving several problems. For example industrial giants like Samsung and Panasonic are able to come out with new technologies every year because they have skilled man power. Our engineering graduates are not able to produce new technologies and are not able to meet the problems of the industry. We are not focusing on improving the technical education. Ironically, in most of the colleges, the engineering graduates are becoming teachers as soon as they complete their course.

TCG: What are your suggestions to improve the teaching system in the engineering colleges?

Reddy: The teachers have to use Information Communication Technology (ICT) in teaching. Multimedia shall be used to teach the lessons to the students. The newly recruited teachers have to improve their skills and shall be able to find solutions to the problems. The Engineering students have to think on their own since industry will not give training in that area. In the engineering colleges, research is not taking place. In fact we must be able to produce missiles and aircrafts at the college level. As far as Andhra Pradesh is concerned, the colleges are not focusing on gathering funds on their own since the government is reimbursing the fee. The state government is spending about Rs 6,000 crores every year and it is not desirable. Another problem is that students are not showing interest in engineering education. In Uttar Pradesh, there are 800 engineering colleges and the number of seats vacant there is 24 per cent. In Andhra Pradesh, the number of vacant seats is 36 per cent out of the 717 engineering colleges. In AP, about 3.65 lakh engineering seats are available and the number of students appearing for EMCET is not crossing 3 lakhs every year. So the seats in the colleges are not being filled up and another problem is that only few courses are in demand.

TCG: What is the role of Indian Society of Technical Education?

Reddy: ISTE is striving to improve the situation in the engineering education. In its annual conventions, several issues pertaining to the engineering education are being discussed. The recent convention has been held in Hyderabad. In the convention, several issues like problems of scarcity of faculty, fund collection by colleges, improving the skills of teachers, using the ICT and several other issues were discussed and the recommendations will be sent to the government shortly.