Engineering And Technology
The world ?engineering? derived from the Latin word ?ingeniare? means ?to design? or ?to create?. Although the New Oxford Dictionary of English (1999) defines ?engineering? as ?the branch of science and technology concerned with the design, building, and use of engines, machines and structures? and ?technology? as the ?application of scientific knowledge for practical purpose, especially in industry?, to-day it is no longer possible to draw any such dividing line. This perhaps has prompted the use of the nomenclatures Bachelor of Technology (B.Tech) and Master of Technology (M.Tech) along with the traditional ones, namely, Bachelor of Engineering (B.E) and Master of Engineering (M.E). The names of colleges and institutions also include such terms as ?engineering? ?technology? and ?engineering and technology?. Whatever may be the nomenclature of the awards or the names of institutions, they encompass both ?engineering? and ?technology?.
Engineering education in India has a long tradition, the beginning of which goes back to the year 1847. In that year was establishes the Thomason College of Civil Engineering at Roorkee, later to become the Roorkee University (1949), the first engineering university in the country. This was followed by the establishment of the College of Engineering in Pune in 1854 which is still in existence. The Civil Engineering College in Howrah came up in 1856 to impart training to the engineering personnel of the PWD. The first degree examination in civil engineering was held in 1864. In 1921, it was renamed the Bengal engineering College, which was accorded the deemed university status in 1992. In Mumbai, Victoria jubilee Technological Institute (now Veermata Jijabai Technological Institute) was set up in 1887.
Another landmark in the history of engineering education was the establishment of the National Council of Education (Calcutta) in 1908 in the wake of nationalist movement of 1905-06. It established the nucleus of an institution for imparting education in engineering and technology which in 1919, developed into the College of Engineering and Technology. The College, through a State Act, became the jadavpur University in 1955, a unitary university now consisting of Faculties of Arts, Science, and Engineering and Technology.
In 1909 was established the Indian Institute of Science at Bangalore which owes its existence to the vision and munificence of the late J.N.Tata. It offers only postgraduate and research programmes. In 1958, it was accorded the deemed university status. Besides engineering colleges, separate colleges of technology, such as, College of Textile Technology, Serampore, West Bengal (1908), Government Central Textile Institute, Kanpur (1914), Harcourt Butler Technological Institute, Kanpur (1921) University Department of Chemical Technology, University of Bombay (1934) which now enjoys autonomous status, and Laxminarayan Institute of Technology (1942) were also established in the pre-independent days.
It was only after Independence that engineering and technological education got a great boost. The development of technical education has been one of the major achievements of the post-Independence period. The creation of the All-India Council of Technical Education in 1945, and the Report of the Scientific Manpower Committee (1947) has a far reaching influence in this development. The reports of the Engineering Personnel Committee (1956), and the Committee for Postgraduate Engineering Education and Research (1961) gave an impetus to higher level technical education.
The growth of educational facilities has been phenomenal during the last decade. The outturn of graduates in engineering doubled within a span of 10 years from about 30,000 in 1987 to 60,000 in 1996. During the same period, the outturn of polytechnic diploma holders increased from 56,560 to 95,283. A comprehensive account of the progress of technical education since Independence is available in the book Technical Education in Independent India (1947-1997) published by the All India Council of Technical Education in 1999.
Many universities now offer part-time programmes generally of four-year duration in different branches of engineering and technology. The programmes are open to working diploma holders or diploma holders having working experience for specified periods. Admissions are made through separate entrance tests. Part-time M.E/M.Tech programmes (five semesters) are also offered by a number of institutions.
Though there is a glut off graduates in some branches of engineering and technology leading to unemployment, the field continues to offer reasonable rewarding career opportunities to the brighter ones. What should, however be noted is that, the standard and reputation of institutions in which the candidates study have a great bearing of their success in the employment market. Products of colleges and institutions which survive on the basis of year-to-year recognition because of their inability to conform to the norms specified by the AICTE in respect of workshops, laboratories, libraries, equipment and qualified teachers, are certainly at a disadvantage in the highly competitive job market.
But choosing the right institution and branch of study having good career potentials are often, beyond the control of individuals. Those who want to enter the job market without entering the portals of engineering colleges can opt for the Special Class Railway Apprentices' Examination conducted annually by the Union Public Service Commission. The eligibility requirement is a pass in 10+2 examination with Mathematics and Physics or Chemistry. Successful completion of the apprenticeship leads to the absorption in the Indian Railway Services of Mechanical Engineers. The Department of Secondary Education and Higher Education operates the National Schemes of Apprenticeship Training among others, for engineering graduates. The Scheme, however, does not guarantee any employment after completion of the training.
Both the Central and State governments continue to be the major employers of engineers particularly in such branches as Civil, Mechanical, Electrical, and Electronics Engineering. As regards the Central Government, the Union Public Service Commission conducts an annual Engineering Services Examination for recruitment to the Group A Services and posts in various technical departments and establishments. The Services fall into four categories, viz., Civil Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Electrical Engineering, and Electronics and Telecommunication Engineering.
The eligibility requirement is a degree in engineering or Associate Memberships of professional institutions which are recognised by the UPSC as equivalent to engineering degree. Holders of M.Sc degrees or its equivalent with Wireless Communications, Electronics, Radio Physics or Radio Engineering as special subjects of study, are acceptable only for certain services and posts.
The near demise of public sector industries, which at one point of time used to absorb a large number of engineering graduates, has considerably shrunken the scope of employment in this sector. Though the corresponding growth in the private sector is not very encouraging, it is still the best bet for engineers seeking lucrative careers.
Since it is the age of specialisation, acquisition of a postgraduate degree (M.E/M.Tech) preferably in newly emerging areas would go a long way in ensuring a satisfying career. For example, the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) offers excellent career opportunities for motivated engineering postgraduates in its different units including Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd., and Indira Gandhi Centre for Atomic Research (Kalpakkam). The activities of the Department being multi-disciplinary in nature, it needs post-graduates in several engineering branches. The Training School of the Bhaba Atomic Research Centre (Mumbai-400085) organises annual Orientation Courses for Engineering Graduates and Science Postgraduates (OCES) and Engineering Postgraduates (OCEP) of five-month duration. On successful completion of the course, candidates are appointed in any of the units of the DAE as Scientific Officers grossing about Rs.15,000.00 per month.
Teaching and research careers are no less rewarding. With the proliferation of engineering colleges and technological institutions, postgraduates and doctoral degree holders can join the teaching profession. The profession also provides learning opportunities to enrich one's knowledge base. The major scientific establishments, other than the DAE, such as the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, Indian Space Research Organisation, Defence Research and Development Organisation with their vast network of research establishments offer research careers in many front line areas of engineering and technology.
Last but not the least, engineers and technologists have the option to migrate to management profession and Civil Services. Both in the prestigious management schools and civil services, there is now a visible presence of engineers and technologists. Needless to mention that successful careers in the field demand that engineers and technologists must be computer-savy.
Engineering And Technology - Other Courses And Institutes
Engineering And Technology