Engineering – The Course And The Curse

India one of the largest producer of engineers in the world is often criticized for the quality of its graduates. Surveys say nearly 30 % of them are actually employable leaving the rest 70% as poorly qualified. After 4 years of rigorous studies and training getting a seal of poor quality and of being unemployable sounds terrible.

How could this happen??? Is it the sudden increase in the number of institutions and dilation of AICTE norms in the institutions that have reduced our engineer’s quality??? As an alumnus, I’ve heard enough from my own teachers complaining about the standards of the students they receive. Well, when they forget that the task of the modern educator is not to cut down the jungles but to irrigate the desert, you’ll hear such complaints. Let’s leave them.

We are talking about those students who are academically above average and who‘ve finished their course from institutions that strictly follow the norms of AICTE. To be more precise it’s about our middle benchers. Are they really of poor quality and low caliber??? Is it true that all graduates who finish their graduations from non-govt institutes are of less metal???

If that was the case, how come we see a good number of them popping up in every walk of life making their own identity? Starting from Entertainment industry, we see them everywhere. On the screen, behind the screen and even in the promos. Kollywood is an excellent example of that. We see them in literature, in arts, in administrations even in our present day politics we see them. Now if these graduates were of low quality as everyone thinks, how come they make their own space wherever they go???

The truth is that our grand old scheme of engineering studies have brilliantly failed to irrigate those minds. Often filled with the outdated and complicated syllabus, (I still remember one of my fellow classmate mourning about all the trigonometric derivations and equations she had ever learned. She told us that it’s her last wish to find some real time space where she could apply all those merciless equations) our precious scheme of engineering studies have failed the test of reasoning and logic.

Truly, we learn a bunch of nonsense and rubbish subjects without even the slightest idea of what exactly they are and what are they used for. It is true that we learn them for securing marks alone. By the time an average middle bencher finishes his/her course the one and only thing they are sure is that they are not made for the show. Because we learn not because we need to find a job and live peacefully, but we learn for the sake of learning.

It is also true that most of the students go for engineering without the slightest idea of what it really is. When they get into the flow, they start to hope that at some point, before it’s all over they‘ll find out what exactly their role is as a professional engineer. Sooner or later some of them will come to a conclusion that the whole drama was a mistake. Somehow they’ll dive into the non-technical field. Some‘ll find a way to survive in the field doing training and other kinds of stuff, mostly that has no relation to what they were trained for. This is the average life of a qualified middle bencher.

Why is that so???When the rest of the world’s academicians keeps on updating their system of learning and syllabus based on creativity and reasoning, pushing their limits we confine ours like we are scared to look beyond. When they use a lion’s share of their resources to keep pace with the academics and industry, we lag behind. Isn’t this the ancient curse of our nation??? The curse of inability to catch up with the ever-changing needs of humanity. Not just in academics but in every field of our life, we see it. Even in our apex lawmaking institutions, one could see its gloomy shadows. Sadly we still remain cursed.

The engineering course is of no use then??? If that was the case how come these outgoing ‘low metal’ graduates managed to imprint their traits in their corresponding non-technical fields???

The answer is that with all its outdated techniques, the course of Engineering is still one of the toughest courses one could ever go for. With its 58 university exams, 130 series exams, 174 assignments and a minimum of 10 lab sessions (numbers may vary slightly depending on universities), not many brainless minds are going to complete their graduation successfully. By the time one finishes the course, he/she will be completely transformed.

The countless situations of intense stress and regular failures will definitely alter one’s Emotional Quotient as well as the Intelligent Quotient. They will learn to find what is worth and what is worthless. They may not be that informative, but they will have common sense (which is quite uncommon these days). They will learn how to work hard and the sleepless nights and tight schedules won’t scare them off anymore. Often they are not ashamed of their falls and will rise again and again where ever they go. Making them daredevils. Going for engineering might be a mistake, but never a lie.

If someone’s going to ask for career advice and the person seems to be an above average student trust me engineering is not that bad, go for an institution where they try to break you and make you with all the ferocity of the course. Breaking comes before making I believe. Even with all its unpredictability, the engineering course is the best that can promise a daring spirit to all who dares to venture. Trust me, in a world of unpredictable future, having a daring spirit is a bonus that leads one to success.


  1. “The truth is that our grand old scheme of engineering studies have brilliantly failed to irrigate those minds.”
    കുഴപ്പം scheme-ൻറെ അല്ല, വിദ്യാർത്ഥികളുടെ ആണ്.
    ഒരു ഉദാഹരണം പറയാം. ഇപ്പോഴത്തെ KTU university-ൽ First Year-ൽ നിന്ന് Second Year-ൽ എത്തണമെങ്കിൽ 49 credit വേണം. This 49 credits is divided among subjects as 4 credits for difficult subjects and 3 for easy subjects. Students-ൻറെ സമരം ആദ്യം university mind ചെയ്തില്ല, പിന്നീട് അവർ സമരത്തിൻറെ തീവ്രത കൂട്ടി, അങ്ങനെ അത് 45 ആക്കി, അപ്പോഴും അവർക്ക് പറ്റില്ല, വീണ്ടും സമരം ചെയ്തു, അത് 34 ആക്കി, കൂടെ S3 attend ചെയ്യാമെന്നും ആക്കി, അപ്പോഴും പോരാ, വീണ്ടും credit കുറയ്ക്കണം, അങ്ങനെ അത് ഇപ്പോൾ 24 ആക്കി.
    അതവിടെ നിൽക്കട്ടെ.
    ഇനി ഇതിൻറെ കൂടെ ഒരു കാര്യം കൂടി പറയാം, എനിക്ക് നേരിട്ട് അറിയാവുന്ന കാര്യമാണ്. Engineering Entrance-ന് 39k rank കിട്ടിയ ഇടുക്കി Govt. Engineerng College-ൽ വർഷം 8000 രൂപ fees കൊടുത്തു പഠിക്കുന്ന ഒരാൾക്ക് First Year-ൽ ഈ പറഞ്ഞ 24 credit ഇല്ലാത്തതു കാരണം year-out ആയി, ഒരു വർഷം വീട്ടിലിരുന്നു exam എഴുതി. അവന് ആ ഒരു വർഷം 6 chances കിട്ടി, എന്നിട്ടും pass ആയില്ല. 2006 & 2012 scheme-ൽ CUSAT-ൽ പഠിച്ച students-ന് 4 വർഷം continuous എഴുതിയാലാണ് ഈ 6 chances കിട്ടുന്നത്.
    അതും അവിടെ നിൽക്കട്ടെ.
    ഇപ്പോൾ വീണ്ടും സമരത്തിന് ഇറങ്ങിയേക്കുവാണ് year-out പറ്റില്ല, എടുത്തു കളയണമെന്നും പറഞ്ഞു.

    ഇനി താങ്കൾ പറ കുഴപ്പം ആരുടെ ആണെന്ന്???

  2. I’m not talkin neither about the revised KTU syllabus nor any other univ syllabuses that is up-to-date with indistrial needs… i’m talkin about wat happened with me and my collegues….And i’ve no intrest in defending unnecessary strikes….

  3. This is what’s happening in almost all the cases, same happened in CUSAT too. Once I heard about similar strikes in MG university regarding this syllabus change and all while I was in home. Students will not be aware of such strikes if it’s a management institution.

  4. Great write-up Ellis!!! Typical situation that faced by youngsters who completed their graduation after years of tears. Lots are getting graduated from affiliated Universities but few Qualifying; again why all graduates are not qualified up to the requirements of cooperates? Who is responsible? Whom to be blamed for these imbalanced proportions??

    Dislike question marks head-on to possibilities…

    Back in 2006-07 World shipping industry had scarcity of officer’s onboard sea going Vessels. Indian Government took immediate actions to utilize the situation and tried to put-up more Indian hands in Marine. Shipping coursers till date were under IGNOU transferred to a designated new university (Indian Maritime University), reduced the course duration, parallel batches and so on… Actions were really quick. In 2010 surplus of trainers/ officers + Global Recession = resulted UNEMPLOYMENT. Half of the pass outs couldn’t find future, almost for two years the scenario was unchanged. Situations were at its worst, throwing a stone in Mumbai CST will hit a trainee mariner. To prevent further increase of unemployed candidates the eligibility criteria altered by University. Even it’s a late action, but the results were beautiful. The academic eligibility remained same as before and they came with an additional requirement called “Company sponsorship”. Approach Shipping Company prior approaching university, Sponsorship is provided to candidates by company after an assessment program. In succession of assessments candidates holding sponsorship can approach University for classes, once she/he completes the classes can directly go onboard through sponsored companies. It’s a bit on harder side to successfully complete all this. But, still students can concentrate on studying rather than taking unnecessary tension and peace of mind for parents.

    I don’t know up to till what extend this can applicable for Engineers because am not having feather of graduation. But I do really wish none of my Engineering friends to be idle or working for peanuts and dis-respect. You guys are supposed to build up our future not to attend calls in call centres.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.