Engineers play a vital role in Socio-economic development of the country. It is important for engineering students to understand the difference between socio-economic development as well as gross domestic product (GDP) which are briefly described below.
Social development include all those aspects which help the development and progress of society by providing food, clothing, shelter, educational, medical and transportation facilities etc.
Similarly, economic development is concerned with production and consumption of goods and services at cheapest rates for the good of the country and its people i.e. generation of money. Therefore, engineers contribute their knowledge and skills for the development of the both.
Gross domestic product (GDP) is the bye product of socio-economic development. GDP is a monetary measure of the market value of all the final goods and services produced in a period of time, often annually or quarterly. Nominal GDP estimates are commonly used to determine the economic performance of the whole country or region and to make international comparison. India is currently world’s sixth-largest economy by nominal GDP and the third- largest by purchasing power parity (PPP).
After the year 2000, there has been phenomenal expansion of technical education, particularly at under-graduate (degree) level throughout the length and breadth of the country keeping in view the requirement of socio-economic development. One is proud to mention that Higher Education System in India is the third largest system in the world, next to United States and China..
Shaping for Professional Career
The graduating engineers must understand the deficiencies mentioned in chapter1 and should work very hard to build their careers so that the impact is minimized. For achieving this, the graduating engineers shall have to lay stress on understanding the applied aspects of theory by religiously performing experiments in laboratories, solving problems in tutorial classes, working on innovative projects and taking the industrial training very seriously. Therefore, casual behavior as mentioned in chapter 1 will not lead students anywhere. Students are required to work very hard to develop professional competencies, some of which are mentioned in chapter 2.
Further, as has been highlighted in Chapter 1, it has been experienced that greater emphasis is given on theoretical instructions for qualifying a paper pencil test like the system prevailing in Arts Colleges. Practical work in laboratories and workshops, project work, industrial training etc. which form the heart of engineering have become merely a formality. There are hardly any meaningful linkages between majority of engineering colleges and the industry. Neither teachers nor students are serious about their studies in most of engineering colleges. This dear students is like committing suicide.
Towards this end, they must develop the habit of learning by consulting books, journals and on- line resources. Also they must work towards developing at least one write up/ subject per semester e.g. deliberating on determining the causes of settlement of buildings or methods of reducing wastages etc. by utilizing the knowledge and skills gained in lecture classes. Students can also produce some products/prototypes/utility jobs by the experiences gained in laboratories and workshops every semester and solve simple live problems while going through industrial training and project work. This will instill confidence in them. Also from time to time, they must ask themselves as to what they know about engineering and what they can do/execute from time to time?
Working hard for four years will pay dividend for whole life and you will find that you have won the race of life.
Every engineering student must bear in mind that he/she is a technocrat and administrator and is responsible to lead his/her team from one success after another. She/he has to be an effective doer, problem solver, never to give up and come out victorious with innovative solution when the chips are down.
As has been mentioned in chapter 1, it has been observed that around 35-40% students studying in majority of engineering colleges do not attend the classes on regular basis. This is very serious lacunae at the part of engineering students. There are some self- financial institutions which also admit non-attending students. All these short cuts are harm to the students. These students may get a degree by qualifying a paper pencil test but how such students can shape themselves as engineers to face the challenges being faced by Indian industry due to globalization of economy?
The engineering students after getting admission in the engineering colleges should forget their marks at 10+2 level and work hard to revise the courses in applied sciences studied at +2 levels before starting the regular course of studies at the engineering colleges. They must understand that an engineering college is a platform from where students have to launch themselves to a successful career….The Future.
It is important to mention here for the benefit of graduating engineers that they should understand and work towards building of their competencies as an engineer. Just like a medico is associated with regular medical practice, their medical college is attached to a hospital, the medical students are hence able to practically relate and understand human body at micro and macro levels and understand the concepts behind giving the required treatment, similarly the engineering students are required to involve themselves in understanding shop- floor operations and be instrumental in solving live problems in the world of work. Emphasis on theory alone will not develop desired competencies.
Need to Change mindset due to Globalization
Dear students, in order to achieve competiveness with advanced countries, engineers will have to keep themselves abreast to face the technological challenges. They have to become proficient self-learners and also learn to harness the power of internet to achieve this. The basic formal education acquired by an individual will become obsolete over a period of time due to changes in technologies. Continuing education of engineers will be required. This would mean that engineers will have to keep themselves abreast even after they graduate.
Engineering students must understand that in order to boost up the economy and improve productivity, India like many other developing countries has adopted the policy of globalization. The policy is going to create a congenial environment, which will lead to setting up of new industries both by foreign and domestic investors. It has been assumed that the open market policy will compel the Indian existing industry to take steps to modernize infrastructure and improve productivity so that our industry is able to survive in the competitive market. The new industries will invariably use new technology based on micro electronics and will need technical human resource to possess knowledge of handling computer software, information technology tools and ability to handle sophisticated equipment like robotics, computer aided design and manufacturing techniques and high order cognitive abilities for reasoning and innovation. Engineering students will have to understand above aspects very seriously and put in their entire efforts to develop capabilities to boost research, design, development and entrepreneurship so as to help building the nation towards self-reliance in her needs.
This requires seriousness at the part of students. This makes the future of graduating engineers challenging and very interesting. For this purpose, the existing paper pencil type of training will be changed to development of learning-to-learn, problem - solving, discovery learning through experimentation, industry-oriented and practice based by making use of sophisticated equipment and machines aided by computer know how to discharge above function.
Engineering graduates are basically cognitive workers who require greater amount of knowledge and associated skills. These engineers should have deep understanding of concepts, principles, procedures and application of knowledge to solve problems as well as higher order abilities of analysis, synthesis and creativity. These engineers require around 60 to 70% time for development of cognitive skills of learning-to-learn and problem-solving/innovative mind. They also require higher order psychomotor skills comprising of imitation, manipulation, precision, articulation and naturalization for which development of such skills have been suggested 30 to 40% time.
Need of the day
The need of the day is to change our mind set from white colored jobs to highly innovative and entrepreneurial environment. This has gained more importance in the context of globalization of our national economy. Our engineers world over are doing exceeding well because they have been groomed to study, work hard and the brain is also trained slog, work on sequencing, on mathematical calculations. They only lack in self learning skills and skills needed by world of work because of less emphasis on practical work.
It is in this context that this book is being written to deliberate on education and training of engineering students to become successful in a competitive world. This is possible by changing our mind set.
Expected Outcome from Students
Students should be clear about the roles in socio-economic development of the country.
They should understand the ways and means to improve the GDP of the country.
They must spend couple of minutes every day to study Economic Times.
They should change their mind set from rote learning to conceptualization, learning-to-learn, problem-solving and discovery learning, which are essential requirements for wage and self-employment opportunities.
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