Indian engineering students can't think as high as Chinese and Russians
NEW DELHI: India may have a large number of youth but most of them are inadequately skilled for jobs. It's truer in case of engineering education. IITians sure have impressed the world but a large number of students passing out of ordinary colleges are not even employable, let alone comparing with their counterparts from advanced countries.
A study has found that Russian and Chinese engineering students are better than those in India. Indian students make substantial gains in mathematics and critical thinking skills in the first two years of their education compared to their counterparts in China and Russia, but their overall higher-order thinking skills are substantially lower than the Chinese and Russians. This is the preliminary finding of learning outcome assessment of undergraduate engineering students conducted by Stanford University and the World Bank, according to an Indian Express report.
The World Bank and Stanford University surveyed roughly 5,000 first-year and third-year B.Tech students from 200 randomly-selected public and private engineering institutes last year. These 200 institutes did not include the Indian Institutes of Technology or the IITs. Similar learning assessments were also conducted for engineering students in China and Russia.Detailed findings of this survey, which is part of the Technical Education Quality Improvement Programme (TEQIP) supported by the World Bank, will be presented formally to the HRD Ministry this week, says the report.
More than a decade ago, a McKinsey report said just a quarter of engineers in India were actually employable. Of late, some other studies put it at less than 20%. Last year, a survey by employability assessment firm Aspiring Minds said 95% of Indian engineers can’t even code. Though graduates from India's premiere engineering colleges such as the IITs are still in demand, it is the thousands of other engineering colleges and ITIs which churn out millions of graduates every year whose employability is questionable.
The blame doesn't lie with the students but the large number of engineering colleges mushrooming in the country in the past decade. These colleges often lack even required infrastructure and faculty. Old problems of low-quality education and outdated curricula have become more pronounced with automation, artificial intelligence and other emerging technologies reshaping businesses and industry.
India's much-touted demographic dividend, which can help India compete with China in manufacturing in near future, will turn into a burden if employability of graduates does not go up. Prime Minister NarendraModi's dream project of 'Make in India' is hobbled by lack of employable graduates. The project aspires to increase manufacturing capacity in India and generate 100 million jobs by 2022. That's too difficult with the kind of graduates our engineering colleges churn out.
All India Council for Technical Education has started taking steps to update and revise engineering curriculum. It also wants to close down about 800 engineering colleges across India in which admissions are plunging every year