There is a false perception in the society that if one does engineering he/she is a brilliant student and that it is easy to get a job with a fat salary. It is this perception that makes many students opt for engineering. Some know about this even before joining an engineering college but they do not dare to take a decision opposite to custom.
Towards the end of the course students come to realize the reality and end up accepting any offer that they get, be it a less-paying job in the same field of study, a job in a totally different field, or decide to study further just to escape social and peer pressure.
Another problem also lies in the fact that the quality of engineering education has dropped. The National Employability Report, Engineering Graduates - 2014 by Aspiring Minds says that less than one out of four engineering graduates are employable. Another study has shown that one-third of the engineers do not possess simple mathematical skills that they ought to know.
25-35% of the engineers are unable to comprehend English usage in basic conversations. Worse still, 25% of the engineers passing out every year are seen as employable by the industry!
Attributing the reason for decline a bit on the teachers themselves, Dr. Geetha Verma, Principal of Government NSS College of Engineering, Palakkad is of the opinion that the quality of teaching has gone down. “Over the years commitment of the teachers has considerably declined, and this has had a bad effect. The curriculum of engineering has also been diluted over the years so that students score better. This has made the knowledge level of students go down like anything,” she says.
This lack of quality is compounded by the mushrooming of private engineering colleges in every town. There are 327 institutions offering technical education that do not have the approval of the All India Council for Technical Education, the apex body that certifies colleges.
“Such colleges admit students not on merit, a mere pass in the entrance examination is enough to get an admission in such colleges. This has contributed to an increase in the number of graduates with less skill,” Dr. Geetha says.
“The insistence of AICTE and UGC that the engineering colleges should have a certain record of pass percentage has made the private, self-financed or autonomous colleges dilute the examination pattern so that students score more. There have also been instances where college authorities permitted their students to adopt unfair means in the examinations. The affiliating authorities have taken this into account and have issued circulars that there be cameras in the exam halls. They are taking a pro-active role now and I am sure that the situation would change soon,” she adds.