With one of the largest and youngest populations in the world, India sees lakh of engineers graduating out of colleges every year. But the number of engineers passing out does not equal the number getting placement in tech companies.
According to recent studies, less than 20 percent of them are employable. Almost 95% of them can’t code, said a report by Aspiring Minds. The problem is low-quality education and outdated syllabus without any practical knowledge.
“These concept and principles are there in the college curriculum, which indicates that there is a gap in implementation. Hence, these industries shall have a very hard time in hiring students for their organisation who are able to fit in the criteria and yield required results,” states the study report.
However, graduates from India’s premier engineering colleges such as the IITs are still in demand, it is the thousands of other engineering colleges that churn out millions of graduates every year whose employability is questionable. Besides, women represent 34 percent workforce in IT industry.
“Government needs to look into this as many institutes in the country have been teaching anything in the name of engineering. They should be closed down or action should be taken to improve the education system,” said Prof RG Rao, IIT Delhi.
There is also an issue of non-balance distribution of seats in colleges. Some are over-capacity and many reports of a large number of seats remaining vacant. On the quality of coders, he added half of the students, who go for engineering actually are not interested in it but due to family persuasion they pursue the professional course.
This showed young graduates had lost hope in engineering and gone for better options like Designing, Writing and Banking.
“The major reason for a fewer number of students being able to do coding is non-availability of experienced faculties. And the syllabus is too packed up, it does not allow time for students to understand languages and in-depth coding”, said Saurav Singh, JSSATE Noida B. Tech graduate, who can code in C language.
State of engineering colleges
Recently, 150 colleges are closed down voluntarily every year due to stricter AICTE rules. According to a rule of the council, colleges that lack proper infrastructure and report less than 30% admissions for five consecutive years will have to be shut down. AICTE has approved the progressive closure of more than 410 colleges across India, from 2014-15 to 2017-18.
Less than half the of engineering students in the country have got jobs through campus placement over the last five years, revealed AICTE data.
Half of the 15.5 lakh BE/BTech seats were vacant in 3,291 engineering colleges in India in 2016-17. The project aspires to increase manufacturing capacity in India and generate 100 million jobs by 2022. The jobs sector is already in stress. If the quality of skilled labour does not improve, latest technology that requires updated learning would cause a huge unemployment crisis.
The report is based on a sample of more than 150,000 engineering students from 650+ engineering colleges across multiple Indian states. Students from tier 1 colleges are most motivated to work in startups as compared to others, it added.
However, in times of startups, it remains to be seen whether there will be a turnaround in the fortunes of this discipline in coming years.