A study on the current engineering structure in  West Bengal and itís relevance in global market.

 

Mr. Pratik Bhattacharjee , Mr. Somen Kumar Hati.

Dept. of CSE, Academy of Technology

              

 

 


ABSTRACT

Science and technology (engineering) have a symbiotic relationship.

                                                                                                    Oppenheimer

 

The world has become a fundamentally different place than it was when most engineering technology curricula were devised and implemented. Graduate and post graduate engineers must interact in a global environment, as international corporations are the rule in virtually any sector where engineering graduates seek jobs: computer, electronics, automotive, aerospace, consumer goods, energy. In a rapidly moving phase of societal networking, higher technical education should follow the general trends of global connectivity and collaborations. The article presents an overview of the engineering and technology education in India with the present scenario of the internationalization of engineering and technology education. The paper also outlines briefly the structure and methodology of engineering and technology education in the state of West Bengal.

 

INTRODUCTION

There are basic skills that engineering technology education needs to provide graduates. Most of these are generally defined by the AICTE as well as individual University program outcomes. These include the usual skills in writing, oral communication, science, math, and technology. The most important thing we could teach our graduates, if we knew how, is to teach them how to learn in the area of ever changing IT market. Of all of the basic areas listed above, technology is the most volatile. What is state-of- practice today could be obsolete in five years. It would be more important for us to teach students how to learn and implement new technologies, rather than teaching them the current technology (or worse, obsolete technology). Consider how much of the technology we teach now is current and how much is already obsolete. What technology will be important to graduates in five years? Will the traditional technology most of us grew up with be important or will our graduates be expected to be competent in nanotechnology, green manufacturing, renewable energy, biotechnology, or some other yet undefined technology. Are our graduates prepared with the skills that are transferable from one industry to another? As current job market scenario  shows this trend of transferable from company to company.  In addition to technical skills, experiences in entrepreneurship, leadership, project management, and professional issues (e.g. ethics) would be invaluable. Engineering programs must decide the relative importance of fundamentals, technical specialization, and other non-technical skills. The future may include bachelor degrees in engineering technology with a required entrepreneurship component or having a required global experience. The skills that engineering graduates need to compete in the changing global environment are not commonly a part of is taught in engineering programs. Would more emphasis on language skills, international experiences, and other global/cultural content make engineering programs stronger? Should engineering programs consider the impact of requiring its graduates to be bilingual or having mandatory international experience as a requirement for graduation? Could an engineering program integrate common global engineering tools throughout the curriculum?

 

Present Scenario

 

Region

No. of

Student

 

Inst.

Intake

Central

77

4230

East

59

3822

North

115

7835

North West

100

5672

South

492

25000

South west

111

4680

West

58

2928

Total

1012

54167

 Ideally, the university is viewed as humankind's repository of accumulated knowledge. Its central roles are to share that knowledge base with those who can benefit from it and perhaps to add to the store of knowledge along the way; these roles are fueled through the intertwined activities of teaching and application. The students of West-Bengal used to go to the other states for studying engineering prior to 1998. But now West Bengal University of Technology along with IIT (KGP), Jadavpur, Shibpur and NIT (Durgapur) and some other government colleges can accommodate around 14 to 15 thousand students per year. India has a great potential of technical labour with 1346 approved degree-level engineering institutes and an intake of 43,9689 students, as well as 1,244 approved diploma-level engineering institutes with an intake of 265,416 students as of March 2004-2005.[1] These institutes are located all over the country and approved by a statutory council named the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE), which has been established in order to properly plan and coordinate technical education in the country.


 

 

Degree Level

Diploma Level

Region

No. of

Student

No. of

Student

 

Inst.

Intake

Inst.

Intake

Central

112

37195

101

23741

East

114

34016

146

22905

North

106

32298

117

15689

North West

153

50645

130

30206

South

496

165757

315

79675

South west

207

70788

254

48600

West

158

48990

181

44600

Total

1346

439689

1244

265416

 

 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Table 2- MCA colleges with their intake          

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Table 1- Engineering colleges with their intake

 


THE IMPACT OF GLOBALISATION ON INDIAN ENGINEERING

 

Many nations, including both developed and developing countries, are taking steps to reform their higher education systems with possible formulations of collaborative and networking projects. The Government of India has already boosted the quality and efficiency of engineering, technical and vocational education through World Bank-supported projects and various collaborative programs. India has become a global centre for software research and development, along with other disciplines in engineering and technology. The globalisation process of the Indian economy has set in motion the gradual globalisation of its education. Due to the economic liberalisation in foreign exchange control, large numbers of students are migrating to foreign universities, apart

from the lack of quality in higher-technical education. Many foreign institutions have entered into collaborations with higher and technical education. India continues to remain the largest sending country of origin for the 3rd year, and the number of Indian students in USA climbed by 7% over the prior year, to a total of 79,736 in 2003/04, offsetting decreases from a number of other countries which experienced sharp declines [2]. However, India's rate of increase in 2003/04 has slowed from the prior year's dramatic 12% growth. Total enrollments fell by 5% for students from China (still the second largest sending country with 61,765).

 

 

Fig 1 The number of students in USA in different years.


 

 


However, there is a distinct lack of collaborative projects that are dedicated to the retrieval and dispersal of information in engineering education. This could be very well fulfilled by collaborative partnership projects with the UNESCO International Centre for Engineering Education (UICEE), the worldís only centre of its kind in engineering education.[3]

 

ENGINEERING EDUCATION IN THE STATE OF WEST BENGAL

In 1856 technical and engineering education came with the establishment of a civil engineering college / department. This setup went through various reorganizations to finally become the Bengal Engineering College in 1921. The city's other prestigious college, the St Xavier's College, was established in 1860[4]. In 1906, the partition of Bengal led to widespread nationalistic and anti British feelings. This led to the setting up of the National Council of Education - Bengal. This later on became the Jadavpur University in 1955[5]. The Bethune College for girls was set up in 1879. In 1883 Kadambini Ganguly and Chandramukhi Basu became the first women graduates from Calcutta University. The Science College was established in 1917. The famous Indian Institute of Technology was set up at Kharagpur about 120 km from Calcutta. This is the oldest IIT among the six national IITs today. In 1960 the Regional Engineering college (presently National Institute of Technology) at Durgapur[6]  was setup. It is amongst the top NITs in India and also among the oldest. The West Bengal University of Technology was established in 2001 which opened a new era in engineering education. The entry of the private colleges changed the face of engineering in West Bengal dramatically. The WBUT alone has more than 56 engineering colleges under itís umbrella and produces more than 15,000 engineers per year[7]. 

The structure of the present education in West Bengal is shown in the following figure---

 


 

 

 

 

 

 


 


THE FUTURE OF ENGINEERING PROGRAMMES

An engineer of the future has to emerge as a creative problem solver. Mere analytical skills are not enough. Here we can follow the three Cís model of Groupware[8]. They are Collaboration, Co-ordination and Communication.  Here Collaboration means engineering study which integrates mathematics, basic sciences, engineering sciences, ethics, behavior, history of people and processes to meet specific needs.  Co-ordination means Student-Teacher-Industry coordination, where industry-institution partnership cell(IIPC) should be expanded (which is now limited to IITs, IIMs and few Universities only). Student-Teacher relationship can further be expanded to inter-circle , University-University or University-Institution partnership, for example say  seminar or group visit at each semester at least once, making some portion of the syllabus under one institution and some under collaborating  institution according to privileges available. Communication means messaging , we can use WAN, Internet, V-sat, discussion forum, video conferencing, telephony system etc. "It is a creative, iterative, open-ended process subject to constraints which may be governed by standards or legislation to varying degrees depending upon the discipline. These constraints may relate to economic, health, safety, environmental, social or other pertinent factors". Thus, the `neat and rigorous' solution obtainable in pure science is mostly attainable in engineering.

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 



THE INDUSTRIAL CRITERIA

"Knowledge explosion" has meant three things: research and development, automation and the spread of higher education. Traditional institutions are on the wane and basic family and work roles are changing based on parameters set by knowledge explosion. R&D has involved the creation of new knowledge or the extension of old knowledge in novel ways. Automation has led to the implanting of knowledge into machines. Education has been equated with implanting knowledge into minds. Human capital depreciation is an alarming and pivotal characteristic of the industry. The rate of obsolescence becomes faster with increased R&D. So companies retool machines and retrain people. IBM spends 7- 8% of its sales on continuing education. Hence continuous modification and evaluation of the existing syllabus has to be done on a regular basis[9].

 

PROBLEMS AND FUTURE TARGETS

Although the growth of technical education in West Bengal has increased dramatically over last two decades, the quality has been somewhat fragmented. There is a mismatch between the technical skills of graduates and stateís industrial needs. This scenario is much more pronounced in the rural and remote places of several districts. For instance, there are several private engineering and technology institutions distributed all over the State, yet most of the stateís industries are centralised around the cities of Kolkata and Durgapur.

Though a late starter, the West Bengal government is taking initiatives to attract investments in the IT and ITeS sectors in a big way[10]. If things go the way the government wishes, the state will contribute 15-20% of Indian total IT revenue by 2010[10]. The state wants itself to be seen as an ideal destination for both IT services and ITeS. It recently announced an ITeS policy to attract investment in this sector. The policy outlines the regulatory and fiscal support and incentives the state has planned for ITeS companies. According to the minister(IT) of West Bengal[10], a few Companies have already set up their ITeS businesses and talks are on with a few others that include IBM and GE. Among the various companies that has invested in the state is Wipro, which has started a IT services centre in 2003. It has initially recruited about 500 software professionals, which will be scaled up to 2500 by the third year of operation. TCS has set up a centre by the end of last year that is providing  employment to 1500 professionals. Cognizant Technology Services has also set up a software services facility housing 800 professionals to start with going up to 2500 in three years. Besides the state capital Kolkata, the government is also promoting mineral-rich Durgapur and Kharagpur as destinations among potential IT investors. In terms of bandwidth availability, the state currently has 580 Mbps, 30 percent of which are being used. The state already has 100 percent of its land records as digital data[11].

 

CONCLUSION

International networking and academic collaborations are the key factors in developing engineering education, as well for sharing physical, human and other resources for mutual benefits and the technical workforce development of any nation. It would be possible to offer a computer-assisted course in engineering education for those teachers involved with diploma, undergraduate and postgraduate engineering curricula in the state. Such a course could be organised in various regions of each stateís Directorate of Technical Education, which may be one of the future ongoing activities of the collaboration. Under the Indian governmentís quality improvement programme for technical education, Technical Teachers Training Institutes (TTTIs) have been established in different regions of India[12-15]. The effective use of internationalisation in the technical education sector of the country in general, and the state of West Bengal in particular, can change the economic scenario


 at both the national and international levels.


The collaborative projects will help in developing proper coordination and linkages between local industries, governmental agencies and educational institutions.

 

 

 

 

REFERENCES

1. All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE),

http://www.aicte.ernet.in/aicte/engg.htm

 

2. Education in India : Past, Present and the Future.

http://prayatna.typepad.com/education/

3. UNESCO International Centre for Engineering Education(UICEE) 

http://www.eng.monash.edu.au/uicee/index.html

4. Education in West Bengal  From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Education_in_West_Bengal

5. Official website of Jadavpur University

 http://www.jadavpur.edu/

6. National Institute of Technology, Durgapur

http://www.nitdgp.ac.in/

 

7. West Bengal university of Technology

http://www.wbut.net/

 

8. Lotus Corporation(a subsidiary of IBM)

http://www.lotus.com/

9. IIT kharagpur.

http://www.iitk.ac.in/infocell/ 

10. Cyber India Online Limited (CIOL) Network Services.

http://www.ciol.com/

11. IT promotion cell, Govt. of WB.

www.itwb.org

 

12. Information by Higher Education Institution rules

http://www.ugc.ac.in/new_initiatives/

13. South Asia network of Economic Research Institute http://www.saneinetwork.net/research/

14.A.S. Patil and Z.J. Pudlowski-- Economic globalization and higher technical education: an Indian perspective.

Proc. 5th UICEE Annual Conf. Engng. Educ., Chennai,

India, 159-162 (2002).

 

15. Cheryl Matherly,  Lauren Alexander, Debbie Gulick.--

Innovation in engineering education: successful models of international short-term, experiential programs(2005)