1. The application of scientific and mathematical principles to practical ends such as the design, manufacture, and operation of efficient and economical structures, machines, processes, and systems.
2. The profession of or the work performed by an engineer.
Above is the meaning of the word Engineering from Dictionary.com. My opinion is that it is not a correct OR it does not reflect what actually is engineering?
When I first heard about IITs and decided to go for its entrance exam, I was able to understand any other word better then Engineering. I was completely ignorant of What would I be after being an engineer? Now! I am an Engineer and want to know, Who am I?
Which kind of activity we would like to term as engineering? Above definition of Engineering is fairly good but it does not separate it with “Research in Science/Mathematics for practical purposes”. It can be said that all kind of research, which is done in practical ends, is Engineering. Whatever way, we like to define in theory but lets see what does it actually mean in practical world.
In this world, we see Engineers who do engineering. These guys do lots of things such as playing games all night, or drinking coffee in work time or solving few scientific problems when they got some spare time. We can’t just go by their activities. We have to observe that when they are called good engineers. When they meet deadline,when they deliver thing with given specifications,when they able to complete the job in limited resources. An Engineer can’t be called a good engineer who delays his project,or over budget his project, even if he is very knowledgeable and he would deliver better if would be given more time or resource. For a research activity a goal is chosen but for engineering a specification is set.
“You have to build this bridge,which should be able to carry this much payload, with the help of these many men and with this much money in this much time.”
At the end there may be the case that a better bridge could have been made but if the bridge has been made by the specification then he is the best engineer. He don’t have to fight for better solution. One more thing, Specification should not be vague. They should not carry superlative degree. i.e write best optimal compression scheme for video. Then this problem would change from Engineering to a field of research.
Obviously this view is only an extension of the first definition of the word Engineering. Otherwise lots of kind of people do their job under constraints. But, Special thing about Engineering is that there is no direct and visible connection between problem and the solution. An Engineer have to work it out.
In last century we have seen lots of Engineering miracles. An Industry grows like any thing if It got good engineers who deliver solutions in time and meet specification according to needs. There can be a better solution then what is produced but its of no need until previous solves your problem.
Now I wish to discuss that what happend with me , what is going on in my college ,what is happening in India?
We all say we haven’t grown in engineering as fast as we should have in last fifty years. We have institutes like IITs which have genrated so bright people but still progress was slow. Here, I will not try to claim that IITs haven’t ever produced any good engineers. But, my thesis is that all good engineers coming out from IITs are not interested in working in INDIA. They might have have their personal reasons but lets talk about a large chunk of IITians, who are not so good engineer and not interest in being engineer.
I claim that we haven’t trained right set of people to be engineer. Instead of that we have chosen people who were able to score more in an exam. They could be a good problem solver in exams or they have good understanding of basic sciences but they might not have essential quality of being Engineer. Everybody asks the kids in 12th if she is planning to be Engineer or Doctor. Nobody really guides then. Eventually, Students choose something in between of of the two. Some of them attend JEE and get selected. The student never knew what is Engineering and if he gonna like it or not.
So, What happens after 4 years of engineering, out of 400, 200 students eying for CAT, around 50 students are looking for IAS. Around 100 students choose not to do anything further and go software Job, which most of them don’t like. They are doing it because they don’t have energy to fight for other options. They are doing Engineering but they just don’t have that passion to solve problems. They just keep switching jobs to get paid more. They pretend to do programming for 5-6 years and then they try to be manager as soon as possible and then no engineering simply talking and filling excel-sheets.
Around, 50-60 students who went for higher studies. They are simply gone. They went to US and never came back. I don’t say most but many of them went for higher studies just because it was window to US. I would say we got only 30-40 students at the end who would be doing real engineering and have that love and passion for it and very few out of them would be in India. This is very inefficient system.
I am not saying rest of the students have wasted all their education and they are doing nothing. They are serving in their own way. No! money of this country got wasted. As an education system IITs are successful, but I am talking about the concept of Engineering, Technology and Science. That suffered a great loss. Many other students who would have loved to be an engineer wasn’t able to enter in good engineering college. They could have served science and technology better.
I guess you can’t design an accurate test which can test real engineers or scientist out of student of 12th class. Admissions in engineering college should be done in a different way. Students, who only love science ,should apply for admission in IIT, not any damn poet who thinks that IITs are the best college and i should be in. It should not be fortune making place but it should be about loving science and technology.
This can’t happen in this country. Your fortune is tightly associated with fortune of your family. Engineering is not about being Engineer but its about getting paid well. Guys have to arrange money for their sisters marriage. Most of the prime time of people’s life get wasted in just reaching to a position. Family comes first before any thing.
Science and Technology can’t thrive until this basic structure of Indian society doesn’t not change.