India produces how many engineers in a year? Six hundred thousand or nine hundred thousand? Nobody knows this at least in India. We may be having Planning Commission and Ministry of Human Resource Development, but our capability is limited to telling only how many engineers the US produces. This assertion was made by no less a person today than Mr Kapil Sibal, the HRD Minister of India, who is known for making bombastic promises, while releasing a study titled “Engineering Education in India” at Observer Research Foundation (ORF).
The study was undertaken by Rangan Banerjee and Vinayak P Muley of IIT Bombay. While giving briefly inferences of the study, Mr Rangan himself admitted that it was such a difficult task to get correct statistics. He could compile statistics only up to 2006.
The study puts India in a very poor light so far as the higher engineering education especially the research is concerned. It highlights that advanced countries like UK, US and Germany produce 10, 9 & 8 per cent doctorate engineers out of graduates whereas India it happy with just around .5 percent.
Indians better forget what US, UK and Germany or France do; we need to peep at what our neighbours like what Korea and China do. Sibal told that China was producing 60,000 engineering PhDs a year while India only 8,000 though fifteen years ago India and China were alike.
Who should put their heads in shame for these statistics--people of India or the political leaders of India? The country is full of talkers and dreamers, but there is acute shortage of people who can convert dreams into reality. Sanjay Joshi of ORF rightly said, “Aspirations remain dreams unless concrete actions are taken.”
Kapil Sibal assured that 2010 would be an important and different year. He sounded like he would be taking concrete steps. His remedy lies in involving private sector more in higher education. But know for sure currently already seventy five percent of graduate engineers are products of private engineering colleges only. This is told to be one reason why Indian engineering graduates are un-employable, many feel.