Monday, August 1, 2011

Creating Gen Next Engineers

The motivation to convert young men and women into efficient technicians on whom the future of the country depends is noble. First requirement for this of course is an engineering college. Take Kerala for instance where there are quite a few of them. As long as friendly politicians are around the necessary clearances don’t pose a problem. Thereafter it is a simple process of accounting, sometimes in the books, sometimes outside them. If you happen to hear the tinkle of money, don’t be surprised.

There has to be a building to run a college. Of course, there is one. In fact a few, if you consider attached structures too. If you see the photos in the college advertisements you might think that you are joining one of the finest educational institutions in the world. It is good to dream sometimes.

The Principal might be a post graduate in engineering. He might be a laid up old man though.  But there are a handful of Bachelors in Engineering on the college staff. One or two of them might have just passed out of that college itself a couple of years back. The others are credited with five or six years experience. That is great. Sometimes teachers from nearby Government Colleges snoop in to take classes. Several other teachers have no engineering degree. Some of the institutions are bright – they share teachers. There are no reports yet of peons and gardeners getting a chance.

A court ordered enquiry into 28 of the 84 private engineering colleges in Kerala has come out with some shocking revelations. God knows what the inspection of the rest of the institutions will reveal. How did this preposterous situation develop? Who are responsible? Surely the money makers, the universities, government, and parents of the students can’t escape the blame.

Finally The Kerala High Court has intervened. No more sanctions for private engineering colleges. All the colleges are to be inspected. Permission of some of the existing ones might be withdrawn. (What will happen to the students of those colleges?) The ultimate verdict will come only after the inspection of the rest of the colleges is also completed.

But imagine the damage that has been already done. Some of the half baked graduates from the existing colleges will be teaching engineering students in future.


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