Core engineering skill is what every employer in an engineering industry looks for, in a fresh engineering graduate. Most freshers applying for jobs in this sector however, falter at the very first step – the screening test. Many cannot answer even the simplest high-school level question in physics or mathematics. Those that clear this small hurdle, fall at the next – the interview. Again, simple questions stump them. Yet, when questioned about the details, they are not able to explain anything.
Finally most of them admit that the project work was just bought out from small institutions or individuals who make a business out of it. The candidate who is finally hired by the company needs extensive training for 3 to 6 months, before any useful work is produced. Till then, there is zero output from the new employee. This story is true for many engineering industries. This is the kind of talent gap that they face.
As is well-known, the root cause for this is the over-emphasis of our education system, even at the undergraduate level, on rote-learning and theory, at the expense of practical application. Ultimately, this is counterproductive, because an engineer is basically one who has to apply theoretical principles in practice.
Tweet this:“While skilling the technician is important, creating a new generation of product designers is imperative”.
So, what is the solution? The student is helpless, as he is a prisoner of the system. So too are the teachers. It is not easy to overhaul the engineering education system, but solutions have to be found, to unlock the potential of these ‘rough diamonds’ – our engineering graduates, so that our goal of self-reliance in manufacturing through ‘Make in India’ can be achieved.
‘Make in India’ is about manufacturing our own products with IPRs owned by Indian companies. It is not about just manufacturing foreign products ‘under license’. Not long ago, we had Indian companies manufacturing ‘Indian TVs’ with component kits imported from abroad. But now, you have Korean and Japanese brands selling their TVs in India, but almost completely manufactured in China. Hence, the need of the hour is for Indian companies to learn to design and manufacture our own products.
So, how do we create a generation of design engineers that can produce innovative new products? Engineering students need to learn the practical application of each theoretical concept, and need inputs on multiple aspects related to the design and manufacture of even the simplest equipment. The very process of thinking, conceptualization, and designing elegant, reliable, rugged and power efficient products, whether in embedded software or electronic hardware, how to ‘marry’ the two, and adopting a well-documented design process, making sure that every aspect of the product life cycle is covered.
While these concepts can be explained at brief workshops, it is only through actual hands-on work on a live project that a student or fresh engineer can learn and understand the practical implications of each of them.
While skilling the technician is important, creating a new generation of product designers is imperative. Only this can ensure a sustainable and meaningful ‘Make in India’. Radel’s new venture ‘Drona School of Engineering practice’ does precisely this.