When I failed to secure a Medical seat by merit in my higher secondary; which had been a dream I wished, since childhood; the only alternate I saw, like any other Indian would, was 'Engineering'. 'So what's wrong in it?' you would think. Imagine a pond poured in with species of alien habitats, highly unable to adopt, and crushing the lives of the native species, depriving them of their opportunities and questioning their existence. Anyone who understands the scenario would be able to realize what we have done to the once noble course. Since the last decade, people kept surging into choosing Engineering, so much that the total number of the Engineering colleges in India have shot up to 1500+. Of the 1.5 million Engineers coming out every year, only 7-8% are employable, says study. Now, if the cruel reality slapped you hard, I tell you, you aren't alone. While I don't want to get into the factual realities behind the case, it would be a shame if we don't realize the actual cause of it. Human greed has always been a disaster by(to) itself. Throughout the last decade, Engineering had been the goose that laid the golden eggs. Now when the people sensed an opportunity, they rushed to exploit it to gain more eggs. The goose had been exploited much by dumping more students and licensing many colleges, until it depleted its ability to hatch anymore. When 'Who is to be blamed?' is a different concern, the future of both the course and the Engineers is much worrying. It has taken us to a point where people developed hatred towards the course, as it started to affect those passionate towards the course too. I was taken aback by surprise last week, when I overheard my mother asking her colleague to never consider Engineering as an option for his son, who is into his board examinations this year. Isn't the mindset my mother has, really bad? Well she must have had me on her mind while the colleague sought advice, which makes her idea sound reasonable. So the sudden shifts towards Arts & Science courses altogether, parental advises to avoid Engineering, etc. are all some of the immediate effects it has had on the society. Any course is worth only until its employability is sound. The sad plight of Engineers looking for jobs in India is not unknown. And conditions of those employed in several sectors are also not very pleasing. Rising demand for jobs (mostly low paid) has been affecting those who are employed, such that their jobs have turned vulnerable, as Industries seek to replace highly paid Engineers with those demanding lower payments. The high unemployment in the Engineering discipline has resulted in a growing trend towards the Banking sector and several Government Services. The sudden rise of numerous Coaching Institutes for Banking and the other Examinations, only remind us of the case as were in the rise of Engineering colleges. A close watch on the reality would help us realize the threat it poses on the Banking sector, which lately stages huge appointments of the youth (Engineers most commonly!). It wouldn't be too late when this trend might make Banking in India, another Engineering, sadly. So the only way to avoid these, as we can see, is educating Indians of the other career options. You must have seen this quote everywhere on Facebook. "India is a country where people first become engineers and then decide what they want to do in their life". The smile this put on your face can tell us that there is no denial to this. In a vast country like India, Engineering and Medicine aren't really the only courses available. Only when parents get their kids look beyond these too, will the other options be visible. A kid can be a Writer, a Businessman/woman, a Sportsperson, a Painter, a Driver, a Cook, a Teacher, a Scientist, a Historian, an Architect, a Singer, a Dancer, a Filmmaker, and anything for that matter. It isn’t 'what' we do, it is 'how' we do, is what matters. This, along with some real motivation, a bit of trust and acceptance from the parents, to get their kids choose a career of their own and make it lay golden eggs, rather to stick to Engineering for the exhausted eggs, can make much sense. This said, I end the article with a hope that it makes you perceive the realities, to look beyond Engineering and Medicine, and to join hands in making the next generation more powerful and mighty; for their personal growth and the growth of the nation; in the dawn of an all new year.
Happy New Year 2017!