Technological Innovation

Question :

India has a record number of engineers and scientists graduating every year; inspite of this increasing trend, there is a concern about lack of exposure to local problems and technological innovation to solve them. Do you subscribe to this view? Present examples (with data to support where possible) to support your view. What role can the corporate sector play to help drive solve local technological problems.

This was one of the questions for the Google India Anita Borg Memorial Scholarship 2012. I expressed my view about it as follows

Essay :

Around 580,000 engineers pass out from 1500 technical  colleges of India every year.(As per the last details from the formal technical education board of India). And out of those 30% are computer science engineers. But among them, the ratio of real engineers are very less. According to me, a real engineer is an independent thinker. A person who bring  innovative ideas that can even revolutionize the world. A real engineer is the one who work for the upliftment of mankind using technology as his tool.

Nowadays, most of the students after their twelfth does engineering. There are around 1522 engineering colleges in India.  But most of the students end up joining IT companies. There , they work like machines  with an amount of salary good enough for the majority middle class to fall for.  Though the country is free from colonization,  the mindset of the people are still not yet  free and they prefer to be subordinate to someone rather than being  free thinkers. People are  more money oriented.  Due to this trend of today, where all the lively youth of India are dragged towards the IT companies,  the country lacks innovation, creativity and real power. Also, among most graduated women, education is a mean of getting a good groom and be settled in life as a house wife. The modern youth are least bothered about  the local problems and technological innovation to solve them. It is not necessary that the engineers or scientists must come up with new  inventions all the time. The real skill lies in knowing how to utilize the existing technology in the best possible way to serve the society. But serving the society is possible only if you are aware of the existing problems that the country faces today.

In a way, the whole education system of the country has to be reconstructed and refined as the basic problem starts with the way science is introduced to students. Education is not for exams and earning a job. Students are graduating with good knowledge of fundamental engineering science and computer literacy, but they don’t know how to apply that in practice.

So a problem based learning process would be effective. It is widely used in the field of medicine. This gives a model for the students about the real time problems. The corporate sector can help the students by providing sufficient funds for the students for the projects taken up by them. Projects can also be on real time problems. And the whole academics must be based on the problem solving skill and the practical ability and the student must be given the graduation only when he is really qualified to be a useful engineer.

For example, one of the projects could be based on the promotion of education to rural India. Implementing E-Learning with the help of cloud could be a technology based solution. The students can be made to work on it. Bring up innovative ideas. And the corporate sector can provide the financial aids. They can even club with the Government as the Government have enough incentives for the promotion of Rural education.

The country generates lakhs of engineers every year who become slaves under companies who offer huge salaries. We need to real engineers to bring a change for the nation. The first thing to be done is to spread the awareness among the youth about the purpose of education and the power of knowledge. That can help eradicate a lot of  suffering in the country with the freshness and strength of the youth working on it.