Engineering Education in India: Past, Present and Future

Anup Kumar Jana

Assistant Professor - Department of Mech. Engineering Kalinga University, New Raipur

Engineering fraternity has always created a remarkable impact for the development of our society[1]. Today’s world can never think of spending a single day without being dependent on Engineering and Technology. Such requirement has motivated the world to focus on engineering education. Over the last few decades, the demand of engineering education found an impressive growth. During 1980’s the availability of engineering seats were less in number as there were a few organizations that were offering the courses. Gradually, being a developing country, India found this stream of education to be very effective and futuristic and hence the government along with private bodies took initiatives to increase number of institutes that offer engineering education[2]. Initially the process of getting admission into engineering was tough as there were less number of seats for which many students were applying for. During 80’s to 90’s the degree courses continued to captivate students due to lack of awareness and exposures towards professional courses.

The demand of technical education found an exponential growth at the early stage of 21st century. There were remarkable growth of public sector units, core companies and hence they were requiring a good number of engineering graduates to be hired. This phase was a booming phase for streams like Mechanical Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Civil Engineering and other core branches. During this phase India created an impact for itself in the globe as it got engaged with USA and other developed European countries with the help of TCS[3]. This very Company took a leading role in structuring off-shore range followed by gross ecosystem of this country. The growth of software companies took place from that time in India. As the packages offered by them were attractive towards employees and the demand increases, students were tempted towards non-core branches along with core branches during this phase[4]. Indian institutes that offered engineering education had contributed phenomenally by producing around seven Lac engineers of different stream.

Introduction of Automation, robotics and software into core branches started reducing the demand of core engineers gradually from 2010. IT field started booming and offered a huge demand for engineers without being specific to their under graduate stream. The type of jobs available in market and the opportunities also have started changing dramatically. The catalytic fact for the growth of software side is also due to lack of demand of a typical core engineer. Not only the companies supported by US or western countries, also the India based start-ups have created job opportunities for IT students. Over the last ten years, Indian organizations have taken part in different consignments from starting day or initiated different projects that serve need of India. Domestic projects for railways, public services, bus services, healthcare units required applications or web pages that offered a huge demand of workforce inside India. These jobs required graduates to be prompt in different powerful platforms that enable high productivity with many custom tools to be available with consumers. Naturally the demand of Computer science graduated found an exponential growth and many institutes started mushrooming nearby cities of every state.

Currently the demand of software has diminished the value of core education and the flow of students towards original engineering degree. Everyone is moving towards a specific job oriented course rather than opting for core engineering study[6]. Engineering is not all about software. It can be interdisciplinary due to rapidly changing demand of public needs. After a decade or two, the future of India cannot depend only upon software studies.[7] It has to focus on integrating sustainable technologies that provides lot of meaningful opportunities for the future generation and contribute towards Automotive, defence, robotic fields. The global demand suggests a requirement of integration of software and core industries to make a better tomorrow for all engineering graduates rather than being specific to a particular branch of engineering[8]. Hopefully the new education policy can overcome the orthodox system of technical study and show a path to India in becoming a developed country.

[1] B. Bhattacharya, “Engineering education in India – the role of ICT,” Innovations in Education
and Teaching International, vol. 45, no. 2, pp. 93–101, May 2008, doi:
[2] R. Banerjee and V. P. Muley, “Engineering Education in India,” Oct. 2009, Accessed: Sep. 22,
2022. [Online]. Available:
[3] K. Garg and V. Varma, “Software Engineering Education in India: Issues and Challenges,” in
2008 21st Conference on Software Engineering Education and Training, Apr. 2008, pp. 110–117.
doi: 10.1109/CSEET.2008.36.
[4] S. P. Madheswari and S. D. U. Mageswari, “Changing Paradigms of Engineering Education – An
Indian Perspective,” Procedia Computer Science, vol. 172, pp. 215–224, Jan. 2020, doi:
[5] S. Baswana, P. P. Chakrabarti, S. Chandran, Y. Kanoria, and U. Patange, “Centralized
Admissions for Engineering Colleges in India,” INFORMS Journal on Applied Analytics, vol. 49,
no. 5, pp. 338–354, Sep. 2019, doi: 10.1287/inte.2019.1007.
[6] T. Bhatnagar and P. Badke-Schaub, “Design Thinking and Creative Problem Solving for
Undergraduate Engineering Education in India: The Need and Relevance,” in Research into
Design for Communities, Volume 2, Singapore, 2017, pp. 953–967. doi: 10.1007/978-981-10-
[7] D. Khanduja, V. Singla, and R. Singh, “Entrepreneurial ambience of engineering education in
India,” International Journal of Indian Culture and Business Management, vol. 2, no. 4, pp. 341–
355, Jan. 2009, doi: 10.1504/IJICBM.2009.02465.
[8] P. Tulsi and M. Poonia, “Building excellence in engineering education in India,” in 2015 IEEE
Global Engineering Education Conference (EDUCON), Mar. 2015, pp. 624–629. doi:

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