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  • Writer's pictureSulakshya Gaur

With the announcements of fresh dates of JEE Mains (taken up by approximately 9.5 lakh students for getting in BE or B.Tech programs) and Advanced Exams, the admission season will soon begin in India. Depending on the results, some will go in IIT’s, NIT’s or other government and private colleges spread across the country. The option of getting into the preferred college becomes easy for a student who secures good ranks, but the dilemma among the others continue. All the IIT’s, NIT’s, IIIT’s and other GFTI’s combine for a total of approximately 40,000 seats. The rest of the students, thus fall into a painful exercise of choosing a better college from a vast pool of available colleges. This initial step of deciding a better college becomes very important as your entire future (or major part) depends on this very decision.

Cleared JEE and got into IIT’s, NIT’s, IIIT’s, or any other reputed GFTI’s???

Congrats, Go ahead and take it and all the best for the future!!!

Not able to get into any of these Institutions??

Don’t worry, this article will help you in choosing a good Engineering college.

For choosing a good Engineering college, you need to have these SIX things in mind:

1st TIP: Opt for an Accredited College and don’t fall prey to advertisements and other things that colleges promote.

Accreditation serves as an important tool to determine the quality of educational Institutes and their academic programs. Accreditation of higher education institute is compulsory in India. The benefits of accreditation are manifold that includes, Quality Education, better job opportunities, and easy access to various financial aids. The most important and critical benefit of accreditation is towards landing a job after studies, as most of the recruiters prefer students from accredited institutions. In India, all the technical institutes are governed by the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) and universities by the University Grants Commission (UGC) under the aegis of the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD). AICTE established the National Board of Accreditation (NBA) for evaluating technical institutes and their programs according to the standards of the Council. Similarly, UGC established the National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) to evaluate Universities and colleges.

2nd TIP: Opt for a College that has qualified Faculty members in your preferred branch.

This is again a very important criterion when deciding your future educational institute. Nowadays, generally, all the reputed institutes keep their college website updated and provide a list of available faculty in a particular department. Go to their site and look for the faculty’s profile, their qualification their place of education, etc. This is very important because there are a number of engineering colleges that do not have properly educated and credible faculty in various branches. They have made crap out of this system and appoint below par faculties as a measure of cost-cutting. A genuine proper and educated faculty would be of great help, not just in imparting quality education but with providing essential and useful help and guidelines throughout your 4 years.

3rd TIP: Opt for a college with good Infrastructure.

The infrastructure of college here doesn’t refer to tall buildings etc. but it is associated with the availability of proper labs and equipment in the laboratory. Again this information is easily accessible on college websites and even you can take the help of your seniors or someone who is aware of that college. The proper laboratory is essential as it determines the practical knowledge that will be imparted by the institute in the long run.

4th TIP: Opt for a college with good Placement History.

The main aim of obtaining a degree is to land a proper job after completing the studies. Do look for the placement history of your prospective colleges. A lot of colleges just mention some huge numbers of placements in their advertisements, so do check the T&P page of college websites and even ask your seniors or others who are into this program to let you know about the placement scenario.

5th TIP: Opt for a college which focuses on Research works.

This point is generally not considered important by both parents as well as students, but the infrastructure of college (read as labs and equipment available) is directly related to the research prevalent in the institution. Also, research works help in developing better analytical skills among the students. Not only this, but research work is also related to the quality of faculties available in the institute. The culture of a better and efficient research environment not only helps in the brand building of college but it also makes it easy in terms of obtaining funds from various sources for conducting research work. These benefits are then indirectly transferred back to students.

BONUS TIP: Do not fall prey to various meaningless rankings that are conducted by various independent sources. The majority of the times these rankings are heavily biased, and because of this, you will hear some XYZ college ranked as number 1 or something but actually that institute might not even have proper accreditation. Only follow the official ranking of engineering colleges issued by the National Institute Ranking Framework (NIRF) and is accepted by MHRD.

6th TIP: Look out for college that offers Extra-Curricular development.

Being into higher education, you need to develop various skills. The easiest way to develop them is to participate in various extra-curricular activities. A lot of institutes offer various clubs and societies that conduct various events throughout the year. Make sure your prospective college has these clubs that provide a platform for overall development.

Hope this helps you all to choose a Perfect Engineering College for your studies. All the Best!!!

Do you have any other points in mind? Do let me know in the comments section below...

“Civil Engineering is one of the oldest branches of engineering”. This statement is probably the most common one that a prospective engineering student comes across. But, is this oldest branch of engineering is as relevant and attractive it used to be?

The answer to the above question is ‘YES’, it is as relevant as it used to be and even it will be relevant in the coming years. But on the aspect of it being attractive, well that is something that is debatable.

For all the prospective Civil Engineers out there, I request you to patiently go through the entire article. It will definitely help you to have a clear thinking of the scope of Civil Engineering in the future and in turn your own future prospects.

Here we will skip the part of the curriculum and courses you will be studying during engineering, as it is secondary and is available all around. But what I want to cover is something that is not told initially to students and they are just provided candies about available government jobs and the life you will have once you crack that exam. The students after hearing these things live in a La La land of their own but get a kick at the end of their 4th year when they don’t have a job and suddenly that candy starts to melt.

Yes, it is true that Civil Engineering offers a great opportunity for getting into a government job and frankly that is the obsession of most students and their parents too. But the number of students that get there is very small. On an estimate around 1.5 lakh students graduate with a Civil Engineering degree across India (read the data of Students applied for GATE) and a handful of them (at max around 5000) secure a government job through ESE, PSU’s, State Engineering Services, etc.

So, what about the rest of the students?

Yes, you guessed it right, “Private Sector Companies” but that comes with its fair share of challenges. 1) A very low salary as compared to your friends from other branches. 2) Working in adverse situations and climates. For the working environment, it has been always associated with this particular branch and it is something that everyone needs to accept. As for low salary, that has become a norm now and is not going to change anytime soon. So, in other words you need to accept both these challenges.

Reading these things the next question comes to mind, is the opportunity in this stream and oldest branch so bleak? And if it is, why so many students still opt for it?

For the second part of the question frankly, I don’t know and will love to find out. If anyone of you has any answer regarding this question please do mention it in comments. Now, coming back to the first part, the answer is ‘NO’, Civil Engineering still has a sea of opportunity for everyone, and with the current development of technology it has got a lot to offer, even much more than other good-paying branches of engineering. But for that you need to be aware, keep yourself updated and inherit new skill sets that are in demand and that provide good pay and job opportunities.

Reading the above paragraphs, a lot of you guys would have come out of their fancy land and ready to accept the real scenarios and demands. For those who are still trapped in their dreamland, nothing will suffice them. So, quickly, I will try to show you that this branch has still a lot to offer to its graduates.

Now, if you are confident enough of cracking any exam, go ahead and do it. No one’s stopping you from achieving it. But for the major portion of students, you need to develop and undertake steps that improve your overall quality as an engineer. It’s true that the job in the Civil Engineering domain has dried up but it is equally true that there are still jobs for quality engineering graduates. To have a good job you need to get into higher education or do courses through various other modes and improve your credentials. Right now, this field demands people who have a specialization in a particular field.

Now coming back to things this branch has to offer to its students:

A very wide scope for Higher Education.

Civil Engineering as a branch is like an umbrella that covers several other areas of specialization like Structural Engineering, Construction Technology & Management, Transportation Engineering, Water Resource Engineering, etc. to name a few. Once you have a specialization in a particular field, the job prospect increase, and with it the salary structure increases too.

An extremely good field for Research

For the students who are focused to get into research and academics, this branch has a lot to offer. With the advent of new technologies and new materials, this field provides ample opportunities for students who are interested in academics and research. You can opt for your Ph.D.’s and get into academics in various institutions and help in molding the future of a lot of budding engineers.

A longer Job Expectancy

Civil Engineering is just like a Wine, “As it gets aged it becomes expensive”. The experience a Civil Engineer accumulates becomes more important and thus their job expectancy increases. An experienced engineer is always in great demand and they are paid a hefty amount for their work and services. Civil Engineers enjoy the perk of working even after their set date of retirements.

And lastly, the evergreen Government Job.

I hope, this helps the prospective students who want to pursue Civil Engineering as their career. Wishing you Best of Luck!!!

The education system is generally divided into two categories a) School Education and b) Higher Education. Being such a large country and supporting a huge population the Indian government spends 4.6 percent of its GDP on education and ranks 62nd in total public expenditure on education per student.

Is this amount sufficient???

Well, that discussion is for some other day.

But what we need to discuss is the challenges the education system is facing in the current era. Although it is true the government along with policymakers is working to improve the quality of education system both at school level and in higher education. It has called for bringing a new education policy that was framed in 19826 and last updated in 1992. Through the New Education Policy, the government might take some steps to enhance the quality of education at all levels. It is believed to be more tech-savvy to keep the students in tune with the current scenario. The government, however, has taken certain steps in this direction and various portals such as NPTEL, SWAYAM, DIKSHA, and e-PATHSHALA are serving this aim efficiently and especially during COVID lockdown. However, there are certain things that should be considered for upgrading the education system especially higher education and bringing it at par with some of the developed countries. Yes, it will take some time and definitely a lot of effort from all the stakeholders involved but it would be definitely worthy enough. Here the discussion mainly points to the challenges posed towards engineering education in the country. It might be true that other streams of education might have some pitfall but engineering is currently the most preferred degree students go for and frankly the system has made the mockery out of it.

1. Taking action on setting up of new engineering colleges and universities.

There are a lot of engineering colleges in our country which does not have the proper infrastructure in form of labs, library, classrooms, etc. Apart from this, they don’t even have a proper faculty to student ratio. Due to this huge number of colleges the overall quality of engineering education has gone down in recent times. As a result, a lot of seats in these types of colleges remain vacant during the academic year. As per a report published by AICTE around 50% of the total available seats were vacant in the year 2019-2020. Taking these things into account the AICTE decided to not entertain any application for setting up new engineering colleges till 2022. Also, they should inspect the existing colleges and the ones who are not found up to the standard for providing quality education needs to be shutdown. They should make the list of such colleges and make it available on their official website for the general public so that the students remain aware of such types of institutes and in turn can save their future by not taking admissions to such colleges.

2. Keeping a check on marking and evaluation system practiced by colleges

There are a large number of engineering colleges that are affiliated to certain universities, who don’t have a proper evaluation system. They have a very poor evaluation system where their only aim is to pass all the students appearing in the exams. Because of their crappy evaluation system, a lot of underqualified/unqualified engineers are coming out as graduates and they in turn are destroying the entire ecosystem and job prospects for worthy students.

3. Taking stringent action against fake universities and fake degree holders.

There should be strict punishment against the universities and colleges that are offering fake degrees. The colleges which are built on the sole aim of profit maximization should be checked regularly as they are offering degrees (not just B.Tech but also fake M. Tech and fake Ph.D.’s) as a pamphlet for their advertisement, in this case, they charge money for it. They do not conduct a single class throughout an academic year but the students are provided the degrees at the end of their course completion. And thanks to the crappy examination system of these institutes and universities affiliating these institutes, these unworthy students are able to clear the examination somehow.

The problem with this system is manifold:

a) The destruction of the overall quality of education.

b) These fake degree holders are ready to work at a very meager salary (as they know they don’t even deserve that), which results in the decreasing job opportunities for the deserving students.

c) If these fake degree holders get into the education system, they are not able to teach the students relevant things as they themselves have a very poor/no understanding of the concepts of subjects.

Although time and again the government looks for these predatory colleges and students but they need to be identified on a much larger basis and more frequently. Yes, it will take some time as this system has corrupted our education system very deeply.

4. Focusing more on practical oriented learning as opposed to rote learning

The primary focus of a lot of engineering colleges is based on rote learning, the faculties in these types of institutions are made to give lectures as if they are teaching school students. This practice not only harms the students’ knowledge and their analytical skills but also the “Good” faculties teaching abilities in the long run. The colleges should focus more on practical education and lab work (keeping a good balance between both practical and theoretical knowledge) as it helps the students to gain the necessary knowledge to solve real-time problems. This will also benefit the “Good” faculties to be up to date with the changing technology and imbibing new skills and knowledge that can be then passed on to their students.

5. Keeping a tab on the quality of faculties recruited in colleges

The regulating agencies should make strict rules for faculty recruitment and the college administration for once need to grow up from their motto of increasing profit and appoint deserving quality faculties as opposed to thinking of some cost-cutting measure in terms of salary (There are a lot of excellent private engineering colleges who have to notch faculty in terms of their academic qualification). A good faculty will definitely help in providing quality education to the students and thus will keep up the quality of overall engineering graduates. Also, through a proper mechanism, the pay of the faculty members in private institutes needs to be monitored which is at least synonyms to the academic qualification they possess.

Special Point: Eradicate/change the reservation system.

The policy of reservation in India needs to be tweaked a little and the political parties should grow above this for gaining political mileage. Initially, the caste-based reservation was planned for 10 years with the possibility for its extension and that possibility has definitely been made true, as here we are in 2020 and the reservation system has only grown. Forget about the reservation in jobs and the means for promotion, this reservation system has alone created a huge dent in the Indian education system. The students of a particular caste are provided reservation benefits in multiple stages:

Stage 1: During the filling of forms for entrance exams. Either the form fee is reduced by at least 50% or in some extreme cases it is completely withdrawn. Whereas a General category student has to pay the entire fee irrespective of his/her financial background.

Stage 2: During deciding the cutoff marks in various top qualifying exams. The category qualifying marks is reduced by nearly 45%-50% as opposed to cutoff marks of General category student.

Stage 3: Once in the college, they enjoy a full tuition fee waiver irrespective of their financial background and a similar General category student needs to pay the full fees irrespective of his/her financial background.

Then come the reservations in job and promotions. So, a particular student enjoys multiple benefits of this reservation system. And to be very frank, this system is not going to end ever in our country, but the government should take sufficient measures to keep all sorts of reservations within the prescribed 50% cap. When the EWS reservation was introduced this 50% cap was also removed. However, the government can change the caste-based reservation to financial-based one so that the benefits of reservation can be made available to financially weaker people irrespective of their castes. As in the current system, the benefit of reservation is reduced to economically sound families for multiple generations. Also, a student of any reserved category in educational institute may be provided fee waiver or any other financial help, but reservation on the cutoff marks for selection should be scrapped. As they can get into a particular institute on the basis of that marks but will have difficulty in surviving the academic pressure there.

The above points may not be true for the prestigious engineering colleges in India such as IIT's, NIT's, IIIT's and some of the CFTI's, but these colleges account for approximately 40,000 seats. If some other top colleges, be it a state government institutes or some good private colleges account for another 10,000 seats, then to a large chunk of students remain that study in some private institutes or maybe even some government institutes that are marred by these issues.

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