UR Rao Report on Engineering Education – the real issue


UR Rao Committee Report on Technical Education created a furor – that of
reducing tuition fee and improving teacher-student ratio. It is true that 776
undergraduate engineering colleges graduated 187,758 students in 2000 that
went up to 1,208 colleges producing 359,731 students (as per AICTE) in 2003.
It is also true as per NTMIS, that there is a significant unemployment. The
report also talks of student-teacher ratio of 1:10. While these observations
are fine, what is not necessarily true is the conclusion in many circles,
(particularly in MHRD & AICTE), that IT industry has erred in estimating the
needs leading to over supply and we should stop any new engineering college
getting opened in this country. The fact is that many colleges permitted by
AICTE produce “unemployable” engineers; they are unemployed not because there
are no jobs, but because the colleges with questionable quality (which AICTE
ends up permitting due to circumstances beyond its control), end up supplying
to the markets those who engineers who do not have the aptitude, who do not
have the right education, and in turn unemployable. We need to address this
situation squarely, if need be even closing down these institutions of
questionable quality or merging them with better institutions. There are
enough jobs for quality engineers and all efforts must be made to increase the
supply of quality engineers by improving the quality of existing engineering
colleges and NOT stopping good colleges
if they are being proposed (by all
means stopping bad colleges from coming up).

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