The Curious case of Engineering Studies

 

The number of engineering colleges in Tamil Nadu is mind boggling. Some hold this number accountable for the decline in the stream of expertise in the field of Engineering. The argument they put forward is the process of producing so many engineering students, happened just for one booming industry in the modern India. The India after the globalization, took over the world in many arenas, but most notably in the service industry through software.

To understand how true those statement is, we have to examine the term engineer. Who is an engineer? The latest of all and which I feel the most relevant is; Engineer is a person who solves certain problems. In 1700s when the mechanical age was lighting up the fire, the usage of machines to minimize the human inconvenience was considered as Engineering. The interesting twist in the event came in the years after the first industrial revolution, where the understanding of science actually helped many to mint more money by reducing the human inconvenience. The marriage between capitalism and science begat the children i.e. wealth, capital and industries.

From 1890s the engineer who was trying to minimize human convenience, now started to put his effort on producing goods, that helped him to make more money even if the human convenience matter was least addressed in that. The birth of 20th Century saw two disastrous wars and it actually fueled the need for industries and companies that use science to achieve certain aspirations. This shifted the industries totally towards the money and profit than anything else. There was a point in time where many people, not only the one who understands science started to believe science has answers to every single question and thus many industries can be built to accumulate enormous wealth.

The advent of personal computers and internet actually proved things believed by those people. But then 21st century happened. Now because of the naughty children who were begat by science and capitalism (Industrialization, wealth and capital) caused so much ruckus, we face a huge set of enormous challenges that are very difficult to even comprehend. The extent of the problem is as such an entrepreneur named Elon Musk is thinking to abandon this planet in less than 100 years and working on it. In this situation, we have to understand how our Engineering colleges and courses are taken forward.

We need more engineers now more than ever. We need them to collaborate, rather than compete. We don’t need any entrance test to select people into engineering. We sure have to spread the awareness of the problems of the world and the possibility of science to be a cure for that. In such way we have to think in a very radical way about the study of higher science and higher math.

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