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Overview and scope

Engineers work on scientific theories for their practical use. They find economical solution for technological problems starting from planning, designing, construction, production, testing, implementation and maintenance. The continued upsurge in industrial growth, strong demand for turnkey projects in Middle East, capacity expansions and conversion of order backlog into revenues drove the performance of engineering companies in 2005.

The aggregate turnover of the top 50 engineering companies in India has increased by 23.7% during the first half of 2005-2006. Their net profit increased by a huge 72% during the same period. According to CII increased investment in infrastructure has led to a surge in the activities of the construction industry, feels the industry chamber. The industry is riding a growth wave, which is evident from the financial results posted by some of the leading contractors, showing 30% to 100% growth rates in the first nine months of 2004-05, CII adds.

With rapid increase in infrastructure in the four growth centres of the world, namely, Brazil, Russia, India and China (BRIC), civil engineering and electrical engineering offer enormous opportunities. Power plant construction as well as highway, airport and seaport construction would see considerable investment and job opportunities in India; even the growing IT industry needs heavy investment in physical facilities, the traditional strength of civil and electrical engineers. Apart from that, with global warming around the corner, increased awareness of pollution and tighter emission control from vehicles, there will be ample opportunities for environmental engineers.

Branches of engineering  

Engineering as a subject covers altogether 25 branches catering to industries, technology and business. Engineers from each branch acquire knowledge that can be applied in many fields: computer, medical, power distribution, missile guidance and other business areas. They also pursue engineering management and sales, which facilitate them for marketing process and planning for installation. They also opt for postgraduate programs, Ph.D, research, and business management after obtaining their basic degree, which help them occupy senior positions in both Government and private sector as a consultant or a planner. The branches are listed below:

Aeronautical Engineering/Aerospace Engineering

  • Agriculture Engineering
  • Automobile Engineering
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Chemical Engineering
  • Civil Engineering
  • Ceramic Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronics Engineering
  • Energy Engineering
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Industrial Engineering
  • Marine Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Micro Electronics Engineering
  • Mining Engineering
  • Nuclear Engineering
  • Physics Engineering
  • Telecommunication Engineering
  • Textile Engineering

Leading institutes

The number of engineering colleges in India increased from 157 in 1980 to 1,346 in 2004. But only a handful of them produce quality engineers capable of working in world environment. Listed below are the leading engineering institutes of India:  

  • Indian Institute of Technology ( New Delhi, Mumbai, Guwahati, Kanpur, Kharagpur, and Chennai
  • Regional Engineering Colleges ( REC)
  • Bhartiya Vidyapeeth’s College of Engineering, New Delhi
  • Delhi Institute of Technology, New Delhi.
  • Thapar Institute of Engineering & Technology, Patiala, Punjab
  • Birla Institute of Technology, Pilani, Rajasthan
  • Jamia Milia Islamia, Faculty of Engineering, New Delhi
  • Amity University, Noida

Admission criterion

Eligibility for admission to the Bachelor of Engineering or Bachelor of Technology course is 10+2 or equivalent examination, with Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics. Most of the selections are done through entrance exams. There are three types of entrance eams:

  • Joint entrance exam / JEE for the IITs
  • All India Engineering Entrance Exam (AIEEE) conducted by CBSE
  • State level Engineering Entrance Examination (SLEEE)

Examination comprises of multiple choice / objective type questions in Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics.

Trends in some fields

The discipline-wise growth in intake of students by all engineering colleges in India from 1990 to 2004 has been:- electronics/electrical/computer/IT 39,635 to 2,57,207; mechanical/production from 22,354 to 50,908; civil from 13,546 to 15,280; chemical from 4,590 to 6,954; textiles 1,044 to 2,297. The total intake in all the States put together went up from 87,221 to 3,83,912.

  • In 2002, out of a total intake of 3,83,912, the intake in computer and information technology was 1,20,046 (34 per cent), electrical and electronics discipline 1,14,539 (33 per cent), mechanical (10.5 per cent) and civil (four per cent).
  • Based on the sanctioned intake capacities for the previous years and the available data on graduate in subsequent years, it is estimated that around one lakh engineering graduates must have passed out in 2002 and that it would reach 2.5 lakhs by 2006.
  • From the data of the National Technical Manpower Information System (NTMIS), it is estimated that out of the total number of graduates in a given year about 10 to 15 per cent enrol for higher studies in India or abroad; three to six per cent either get jobs outside India or not interested in any employment and around two to three per cent are apprentices and trainees. Thus, only 80 to 85 per cent of the total graduates come into the job market. It is estimated that the total absorption in the country, 80,000 in 2003, would increase to 1,70,000 in 2007 while at the same time unemployment would increase from 62,000 in 2003 to 1,40,000 in 2007.
  • Electronics is the numero uno choice of topper in 2005 Common Entrance (CET 2005). The IT revolution is sweeping the world. IT industry has become a trillion dollar opportunity. Computing, communications and entertainment electronics are converging at an amazing rate and the line between hardware and software disappearing. Naturally, the opportunities for electronics engineers are immense.
  • Automobile engineering, mechanical engineering, civil engineering and chemical engineering is drawing cold responses from CET rank holders. But this is because of a mistaken view of the industry.
  • Automobile engineering from good colleges could be an excellent option. The automobile industry (both the original equipment and components) in India is booming. India crossed the million-mark in annual car production in 2004. China is consuming cars at five times the rate. Just as the boom in ASEAN countries resulted in a quantum jump in quality and fuel efficiency of cars in ‘80s and ‘90s, the rise of markets in China and India are likely to fuel another growth cycle in terms of design, manufacture and service; the cars in the Western World are likely to see a marked shift towards “smartness” in terms of communication and control, leading to yet another growth cycle even in mature markets.
  • With dramatic growth in aircraft design and manufacture and new generation of low-cost personal aircraft, the growth in mechanical, aerospace and automotive engineering is likely to be tremendous.
  • With biotech in India crossing the billion dollar mark, and the upsurge in Indian biotech capabilities, engineers trained in biochemical engineering coupled with IT skills and biotech exposure would be in great demand.
  • With the growing semiconductor industry and embedded systems, areas like VLSI, devices and microprocessors will have a higher job potential.

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