Ex IIT-Delhi director questions: "Why are students choosing Computer Science, IT over other branches?"


Former IIT Delhi director V Ramgopal Rao, Monday raised a question on the increasing number of candidates choosing Computer Science Engineering (CSE) and IT engineering. Rao believes that the situation is the same in almost every college that has visited or heard about.

“Colleges are hardly able to fill even one-third of the available seats in branches other than Computer Science and IT. No one wants to do even Electronics. The situation is worse in Civil, Mechanical etc. Many colleges don’t know what to do with a large number of faculty working in these departments,” he said in a tweet.

V Ramgopal Rao also brought focus to the issue that while it is easier for mechanical or civil engineers to move to the CSE or IT branch-related jobs, the same cannot be said for a vice-versa situation. He believes that if people do not choose other fields of engineering then the solutions to existing problems in these fields will not be easily found.

He also brought focus to the issue that while it is easier for mechanical or civil engineers to move to the CSE or IT branch-related jobs, the same cannot be said for a vice-versa situation. “If everyone studies IT/CSE and if all the companies and products they build are e-commerce and IT related, where does it leave us?” he asks.

Engineering is all about finding solutions

Rao also explains that the motive behind raising this issue is that India being a developing country has several unresolved issues at the grass-root level and much needs to be done in several fields such as healthcare, agriculture, energy, defense, space, civil infrastructure, transportation, waste processing, semiconductors, manufacturing, drone technologies and many more. He believes that if people do not choose other fields of engineering then the solutions to existing problems in these fields will not be easily found.

“Engineering isn’t about civil, mechanical, CSE etc. Engineering is all about providing optimal and sustainable solutions to society’s needs. Most of the problems don’t even come with a disciplinary tag. They often need a multi-disciplinary team to develop a solution. If all disciplines merge into CSE and IT, our innovation potential may get grossly affected,” he explained.

Industry 4.0

Rao also talks about how ‘Industry 4.0’ is transforming the way different engineering field functions and now with the changing times, the work experience and skills are also changing accordingly.

“Industry 4.0 has completely transformed the mechanical engineering and many of my Mechanical friends work on micro-machines and micro-fluids which require a microscope to look at. A lot of civil engineers now work on environmental issues and work on a multiplicity of environmental issues. Metallurgy has got morphed into material science. Future is all about smart and meta materials,” he said while explaining his point as an example.

How to bring change?

While identifying this changing trend is a major step in changing the outlook of future engineering aspirants, it is also important to find actual solutions to these changing trends and thought. The former director of IIT-Delhi has urged AICTE and UGC to make movies highlighting the changes that are taking place in other parts of the world, and also shine a light on the innovations that are happening in other disciplines of engineering.

Not just this, Rao also believes that students should be made aware about all branches/disciplines of engineering from early on in their life, preferably from the school level. “Bring children to our top institutions and show them how modern mechanical, civil engineering labs look (like) and what researchers in these departments work on. It’s time to act in a concerned manner through national level initiatives,” he concludes.

It is true that the other branches of engineering are being ignored to the point that they are made to feel obsolete, however, being a country with specialists in software and lacking in other parts of the huge disciplines will certainly affect our country's economical & international competency.

People always try to find the shortest path to success, and software/IT fits the deal in today's market conditions, however when the need for the other sectors emerge then there will be a huge vacuum of necessary talent & skill-set, that can be a doom to any country's economy.

https://twitter.com/ramgopal_rao/status/1566428352398774272?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1566428352398774272%7Ctwgr%5E6e6e2edba533af6020f58c51fb239e895c8532d3%7Ctwcon%5Es1_c10&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Findianexpress.com%2Farticle%2Feducation%2Fjee-result-2022-why-students-are-choosing-computer-science-it-over-other-engineering-branches-former-iit-delhi-director-questions-8133909%2F

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