Who are Engineers?
''Engineers ... are not superhuman. They make mistakes in their assumptions, in their calculations, in their conclusions. That they make mistakes is forgivable; that they catch them is imperative. Thus it is the essence of modern engineering not only to be able to check one's own work but also to have one's work checked and to be able to check the work of others ''
- Henry Petroski
(From: To Engineer Is Human. Engineers Creed)
Derived from the Latin world"ingeniare" engineering means ''to design'' or ''to create''. Hardly any engineer knows this definition,understanding is distant dream. Theoretically engineers apply the theories and principle of science and mathematics to research and develop economical solution to technical problem.
We, Indians are producing hardly these kind of engineers in practical. My statement is not indirect insult to the system, but a down to earth filthy slang on engineering education system. Production of mass scale of engineers instead of class scale has lead us to this crisis.
Most of the students in India enter into field of engineering with the passion to turn the world upside down with their talent. Simply speaking, they want to achieve some distinctness in this field. Few of them go through IIT and became elite class. Its not necessary that all IITians are ingenious and incarnated from heaven. In reality,only few of them has been poisoned by the deadly snake of scientific temper and creativeness. Then,long story short... they face harsh and brute reality. The infrastructure of engineering education is more based on suppressing than nourishing of talent. With few exception of really dedicated students, curiosity and passion of the students die slowly. Most of the students will really agree with me that their sharpness of mind is blunted in the span of four years of study of engineering and technology.
Students are really good in P.C.M. [Physics, Chemistry and Maths] till engineering entrance examinations. Logic, Reasoning and Creativity abilities vary with each individuals. Our academics much focus on data [subjects] than information [Interpretation and In cooperation]. Scientific Temper is not in the scene of study. The system focus on learning (mugging) without understanding or blind faith on authority.
Hold for a minute.... What is the meaning of this word 'Scientific Temper'? It means curiosity and willingness to investigate facts by logic and reasoning.
Most of the engineering students and teachers are rigid in their thoughts. Left alone the numb administrative policy makers. All scientific temper sublimes in the practical life of college. All Labs,Workshops and even tutorials have become ritual than a scientific investigation of concepts.
Result oriented practicals and experiments have doomed every talent of this country. Weightage of success rate of experiment is much high than understanding of concept behind it. Every teacher of engineering has suffered from this curse. Yet,they became infectious carrier or paralyzed patient of this lethal virus.
Problems created by few teachers are false ego and unfriendliness behaviour towards junior teachers,working staff and students. They want to hide their faults under the huge banners of discipline and respect. They have infact never learned the basic principle of teaching.
-Discipline cannot be imposed on any person force fully especially on 17+ age group.Discipline is a self applied phenomenon.Disraeli had quoted '' You cannot make men virtuous by acts of parliament ''. A student should fear from administration only on imbreachmnet of rules. Nothing less than this should be accepted.These few teachers make a gap between them and students. Knowledge can only pass through bridge between them;
-Respecting teachers is important virtue of the student.Teachers tend to demand it from students.Respect can only be earned by command not demand. Command comes from knowledge, not from whip....
-Questioning on authority is always taken in negative percepts by administration. Lack of transparency in economic matters is principle concern for students. There is misunderstanding for word 'investment' and 'expenditure' between students and administrators. Lack of vision for future and crawling action on plans is our major problem.
Few teachers don't change with time and makes engineering boring. They bring same yellow pages of notes to dictate lectures over years. Student feel engineering as:
''The sad mechanic exercise,Like dull narcotics,numbing pain.'' They ensure and give more emphasis on written work than learning concepts. When technology is growing exponentially, we are not even changing linearly. Sarcastically, only electronic gadgets are updated at colleges of technology....
A teacher is friend, philosopher and guide to the student. But most of faculty fail to perform the task. No teacher can give all knowledge of a subject but atleast they can ignite the flames of interest of the subject in students. It is quite correct that some teachers accept their limitation in modest manner. They pursue the question together with student for optimal solution. They are really the ones,a student looks for a role model.
'A single line of Truth is more convincing than epitome of false knowledge'.
Most of students believe in their exceptional talents but go for smart than hard work. Learning is plant of slow growth but current students are more interested in earning. Open discussion on any topics should be made between students, teachers and administration on equal grounds. All of them are basic component and just incomplete without each other in this engineering education system. A platform is necessary to put the ideas together.
There is a flame of hope in every new students and teachers to fill shortcomings of pattern in the system. It dies slowly with time. Now, the choice is ours. Mourn on the dead flames or rekindle the minds in the dark.Let our hope and efforts do not perish within the system.
Long Live the Spirit of Innovation..
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