“Why do engineering aspirants prefer CSE over other core branches?” Ex IIT-Delhi director questions obsession with computer science – The Indian Express

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.
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 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 grassroot level and much needs to be done in several fields such as healthcare, agriculture, energy, defence, 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.
Students opting for only the CSE and allied disciplines. How do we change this? And what will happen if this trend becomes a norm. #engineeringeducation #engineers #education #CSE #India pic.twitter.com/U6h8NO7NNN
— V. Ramgopal Rao, Ph.D. (@ramgopal_rao) September 4, 2022

Industry 4.0
He also talks about how ‘Industry 4.0’ is transforming the way different engineering field function and now with the changing times, the work experience and skills are also changing. “Industry 4.0 has completely transformed the mechanical engineering and many of my Mechanical friends work on micro-machines and microfluids 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 concluded.
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