Imagine your life without 5 things "“ Cellphone, Internet, Automobiles, Computers and Television. How does it look? Scary, isn't! If there is one profession that deserves much more accolades than it receives, it has to be engineering. But unfortunately, it has become a butt of jokes in the recent times. One of the recent jokes going around was 'In India, you complete your engineering first and then think about what you want to become!'. This isn't completely wrong, considering the thousands of engineering institutes our country boasts of. While you can laugh off at such jokes today, it must be noted that the current situation is in stark contrast to the situation prevailing about two decades ago when engineers were one of the most respectable figures in the society.
Even today, engineers deserve the credit for some of the most awe-inspiring things in world, ranging from Burj Khalifa and bullet trains to under ocean pipeline and cars running at over 200 kilometers per hour! It is ironical that the country boasting of some of the brightest scientific minds of the past including Brahmagupta, Aryabhat and Ramanuj stands nowhere when it comes to the global standings of engineering standards.
One of the major reasons that are pulling India back from becoming a renowned engineering hub is the lack of focus on research and innovation. Why are people crazy about Apple's products? Rather than walking on the same lines as the other companies, Apple always dares to explore the path less travelled which has made it one of the most successful companies in the world. Contrary to the approach followed at Apple, our engineering students are advised to remain confined within the books, some of which are over 20 years old! Although the IITs impart top quality technical education which is a notch above the standard set by any other engineering college in the country, the fact remains that IITs stand nowhere at the global scene. Very seldom do you hear about any extraordinary invention emerging from these institutions and impacting the lives of the common people. Another notable fact is that Indians form a large workforce of some of the top most engineering organizations in the world, including Google, Apple and Microsoft. If they can do wonders while being in the US, they must be given the same environment to create similar magic in India.
While the celebrations of Engineer's day are certainly a noble idea, Sir Mokshagundam Visvesvaraya would certainly be a happier soul if we celebrate his birthday trying to revive the fortunes of Engineering in the country. A Bharat Ratna recipient, Visvesvaraya was one of the most renowned Indian scholars and Engineers of the 20th century. His design of the flood protection system for Hyderabad in 1906 took everybody by surprise. His ideas were much ahead of his time. Some of his other notable works included automatic floodgates at the Khadakvasla Reservoir. His inventions were the saviors of thousands of lives. For his unparallel contributions towards public good, he was knighted by King George V.