‘Indian engineering sector is in transformational stage’

Wednesday, 21 June 2012

Shekhar Sanyal, country head, IET, speaks with Sangeeta Yadav on the organisation’s initiatives in India


  • What is Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) all about?

The IET (established in 1871) is an international organisation that supports it’s members by providing networking opportunities to help young engineers through its mentorship programme. We set up local networks, young professionals section and student chapters for our members to interact and take forward the planned activities. There are various certificate programmes which members go through to help them get recognition internationally.

  • What are the various certifications offered by the IET?

The IET is licensed by the Engineering Council to award the professional engineering qualifications defined in the UK standard for professional engineering competence. Some of the categories of professional registration are Chartered Engineer, Incorporated Engineer, Engineering Technician and ICT Technician.

  • What are the main sector of  focus at IET?

We are focussed on the energy, transport and information and communication technology sectors. Through the setting up of advisory panels for each of these sectors, IET is striving to provide essential intelligence to the industry, stakeholders and policy makers and to solve sector related problems for the larger benefit of society.

  • How many members are there in this organisation?

The IET has more than 1,50,000 members worldwide in 127 countries and they operate in 100 local networks as well as 21 technical and professional networks.

  • What are the benefits of registration?

The engineers would get international recognition as a professional in his field with improved self motivation, career opportunities and salary prospects. Along with greater influence within their organisation and industry.

  • What is the present scenario of engineering?

The Indian engineering sector is in a transformational stage and that makes it one of most exciting industry to work in today.

  • What is the average percent of graduates who get employed?

As per a NASSCOM-McKinsey survey released a few years ago, only 25 per cent of graduates from engineering colleges are employable.

  • What is the reason behind this unemployability?

There are three major problems. First, the lenient selection process in a large number of colleges. Second, the method of instruction or quality of teaching. Third, lack of world-class infrastructure and facilities which can’t be seen consistently across all colleges.

  • Issues  that require urgent attention…

The change in curriculum should focus on self-discovery. It should also involve technical visits, graded hands-on projects in each year of curriculum, internships in each year spanning across start up organisations (one year) large PSU (next year) large private corporation (third year) and company in their chosen area of specialisation (last year).

  • The opportunities and challenges involved...

For a developing country like India, core engineering fields will be its building blocks. Power, infrastructure and manufacturing are few examples where huge opportunities are coming up. The key challenge facing the engineering fraternity in India is level of actual innovation which is coming out of India.

  • Tips to the engineers for entering into workforce…

Students should first do a thorough introspection about their career calling. They should think what is it about engineering that excites them? What area of engineering compliments their talent and aptitude best? If they are not sure, they should go for professional career counselling. Engineers should focus on gaining additional qualification that goes beyond their engineering degree. Professional certifications are available that will give them an edge. They should focus on gaining critical skill sets beyond the technical domain. It will keep them updated and equipped to address the dynamic and evolving technology landscape.

(The interview was published in the Pioneer Newspaper’s Avenues section)

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