I don’t remember the exact day. Maybe I do. I think it was March of 2016. A prominent deep-pocket expatriate Keralite businessman in UAE chatted about my engineering education. To my astonishment, he got emotional and abusive when it reached my engineering stream, Mechanical Engineering.
“Mechanical engineering is outdated! Who will study this engineering stream now?”
Very uncomfortable, yet he continued, “Latest world advancement is based on computer technology and related engineering.”
“What your Mechanic Engineering can do to uplift technology affairs,” he challenged my intellect and engineering integrity (as I used to be a lecturer in mechanical engineering those days)
I sat there wondering why this guy was that bothered and touched by mechanical engineering so much! Yet, I remained silent, nodding my head in agreement to all the b*ll sh*t he continued. I sat tight to my composure because the person who arranged my meeting with this rich guy was with one demand alone, “Whatever he says, agree with him. Never confront him or argue with him.”
It was 2016. Most colleges in south India had 3 batches of 60 students each for mechanical engineering. Even with 180 students per year, many parents failed to lock one seat for their beloved kids. For those parents, it was like, one seat to a well-settled life ahead. For engineering colleges, mechanical engineering was “Evergreen Engineering,” as they used to market fondly and proudly in education fairs in front of many students and their parents. Students (99.99% boys. Girls are not admitted to this engineering discipline for mystical reasons I still could not understand) flocked innocently to these colleges. Private engineering college managements milked the deep pockets of their parent’s ‘evergreen aspirations.’
It was those days when mechanical engineering was worshipped.
Days and years passed by. 2016 left us. 2017, 2018, and 2019 were also gone. 3 batches of mechanical engineering shrank to 1 pack. The number of students reduced from 180 to 6 or 9. ‘The evergreen’ branch of engineering became a ‘never-green’ branch. College professors became jobless, and management closed the engineering branch itself in most colleges. Because of one simple straight reason – no students!
Mechanical engineering education in India died a premature and undeserved death.
Why do mechanical engineering education die, and mechanical engineering students go extinct?
Different reasons, just as we struggle to explain why dinosaurs got extinct.
No campus placements in mechanical engineering jobs in core mechanical engineering-related companies.
No skill enhancement training for mechanical engineering graduate students from colleges.
No job orientation awareness for mechanical engineering students while they are doing their graduation.
Because mechanical engineering is such a vast engineering discipline; students, parents, innocent and ignorant guys like the deep-pocketed expatriate businessman we met at the beginning of this article, or even the professors teaching mechanical engineering, no one understood or realized the true potential of this classic stream of engineering.
Because no one understood, no one could reap the benefit after studying this engineering. A mechanical engineering graduate happily settled for an AED 2500 job (yet they find muse after putting a conversion rate of 21.6 multiplication to INR for their home country salary) in some scorching sun desert, proving loyalty to their deaf and blind (pretending) masters.
Is Mechanical engineering dead?
Or our acceptance and understanding of mechanical engineering are dead?