Engineering colleges have been the backbone of the country for donkey’s years. Civil, Mechanical, Electrical, Electronics, Software… they have all seen their peak throughout India’s Independence era. Interestingly in the last 10 years, India has built a record amount of both offline and online infrastructure, so all the disciplines have had a say and have passed with flying colours.
While the syllabus and teaching methods were static till 2019, there was chaos during the pandemic period and now things have settled down as the education industry has upgraded and adapted to the new era. Now technology is not just the domain of the engineers but all disciplines. You have to use tech to study, while more and more tech is creeping into all professions.
Even school students have been exposed to more tech, which is not necessarily a good thing. It is now up to the individual schools to figure out how to integrate tech into teaching without the aggravated problems that come out of using tech on a regular basis. The National Education Policy 2020 will take a lot of trial and error to implement perfectly. Theory is one thing and practice is quite another altogether, especially in a complex country like India.
We have the largest population in the world but also the best demographic dividend. Our students are probably the most sincere in the world and the youth the most gung ho. Depending on how we plan out things, these dividends could be maximised from anywhere between 15-20 years after which the country will be transformed. Technology will play a huge role but thanks to the affordable smartphone, cheap broadband rates and our flourishing digital democracy which has reached the bottom of the pyramid. We can go full steam ahead toward realising our Mission 2047, of becoming the leading tech nation in the world and one of the largest economies.
We probably have all our bases covered, saving 3 things: 1. R&D. 2 Skills. 3. World class products. But it’s not impossible. With a little more effort we could land on the right path which could be fast tracked. The onus is on both the private sector and educational institutes and not just the government.
We have every reason to be optimistic. The next few decades could belong to India and we might be involved in a really wild ride all the way to the top.