Shortage of skilled engineers threatens to ground Make in India flight

Written by: Dr Anantha Krishnan M

Bengaluru, May 28: While launching the Drona School of Engineering Practice, spearheaded by aerospace veteran G Raj Narayan of Radel Group in Bengaluru recently, experts shared some crucial facts.

Expert members at the launch of Drona School of Engineering Practice in Bengaluru

Some of the facts have been mentioned here:

  • About 1.5 million engineers graduated from more than 3500 engineering colleges across India in 2014.
  • Only 4 to 7 per cent of engineers are actually fit for jobs in the core engineering sectors.
  • Graduates seem to lack higher-order thinking skills, analyzing, evaluating and creating.
  • Huge demand from core engineering industries for practical engineers with hands on experience.
  • Sunrise industries of Aerospace, Defence and Electronics need thousands of skilled engineers for design as well as manufacturing.
  • Very few training schools for engineers in core engineering disciplines, especially electronics and aerospace engineering design.
  • None possesses robust processes, documentation and project management.

Practicing engineers need of the hour

Speaking to OneIndia on the occasion, Narayan said that Drona is a logical solution to his four-decade-plus experience as an entrepreneur.

"What we need today is practicing engineers. We are offering a holistic exposure to engineering. In the aerospace and defence sector, there are very few schools in India to prepare engineers to get ready for the opportunity of Make in India," Narayan said.

Cleared by the Centre for Military Airworthiness Certification (CEMILAC), Radel has been offering system design, CAD/CAM services, design and development of airborne and ground support equipment, documentation support, development of LRUs, ground test equipment and obsolescence management for aerospace, defense and related OEM industries.

The delivering unit that fires rockets on Jaguar fighter is one of the many projects the company has executed. It has also contributed for programmes like the Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH) Dhruv, Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas and Sukhoi (Su-30 MKI).

"The Make in India vision of Prime Minister Modi is a welcome move and it will re-write the research, development and manufacturing concepts in the country. But for Make in India's success, we need skilled and smart engineers. A holistic exposure to engineering is the key," says Raj Narayan.

Skill the nation and not kill the nation: Vidyashankar

M N Vidyashankar, President, India Electronics & Semiconductor Association (IESA), said that India will have to create over 120 million jobs in the near future.

"Make in India is the key, but adding engineers into the market without empowering them is dangerous. If we don't skill the nation, we are going to kill the nation," Vidyashankar, a retired IAS officer who had served with the Karnataka government said.

Citing a global study, Vidyashankar said that by 2020, if India's doesn't take care of the echo system in the electronic segment, then it would overtake the crude oil import.

Unique features of Mission Drona

  • Promises to create skilled engineers in the fields of electronics, aviation, aerospace and defence sectors.
  • Offers a unique Apprenternship (Apprentice-Intern) programme providing fresh engineers with training in design and manufacturing, with mentoring from veterans from the industry.
  • Trainees are provided with hands-on work experience and exposure to live projects.
  • A six-month project related ‘Campus2Career' holistic programme includes training in soft skills.
  • Other courses offered are a short 3-week course and 3-day introductory workshops on current technology topics.

(The writer is a seasoned aerospace and defence journalist in India. He is the Consultant Editor (Defence) with OneIndia. He tweets @writetake.)

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