engineers prefer brain drain

engineers prefer brain drain

Andhra Pradesh has been sending thousands of engineers to the United States every year but thousands of engineering seats in the state lie vacant. The...

Andhra Pradesh has been sending thousands of engineers to the United States every year but thousands of engineering seats in the state lie vacant. The weak job market and dismal education standard have led to an exodus of engineers and students to head to other states and countries for education and employment.

A recent engineering graduate, Jagadeesh, is planning to join a college in the United States in October. He will be joining 26 students of his class of 120 who have already migrated to the US.

“Lots of graduates here are engineers. So, a well-paid job is hardly found. Earning an MS or MBA will surely improve the job prospects and help compete in the global market,” he says.

Hyderabad has been sending the maximum number of students, mostly engineers, for higher studies to the US.

According to a Brookings Institution report, between 2008 and 2012, Hyderabad topped in the number of F1 visas, i.e. 26,220, followed by Mumbai 17,294, while Chennai, Bangalore, Delhi, Pune sent less than 10,000 students each.

For the US, the foreign student inflow is an economic bonanza to capitalise on, that brought in more than $5 billion between 2008-2012, with students from Hyderabad and Mumbai accounting for $650 million. One big reason for the huge numbers from Hyderabad was that undivided Andhra Pradesh had 718 engineering colleges, offering 3.5 lakh engineering seats, the maximum number in the country.

But ironically, nearly1.5 lakh seats lay vacant because hardly 25 per cent engineers land up in good jobs. Many blame this on the fee reimbursement scheme started by former Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Rajasekhar Reddy to help students who could not afford higher education and that turned into a huge scam.

Many colleges sprung up with poor teaching faculty and hardly any infrastructure. No wonder they churned out engineers who could not find employment in the market. Industry termed many of them as unemployable.

Even after the Telangana government refused recognition to 174 engineering colleges, nearly 70,000 engineering seats have gone vacant in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh.

L Venugopal Reddy, chairperson, AP Council for Higher Education, sees this as a huge opportunity lost.

“The main gap is quality. We lack proper teachers, good labs to train and other infrastructure facilities. Several institutions don't have tie-ups with industries. Not looking at requirement of industry,” he comments.

With global jobs beckoning, a missed opportunity for India has turned into an economic bonanza for the US, with Indian student inflow accounting for millions of dollars.

KTR on engineers, “Many engineering graduates are not industry ready in Telangana”.

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