Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Why "Everyone" In India Is An Engineer.

Did you ever wonder why India produces so many engineers? Well there is an answer. It is the culture. But not in a way you would imagine.

India is perhaps the only country in the world where parents decide the career of their children a few moments after birth.

This has famously been captured in the classic Bollywood movie 3 Idiots where the character of Farhan Qureshi played by R.Madhavan says "I was born at 5:15 am and at 5:16 am my father said: My son will be an engineer ".

The film which stars Aamir Khan (one of the most intellgent and biggest bollywood superstars) is an excellent depiction of what engineering education is like in India and how parents force their kids to pursue careers that are only meant to create a good standing in society for themselves (instead of pursuing what they love) . The movie was such an outrageous success that it is one of the highest grossing bollywood films of all time and is a treat to watch over and over again.

No wonder, because India produces 600,000 engineers from colleges across the country every year (read here for more) and in many families it is trait that has been passed on for generations. It is not uncommon to see three to four generations of one family ranging from immediate brothers, cousins, uncles and distant relatives all having an engineering background.
In my engineering career I have met more than a few engineers who were not in love with their work. They were piss poor engineers. I preferred to shunt them off into more important work like sorting resistors by color code. Work which could be double checked with an ohm meter. Just to keep them from mass producing a disaster by design.

Cross Posted at Classical Values

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