Meeting many students from 2nd year to 4th year of engineering from many disciplines gave me a picture of engineers that will be coming out in India. I found them very bright, ambitious, and energetic. Most students were very eager to know about developments that may be taking place in different fields. In most cases, there knowledge about latest developments was quite good.
Most students appeared to be avid user of facebook — yes it appears that facebook has displaced Orkut in India. More than phone and e-mail, it was clear that they use sms more as email. Not surprising given that in India now one can have 22000 (yes that is right — twenty two thousand) SMS per month for Rs 60 (yes that is for $1.25). Can you not call that FREE?
Engineering still is one of the most attractive profession in India. It was repeatedly mentioned that there are too many engineering colleges and the quality of those colleges is not good. I know this based on all the data that I have read and what I observed in many places.
Something that is also obvious is that most students are more concerned about their profession; not aware of the society around them. They know a lot about other countries, but the differences between other countries and India do not seem to bother them. They just consider it a ‘Given situation’ and accept it. Is that a very Indian thing?
One thing that surprised me was that even at NIT Trichy, girls should be back in their hostel by 9 PM. Such restrictions appear to be very conservative and restricting their development professionally.
Overall, I was extremely happy that I made this trip and was able to spend some quality time with many students.
(The above are impressions based only on one engineering institution — NIT Trichy — so are more about that place than general India. Moreover, these were the leaders — so a kind of selected students.)
A quick note on the SMS habits of students. Sadly, they carry this habit to their work place too and emails are filled with senseless abbreviations. “How r u?”, “looks g8” etc. Some of them even use this kind of English in emails while applying for jobs. It certainly makes the email looks frivolous and overly “friendly”. I shudder to think how a client will respond if these “kids” (I am 36 so I am entitled to call them kids! :)) send mails like that!
I have had the pleasure of working with a number of young professionals from India here in California. They have all been very respectful and have a passion for learning. Whatever the approach it appears to be working on the academic/work ethic side of the equation.