Monday, August 13, 2007

Can India and China Really Produce So Many Engineers?

August 13, 2007, 12:17 pm

India and China produce thousands of engineers and scientists a year, but that quantity has been achieved at the expense of quality, report Melinda Liu and Sudip Mazumdar in Newsweek International. China graduated 600,000 engineers in 2005 and India produces 500,000 graduates in technical fields annually.

Those impressive numbers of technical graduates have led some to predict that India and China will become “scientific superpowers” over the next few decades. However, scant funding and other problems have undermined the value of their degrees.

Employers shun many graduates or conduct their own training. Companies also complain that Indian and Chinese universities tend to emphasize rote learning and conformity over creative thinking. “Out of the huge number of engineering and science graduates that India produces, only 25% to 30% can be regarded as suitable,” says Kiran Karnik, head of the National Association of Software and Services Companies, an Indian trade group.