• General Questions :

    What is Engineering and Technology?
    In fact, this question was pinching me even after I have completed my masters from IIT-Kanpur. It got clarified when I was working at BITS, Pilani.

    Prof Yaspal, then UGC Chairman had visited BITS, Pilani and I have posed this doubt to him. Of course, he laughed at me and mentioned that he will clarify along science. He said “Science to find; Technology is to realize scientific findings in practice; Engineering is to maintain the technology”. He gave an example of Chemistry or pharmacy researcher finding or inventing a medicine that cures some disease. He said that the steps to get that medicine are science. Realizing the same steps in practice for producing trillions of tablets as technology; while maintaining the technology (machinery) is engineering. Unfortunately, in India our Engineering curricula lacks technology tint with some exceptions such as Chemical Engineering, etc.
    What are the Engineering Principles? Optimization: We design systems with the goal of optimizing (either maximizing or minimizing) time, money, efforts, life, utility, safety, environmental damage, etc.


    Job Profiles and Responsibilities:
    Mechanical Engineers are employable in the following areas

    Redundancy: Always a good system is supposed to satisfy the intended goal, even probably having some level of redundancy. For example, while going to an examination we often carry more than one pen; however we will be using one pen only. Why do we need the second one? This is redundancy. We want second pen such that , in case, if the first one does not work, we can use the second one. This is redundancy. A good system will extend good level of redundancy.
    Failure Safety: A fail-safe or fail-secure device is one that,in the event of failure,responds in a way that will cause no harmor atleasta minimum of harm, to other devices or danger to personnel.
    Robustness: It has to work for all the possible situations. Consider the attitudes of some students who attend to the exam by reading only some questions or some chapters. Those people who prepare for all the chapters will certainly face whatever may be the toughness of the paper. T hat is, they are robust as they are prepared for all the situations, whereas others are not. Even engineering systems are also expected to have good level of robustness.
    Is selection of college is important or branch is important?
    In my opinion, college is important. I know many people have influenced by the college. However, if a student is very much interested in a branch, certainly we have to consider that into first. Otherwise, college is more important. Look for admissions pattern of all our IITs, NITs or even local colleges during the last year, students gave preference to the college; especially old and established colleges are preferred by the students in the last year’s admissions. For instance, many students preferred BITS-Pilani Hyderabad campus than IIT-Hyderabad. I remember son of a famous IIT coaching center director has left IIT-Bhubaneswar and joined IIIT-Hyderabad. In total I believe college is important. However, a student is craving for branch then we have to consider that into account first.
    How to select a college?
    This is very crucial and very much depends on your student’s interest (attitude), rank, and availability of seats in the Institute, etc. However, the following points are important while selecting the college.
    a. Does the college is accredited by NBA, NAAC?
    b. Does the college is having support of World Bank funds such as TEQUIP?
    c. Does the college is permanently affiliated to the University?
    d. Does the college regularly maintain web site?
    e. Does the college is having qualified Professor as Principal?
    f. Does the management involve in college academic management?
    g. Does the college have mechanism of displaying student’s attendance, marks, and notices in the Internet?
    h. Does the college have enough number of qualified staff?
    i. Does the college conduct student’s technical activities on a regular basis?
    j. Does the college is having good alumnae society which is functioning?
    k. How are the laboratories in the department?
    l. Does the college is having good English learning/teaching centers?
    m. Does the college is having good placement cell?
    n. Does the college is having good training cell?
    o. Does the college is having GATE coaching cell?
    p. Does the college encourage student groups by participating in activities such as E-Plus club?
    q. Does the college organize value added courses such as Oracle, Java, IBM Rational Rose, Azure, etc?
    r. Does the college call for parents meet? Does the college inform student’s progress through SMS’s?
    s. Does the college have good library which opens much after college hours?
    t. Does the college is having good hostel facility?
    u. Does the college is having E-Learning facilities
    v. Majority of the above can be verified from students of the college. Don’t take any decision based on their feelings. Rather ask them to share only about what is available what is not available. What are the facts about the above points?
    w. According to AICTE requirements, every college has to display their college details in their web sites. Look for a document known as mandatory disclosure. Ask the management if not available in their website. May be, take pains to collect last few years mandatory disclosure files and analyze the college in terms staff retention, spending on development, academic activities.
    x. Make an eye on student unrests in the recent years.
    y. Do enquire about campus placement.

    z. Also do enquire about extra support from the college if your student is average student.

    Which stream is better?
    No branch is better or worst. After all, how would you perceive the word better. I mean, if your child is craving for a branch, then it is better for you to put him in that branch.
    However, in the history we find importance of a branch through availability of multitude of jobs. I still remember, my father has admitted me in Civil in 1982 though I am interested in ECE and my rank is 489. Because, that time civil has many openings. Now, IT industry has many openings. So, people prefer CSE. Of course, experts are of the opinion that till 2020 or 2025 IT industry is going to be the major absorber of engineers. After that, there can be shift of preference to core engineering streams such as Civil, Electrical, etc.
    Does CSE means programming only?
    No. Certainly not at all. According to ACM recommendations, a typical CSE curriculum is a mixture of algorithms, architecture, system SW (compilers, operating system), networks, etc. For instance, while I was at BITS, Pilani, we used to have 4 to 5 courses related to algorithms only. A CSE curriculum is supposed to have more of system SW tint, while IT is supposed to have application SW tint.
    My son/daughter is poor in Mathematics; shall I put her in XXXX branch?
    Sorry. Any engineering branch at some or other time demands mathematical dealing (Probably, exception for Bio-Technology, Metallurgy, Pharmacy). So, see he will improve his mathematics and develop interest in mathematics.
    My lad is interested in Mechanical, but I want to put him in ECE. What do you say?
    I strongly recommend you to put him in Mechanical. Before that, evaluate him/her , if he/she is really interested in that stream or his/her friends are planning, so he/she also wants for it.
    Usually, today’s generation is having a serious problem of not having any goal. You see, if he has a clear goal, by now he might have done something in that direction. If he has interest in Mechanical, he might have shown you some behaviors such as opening your car or bike, etc. Look for those things. If your lad is really serious in one area and interested and shown some ingenuous attempts in that areas, then do encourage and don’t force your ideas on him. Rather create an environment for him to grow in that area. Try to introduce him to some popular people in his areas and get him more interested in the area what he has selected. “Istam tho pani chesthe kastham kuda istam avutundi”.
    What is the future of core branches?
    Western predictions are that for another 10 to 15 years IT boom will be continuing and after that core branches such as Civil, Electrical, and Mechanical may flourish again.
    Shall I put my child in ECE?
    Is he is craving for it? If so, do admit him in ECE itself.
    Someone said ECE is better than CSE. Shall I join him ECE?
    Those statements are very much debatable. As such, majority of ECE people are opting IT industry. However, if one sees the growth curve of a CSE or IT graduate and other graduate when they are in IT industry, certainly CSE/IT people career will be a little more attractive. After all, their 4 years of suffering does not go waste;
    My boy gets seat in University College also, but I want to put him in some nearby Private College. What is your opinion?
    Do admit him in University College itself. Yet, University colleges are doing well, campus recruitments are better, and outside value is more for University College degrees.
    Is AU better or JNTU better?
    If my child gets such a rank and is required to opt out of AU or JNTU, I will certainly opt for AU. In fact, I have admitted my daughter in AU.
    Does JNTU syllabus is better than AU?
    Very critical to answer. However, I have seen AU authorities are also changing their things regularly.
    My boy is opting for private universities such as VIT, SRM, VU, KLC, GITAM, but he has better chances through EAMCET rank in a good private college. What is your advice?
    I have observed many students coming out from SRM, etc. I found our private engineering college students seem to be having better exposure to their technical area.
    My boy is opting for private universities such as VIT, SRM, VU, KLC, GITAM, but he has better chances through EAMCET rank in a good Government college. What is your advice?
    I strongly recommend you admit him in good Government College.
    Is Engineering better or Science is better?
    Very trivial to answer. It is very difficult to represent the word better. Certainly, if your child is very much interested in science or mathematics, I strongly encourage you to put him in a good college where good faculty is available in the area of interest. Did you come across with IISER’s? Checkup whether your child has enough marks/score to join these institutes or not. If he joins in old colleges like Madras Lyola, it is very good. Otherwise, I am sorry to say in Andhra Pradesh not many degree colleges are doing justice to the students. Also, inform your child that he can pursue his masters in IIT’s after his B.Sc through JAM(name might have changed) entrance examination.
    However, as such job openings are more for Engineering graduates. Of course, Wipro, Infosys have special drives for degree students.
    Today, is Engineering is better career?
    Yes. But don’t stop your child’s interest. If he/she wants sports, do encourage. There are lots of success stories of people who are not engineers!.
    Do you recommend CA or Engineering for our child?
    I am skeptical about this propaganda from last two years. I don’t think CA can accommodate that many people like engineering. Whole Visakhapatnam steel plant has not more than 10-20 CA’s.
    ECE people are recruited in IT industry for CSE/IT jobs. In the same fashion, does CSE people are eligible for ECE jobs?
    Yes. In some areas such as Telecommunication, Robotics, Embedded Systems, Cellular Systems, etc., CSE people are also preferred like ECE guys.
    My boy wants to join in Aeronautics. What is your opinion?
    I strongly believe this is going to be very lucrative even in India in the next 5 to 10 years period. However, as of today the course is a little bit costly. I understand JNTU-K has started a collaborative course this year. Also, some private institutes in Hyderabad is also organizing this type of course. First look for how many planes that the college have , before you admit your lad , In addition to the permissions from DGCA.
    We have received SMS from a college that they give free seat. Is it true?
    Don’t be doomed by this type of messages.
    Someone said EEE is very difficult. Shall I put my child in it?
    No engineering is easy and no engineering branch is difficult. Check your child’s interest.
    Why students are getting less percentage in Engineering while they have got excellent percentage in Intermediate?
    Do you think those marks are really their marks? Do remember that unlike Intermediate, Engineering is practical or skill oriented course. In Intermediate, most of the students or so called corporate colleges might have finished their two years of labs in three days and got marks 50 out of 50. Then, are they really their marks? Rather, I say that you have purchased the marks. You have not acted like a good parent. Also, unlike Intermediate, Engineering is not bounded. Unless the fellow really understands the things he cannot write or he cannot answer. Also, see the answer for the following questions.
    Is there any problem if my child gets less than 65% marks in Engineering?
    It is a good question. Answer is Yes. Today most of the IT companies are putting 65% as the cut-off for writing written test for jobs. So, it is very important that the students are supposed to aim for at least this much overall percentage. Also, see the answer for the following question.
    Is there any difficulty if my child gets more percentage in Engineering?
    Yes. Again this is related to job selections. Usually, if your child has more than 80% or 90% the interview board will be having very high expectations on your child. So, they may ask standard question. If he does not answer, they will not ask second question at all!!. If your child has about 60% or 65%, they may ask a simple question first. Even if he does not answer, they will ask second question. You see the problem of having more marks!!!.
    Shall we prefer old college or new college near to my house?
    Certainly, old and established college is preferred for overall growth of the student. Even if your child is girl child, I recommend you to put in old and established college.
    I have a girl child. Shall I put her in Civil Engineering?
    Why not? Not all civil jobs need the lads to visit fields. There are many jobs in Civil Engineering also which makes peoples to sit in A/C rooms only!.
    My girl wants to join Mechanical Engineering. But she is a girl. How?
    No problem. She can go for design jobs.
    What is the scope of Bio-Technology?
    As of today, in India Bio-Technology B.Tech course is not in lime light , because of less number of job openings. However, positive thing is that they are also equally preferred by IT industry like ECE people.
    Do you advise a five years integrated course in AU or 4 years course in a Private Engineering College?
    I recommend 5 years integrated course as they are also equally recruited through campus interviews. If one is interested in pursuing higher studies like Ph.D, by joining in 5 years course one year can be saved.
    What is the difference between Comp Sci and IT?.
    In principle, CSE is system oriented while IT is application oriented. However, our syllabus is not showing any perceivable difference. Hardly, four courses difference in the 4 years of B.Tech/B.E course. In M.E/M.Tech level things are too messy. For whatever jobs CSE student is eligible, IT student is also eligible. So, don’t have wrong impressions about IT. In the early days, because of AICTE rules, colleges have started IT courses for having another source of income.
    How long this IT boom will persist?
    Western predictions are that till 2020 or 2025 at least.
    Do you think that college infrastructure and management are important factors in opting the college?
    Yes. Also you have to see the working environment in the college. Also, see the answer for the other question above.
    Someone said that I can join ECE field and learn Computer outside and get absorbed in IT industry. Do you accept?
    In one way, it is OK for today. It is giving success also in getting IT job. However, I feel that IT Companies may insist soon that the candidates should have CSE/IT degrees . Otherwise, CSE/IT/MCA students may start agitation to stop giving their jobs to other stream students!!.
    Shall I join B.Tech or plan for SAT?
    To land up in US. ? If so, you can as well prefer SAT.
    Do you advise me to join Hostel?
    Yes. I strongly recommend. You may have more time for working. However, you have to see that the environment of the hostel should be good. Also, try to make few friends. Hostel life gives you chance to know various human psychologies.
    How shall I use my summer?
    Learn C Language. Make Electronics as your Hobby Try to improve your English if you are lagging. Try to improve running notes habit in the Class. Usually, all of you are habituated to Xeroxed materials. Engineering cannot be a readymade cake!!.
    How shall I read while I am in Engineering?
    First, slowly forget your Intermediate habits of reading and reproducing. Study for the sake of subject.
    How to be a good Engineering Student?
    What is teaching and lecturing?

    Usually, teaching is very much concerned with how much is really received by the students. Teachers see the students’ faces and repeat their statements twice or thrice or till majority of the students understand. Lecturing is different. A lecturer is not expected to worry about his delivery. Unfortunately, most of the students are exposed to teaching till their 10+2. When they join Engineering, they find things are a little different. Thus, it is high time for students to habituate some good aspects such as the following so that their engineering education becomes fruitful.
    • *

      a. Develop writing running notes
      b. Develop good listening abilities
      c. Develop English good reading abilities. I have practically observed thousands of students suffering from this. Those people who break this barrier in their first month of joining Engineering are observed to be having smooth sailing for the whole course. So, I advise students to give utmost importance for this point.
      d. Also try to improve your English Vocabulary.
      e. Do put goals and study. Do plan well for achieving your goal.
      f. Do prefer hostel. You will be having lot of time to study compared to your home.
      g. Don’t aim for marks, rather aim for knowledge and skill.
      h. Do develop attitude of loving books.
      i. Do not follow All-in-ones. Parents should make sure that their lads don’t get trapped in All-in- ones.
      j. If you are EEE, make sure something goes wrong in your house first you will try to rectify it before calling professional from outside. If you are mechanical engineer, try to find out what is the problem with your fathers bike by yourself first. I mean, try to build-up practical skills in your branch.
      k. Do develop attitude of doing combined projects, papers, presentations. After all, when you join the job, you are supposed to work along with the people. Recall, the success stories of our beloved former President Dr Kalam. Always, he says that his success is his group’s success. Thus, share the successes boldly with the group.
      l. Do build self motivation to reach the goals.
      m. Try to move with good and self motivated friends. You may get inspired by them, which certainly you aspire for.

      I am not good at Mathematics, what shall I do?
      Don’t join in Engineering. Go and learn sitar. Else, develop interest in mathematics.
      I don’t like labs, what shall I do?
      Don’t join engineering at all.
      How to study Engineering?
      By putting a defined goal and with a systematic plan. Continue to develop interest in mathematics. Develop logical/analytical abilities and try to apply to your areas.
      What you have to know as a parent of Engg Student?
      My boy is demanding a laptop now itself. Shall I buy now itself? Yes. Better provide him at the earliest. After all, it is like calculator or T-square for today’s engineering students. However, keep an eye on his Internet use especially social networks such as Facebook, etc.
      Do you advice a desktop or Laptop?
      Laptop.
      My boy demands ultra modern cell phones always and says they are needed in Engineering. Is it so?
      No. A Laptop may be adequate.
      My child wants to go for higher studies. What is your advice?
      Without hesitation encourage him. Even if you are daily wager, encourage him. He will certainly rescue when you are old for which you are aspiring for. After all, for that reason only you are planning to admit your child in Engineering. Let him study till he can do .
      My child wants to do M. Tech and Ph. D and join teaching. Do you advice?
      Yes. Certainly I welcome. In fact, for girl students it is very much attractive. As of today, the pay is also not so bad , unlike ten years back pay.
      What are my duties being a proud parent of an engineering student?
      a. Continuously inspire him
      b. Do enquire your child about his life in the college. Many of the parents take care of their child till 10+2. After admitting in engineering, they don’t even ask them how they progress. The answer they say for this is: “Then they are not engineers”. It is not correct. Just check him how is he doing? You need not be master for doing this. Do call the HOD’s now and then and enquire about your child.
      c. If college is not arranging summer training, try to explore your personal contacts and see your child uses 2nd and 3rd year summer vacation fruitfully.
      d. Do find from your child whether classes are held regularly in the college or not. Also, do enquire whether laboratories are conducted on regular practice or not. If not, do enquire the management and see practicals are held on regular basis.
      e. If your child is EEE, make sure something goes wrong in your house first your child will try to rectify it before calling professional from outside. If your child is a mechanical engineer, try to ask him to find out what is the problem with your bike before taking to mechanic. I mean try to see that your child will build-up practical skills in his branch starting from the house.
      f. Also, see whether you can make your friends/relatives who are experts in engineering fields to visit the colleges where children are studying. This makes your child to do his summer training with these experts.

       

    NB Venkateswarlu
    M.Tech(IIT-Kanpur),
    Ph.D (BITS), PDF(UK)
    Sr. Prof., CSE, AITAM, Tekkali

     

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