Engineering Discipline is Catalytic for Overall Economic Development

Pradeep Vajram, CEO, SmartPlay Technologies | Monday, 20 February 2017, 10:16 IST

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The current scenario

Indian engineering exports stood at US$ 62 billion in the year 2013-14 in comparison to US$ 10 million that was achieved in the year 1956-57, according to Engineering Export Promotion Council, India. On its quest to set global standards, India has made significant advancement towards the development of its engineering sector. Due to the high percentage of exports, in terms of products and talent, this segment is of strategic importance to the country’s overall performance and growth. Engineering as a discipline is intrinsic to other industries such as manufacturing, infrastructure, healthcare, transport and hence is a key element in India’s soaring economy. Owing to the comparative advantage in terms of manufacturing costs, technology and innovation; India has gained the interest of many foreign players and won accreditations from other nations.

India, because of its focus on education, is a formidable competition to any nation. The country has received significant recognition for producing some of the world’s best talent, particularly in the engineering sector. Indigenous coding from top engineering talent has led to the next generation technology innovation such as IoT - connected cars, smart solutions, smartphones, utility applications which are catalytic to a better standard of living. To further improve the quality of technical education in the engineering sector, the government allocated a sum of Rs 500 crore (US$ 79.92 million) for setting up five more IITs in the states of Jammu, Chattisgarh, Goa, Andhra Pradesh and Kerala as per The Union Budget 2014-15.

Engineering is catalytic

Unprecedented growth in high-end technology segment, increased research & development spend, is a testament to India’s economic growth. Engineering is the pivotal source driving these advancements. Industry leapfrogs such as the emergence of start-ups - the growth of the software products are signaling transformation in India and across the globe. The surge in online active users, adapting to e-commerce offerings have paved way for capitalization, enabling these startups to build global digital solutions. Indian start-ups, backed by finest engineering solutions and capital venture funding, today are well positioned to address the entire Asian market and expand to other markets. This demonstrates how educational institutions are providing crucial support for the development of the ecosystem. Additionally, how citizen organizations are pushing to ensure that economic growth is accompanied by improvements in human development.

Having realized the immense potential of this segment, the Indian government has taken measures, not only to capitalize but nurture the discipline for the progress of the nation. A most classic example is Mr. Narendra Modi government's 100 smart cities project with which India is poised to become an established platform for business advancement. The 100 smart cities mission intends to promote adoption of smart solutions for efficient use of available assets, resources, and infrastructure with the objective of enhancing the quality of urban life and providing a clean and sustainable environment. Similarly, government’s `Make in India' campaign has got the attention of several infrastructures and engineering multinationals including GE and ThyssenKrupp, which are considering investing in the country.

Engineering as a discipline is indispensable to India’s economic growth and human development. Today we are exposed to smart engineering solutions like Internet of Things, which is designed to benefit mankind and the nation by generating employment and new business opportunities. IoT is an engineer’s dream as it has every discipline of electronics, sensor technologies, networking, processing, cloud computing and data analytics involved. Such technological advancements require a specific skill set, and engineering needs the kind of talent that will drive future innovations. According to industry reports, by 2020, more than 50 billion devices will be digitally connected, representing $19 trillion in a business opportunity. Sensors connected to wired or wireless networks will bring intelligence to everyday objects. This connectivity boom, will streamline our communications with electronic devices, changing our daily lives, including the way we drive our car, use and save energy, manage healthcare, live, play, and work. It will make people’s lives easier, healthier, and safer. Smart homes, connected cars, and wearable electronics are just some early examples of IoT.

Road ahead

With emerging businesses and high tech engineering solutions, it is evident that engineering sector in India is a growing market. With the development in associated sectors such as automotive, industrial goods and infrastructure, coupled with a well-developed technical human resources pool, engineering exports are further expected to increase. With Big Data, Cloud, M2M and Internet of Things becoming a reality, we will see a surge in new services. A significant amount of funding and investment in R&D will generate revenue from these services and new geographies contributing to India’s economic development.

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