Engineering and Technical education in India have been developing faster than anywhere else in the world since the early eighties, due to rapid industrialization and economic growth. Indian now has the second largest number of engineering students in the world. English is the only medium if instructions in all engineering institutions. In a recent assessment by the United Nations, the Indian economy was rated as the sixth largest in the world and is expected to move into the fourth place by the end of this century Recent advances in scientific, industrial and technological areas, particularly in space, nuclear and missile technology, computer engineering and information science have earned India world recognition as an emerging global power.
The word "engineering" derived from the Latin word "ingeniare" means "to design" or "to create". Engineering can be defined as "the branch of science and technology concerned with the design, building, and use of engines, machines and structures" and "technology" as the "application of scientific knowledge for practical purpose, especially in industry". Engineering education in India has a long tradition, the beginning of which goes back to the year 1847. In that year was established the Thomason College of Civil Engineering at Roorkee, later to become the Roorkee University (1949), the first engineering university in the country. The development of technical education has been one of the major achievements of the post-Independence period. The creation of the All-India Council of Technical Education in 1945, and the Report of the Scientific Manpower Committee (1947) has a far reaching influence in this development.
The growth of educational facilities has been phenomenal during the last decade. The outturn of graduates in engineering doubled within a span of 10 years from about 30,000 in 1987 to 60,000 in 1996. During the same period, the outturn of polytechnic diploma holders increased from 56,560 to 95,283. In view of the large-scale proliferation of institutions, the AICTE is keen to ensure that the quality of programmes offered by them is not compromised with. It has, therefore, setup the National Board of Accreditation (NBA) which has introduced a system of accreditation of each program offered by the recognized institutions.
Civil engineering is considered to be the oldest of the main branches of engineering. Two other comparatively older branches are Mechanical and Electrical Engineering. As a result of scientific and technology breakthroughs, today new fields of engineering and technology are continually emerging. At the same time, boundaries between various branches are becoming less and less clear-cut.
Levels of Engineering Education.
Engineering and technical education is available at five levels. At the lowest level is the training in different traded offered by a large number of Industrial Training Institutes (it is) across the country. The duration and eligibility requirements vary depends upon the nature of the trade. At the next higher level are the three year diploma courses in different branches of engineering and technology available in polytechnics. The eligibility requirements for admission to diploma course is a pass in class 10 examination. In some states polytechnic offered post 10+2 diploma and post diploma course also. The first degree programmes leading to B E / B.tech degree are four year duration except Architecture (B.Arch) which needs five years to complete. The eligibility requirements for B.E (B.Tech) and B.Arch course is a pass in 10+2 examination in the science stream with mathematics as one of the combinations. The post graduate programmes leading to award of M.E/M.Tech and M.Arch degree are of 18 months duration (Three semesters). Candidates are required to take up a specialized topic in the branch of their study at the first degree level.
IIT Mumbai, IIT New Delhi and IIT Chennai offer integrated M.Tech courses of five year duration. IIT Chennai, IIT New Delhi and IIT Mumbai also offer duel degree programmes of 5 year duration in several branches. A small number of universities offer B.Tech course of three year duration mostly in branches of technology open only to B.Sc degree holders. In many universities, polytechnic diploma holders are permitted lateral entry to the second year of regular B.E / B.Tech programmes through separate entrance tests e.g Lateral Entry Engineering Test (LEET). There is also provision for Certificate holders to enter the Diploma programmes and the Diploma holders to Degree programmes. Admission to B.tech degree course, however, is made on the basis of an All India Entrance Test.