The Grey Chronicles


Engineering Education in India, Part II

This is a continuation of yesterday’s post in reply to a comment regarding The Mis-education of Filipino Engineers. This second installment particularly discusses engineering education in India, specifically student admission to engineering education. Culled from Internet research, this attempts to understand the intricacies of becoming an engineer in India.

Engineering in India

The bachelor of Engineering (BE) or bachelor of Technology (B Tech) is a four-year course. Engineering degrees granted are in the fields of Aeronautical and Aerospace; Agriculture, Computer, Electronic and Electrical, Industrial, Marine and Mining, among others.

The Institutes of Technology Act in (1961) declared the Indian Institute of Technology (Bombay) [later known as Mumbai], the college of Engineering and Technology (Delhi); the Indian Institute of Technology (Kanpur) and the Indian Institute of Technology (Madras) as institutions of national importance. According to various sites, the best engineering colleges in India at present are: the College of Engineering, based in Delhi; the Indian Institutes of Technology in Delhi, Kanpur, Kharagpur, Mumbai, Chennai and Roorkee; the Institute of Technology, BHU; National Institutes of Technology [NIT] in Karnataka, Surathkal and Warangal.

Vrat (2006) clarifies:

“As of 2006 some 1,200 engineering colleges awarded degrees in India and approximately 380,000 students were admitted in them. . . The IITs enroll about 4,000 students annually and the alumni have contributed to both the growth of the private sector and the public sectors of India. . . IIT graduates of India have also contributed significantly to the global software industry, with an estimated 30,000 graduates employed in the United States.”

The All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) was set up in 1945 as an advisory body and later on in 1987 given statutory status by an Act of Parliament. The Act envisioned “the proper planning and coordinated development of the technical education system throughout the country; the promotion of qualitative improvements of such education in relation to planned quantitative growth and the regulation and proper maintenance of norms and standards in the technical education system.”

The technical institutions under the AICTE include post-graduate, under-graduate and diploma in the whole spectrum of technical education covering engineering/technology, pharmacy, architecture, hotel management and catering technology, management studies computer applications and applied arts and crafts (MHRD, 2008). By the end of August 2007, some 3,032 engineering institutions awarded degrees and diplomas and approximately 100,700 students were admitted to engineering degree and diploma programs. On 12 December 2003, there were only 169 institutions offering 759 accredited engineering programmes compared to 512 institutions offering 2,005 accredited engineering programmes as of 11 January 2008—a 36% increase in accredited programs.

Becoming an Engineering Student in India

The Programme of Action [PoA] in 1992 under the National Policy on Education [NPE] of 1986 mandated the conduct of a common entrance examinations for admission to professional and technical programmes in the country. For admission to undergraduate Engineering and Architecture/Planning programmes, the Indian government laid down on 18 October 2001 a Three – Exam Schemes. The Indian Institute of Technology-Joint Entrance Examinations [IIT-JEE] and All India Engineering Entrance Examination [AIEEE] for the National Level and the State Level Engineering Entrance Examinations (SLEEE) for State Level Institutions. For post-graduate programmes, admission is through Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering [GATE]

Starting 2000, the IIT-JEE was conducted in two phases. Only those who qualify in the first phase, called the Screening Test, were allowed to take the subsequent Main Examination of the 10+2 system (or equivalent) with Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics.

The 3-hour Screening Test consists of objective-type (four multiple choices) questions on Mathematics, Physics and Chemistry with equal weights. In the Main Examinations, usually held in the first week of May, there are conventional questions in separate papers for Mathematics, Physics and Chemistry, each of 100 marks and 2 hours duration. Candidates can opt for question papers in English or Hindi and can answer the Main Examination in other Indian languages. The choice of language made in the application form cannot be changed at a later stage of the examination.


Similar paths are taken by both Indian and Filipino engineering students. The only difference between the two is the duration of the preparatory education for undergraduate courses. In India, it is 10+2 (6 years primary, plus 4 years secondary and 2 years higher secondary). In the Philippines, considered in ASEAN as the shortest: its 6+4 (6 years primary plus 4 years secondary). See also a previous post.


Ministry of Human Resource Development [MHRD](2008). 2007-2008 Annual Report New Delhi: Ministry of Human Resource Development, 2008. pp. 170-172 back to text

Vrat, Prem (2006). Indian Institutes of Technology, Encyclopedia of India, Vol. 2 Stanley Wolpert [ed]. Washington, D.C.: Thomson Gale, 2006. pp. 230-231 back to text

Disclaimer: The posts on this site does not necessarily represent any organization’s positions, strategies or opinions; and unless otherwise expressly stated, are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 Philippines License.


Leave a Comment »

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

Create a free website or blog at

%d bloggers like this: