India is looking at a change of trend as far as the engineering discipline is concerned. The traditional practice of more students opting for computer engineering is slowly fading out and is being replaced by mechanical engineering.
An analysis of the data available with the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE), the government body responsible for technical education in the country, shows that the number of enrolments in Computer Science as a subject has been on a constant decline since the year 2012. The data also shows that enrolment for Mechanical is going upward. In the last four years, enrolment in Mechanical has been the highest in the academic year 2013-14 at 534199. The same year number of students enrolled in Computer science was 323697, and the number has shown a decline in the consecutive years.
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Several student intakes in these two disciplines have also shown a variation with the increase in several enrolments. The number of mechanical courses in various colleges across the country increased by two lakh from 2012-13 to 2015-16.
Officials in the government attribute it to the global trends of reducing demand for computer science engineering graduates.
“The IT industry was booming sometime back, and more and more students were pursuing computer science, but now the industry is saturated. There is more supply than demand for IT professionals in the industry, which is the reason that students are moving towards other fields of engineering,” said a senior HRD Ministry official associated with technical education.
“Also, one does not need to study computer science engineering to pursue IT. Everyone is studying computers. If 100 people develop software, only three people must maintain it, which reduces the demand for workforce. On the contrary, Mechanical is a field where one needs subject expertise to be able to work in the field,” he added.
In terms of placement also, Mechanical has shown an increase in numbers over the last four years. In 2015-16, 139162 students were placed compared to around 95000 in 2012-13.
The least popular choices among students are Chemical and Textile engineering, even as engineering as a subject continues to be the top choice for students among professional courses like Management and Pharmacy.