Years ago while working for the HM projects at Pithampur near Indore and Vadodara, I had to work with Mukherji. Mukherji was a graduate from IIT, Kharagpur. He had done his MBA in finance and was working with IFC-Washington. He confessed that he has forgotten everything of engineering. The other day I got amazed when Anand told me how his senior of REC, Kurukshetra and Arizona State University went to MBA. I had already known Sanjay who graduated from IIT, Kharagpur in Chemical engineering and is now working in US with an MNC entertainment company after his MBA in finance.
Most of the IITians rather engineering graduates from all types of colleges in India are hankering to get MBA with specialization in finance, as it offers the best money. As the jobs in financial institutions and enterprises offer the best packages, it attracts the best brains too.
As such following the American management practices, the top few in any enterprise try to grab the most of the advantages out of the outstanding performance of a company. Remunerations of the CEOs are better than the Kings and head of the states of the countries. And among them, the CEOs of the financial institutions are the best paid. Naturally these CEOs have nothing else to do but to innovate ways and means, right or wrong ways to make money for the company even at the cost of the people at large or the country’s interest in which they operate.
The recent US financial catastrophe is the burning example of the end results of the innovations of the so-called CEOs and experts in finance. Even out of the bailout packages from the taxpayer’s money, instead of working overtime to correct the messy situation, these executives try to entertain themselves in Spa to get a break from their routine and monotonous work. And that is the reason that both the presidential candidates have come out so heavily against these executives and their pay packages.
It is unfortunate that IITs have not included an aptitude test in JEE. Is the qualification of engineering just a graduation degree? Is the expenditure on educating and training the engineers intensively and extensively justified, if they join financial services in hordes?
Founders of IITs never intended that. Engineers must basically be working in engineering and technology sector. Engineers must help in making country produce the best and globally competitive products. They must excel in designing products and processes that could claim world recognition. Even the corporates, the society, and the government must create climate and provide remuneration incentive to use these best creative brains in areas of engineering and technologies instead of using them to devise lucrative financial products complex enough for the majority of the people to understand before getting into the traps. Are these schools of management, and financial companies not involved in a social sin by attracting the graduate engineers in their folds? Who were the brains behind the design of the fast and loose mortgage product that has caused the mess that has now blown into a perilous global crisis of confidence? Is the Americn financial catastrophe not the result of such products? Why should the engineers become part of this machination? Is it not simple greed, greed, and greed? Why is this lust to join unscrupulous gangs in banks, financial institutions and companies?
IITs are gradually getting into the business of breeding the entrepreneurs through incubators and other programmes. It will enhance the entrepreneurship among the fresh engineers. I only wish some industries group together to create fund for entrepreneurship in manufacturing too. The entrepreneurial endeavours in design and engineering services will be just like IT and can easily find investment. Industries are still hesitant to get into collaborating with IITs for technology related innovations or problem solutions in big way. Industries must come out with specific areas with business prospects, where they require assistance from institutes and its graduates and organize exhibitions. NGOs and other bodies can provide a list of requirements in the market. Engineers must take the opportunity available today to manufacture and market for the billions of middle class consumers globally instead of only robots and gliders. Salary packages in manufacturing too are improving fast. Engineers need not join the unscrupulous gangs.
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Former U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker articulated one such observation during a recent chat he had with PBS’s Charlie Rose. “It seems to me what our nation needs is more civil engineers and electrical engineers and fewer financial engineers,” Volcker said.