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India, though one of the developing countries in the world in the sphere of education with its 66 percent literacy, has enormous specialist manpower in every possible area, and outstrips many developed countries in terms of scientists, technologists, software specialists, management experts, and so on. Facilities available for education in all specialization are also of no mean measure. There are six Indian Institutes of Technology and six Indian Institutes of Management which rank among the top most in Asia. There are also 17 Regional Engineering Colleges.

Engineering Education in India

Technical education in India contributes a major share to the overall education system and plays a vital role in the social and economic development of our nation. In its very broadest sense, the discipline of engineering is concerned with that body of theory and practice that is relevant to the design and construction of real-world artifacts arising from human endeavor. Engineering education is not only teaching in basic science, but also relies on training some personal and technical skills, modifying the student’s way of thinking in a more logical way to achieve creativity at the end.

India has the potential to be a global technology leader. The Indian economy has been growing at the rate of 8 to 9% per year. The Indian industry has also become globally competitive in several sectors and can increase its global market share. A critical factor in this will be the success of the technical education system in India. With economic growth and the spread of technology, the demand for engineering has increased manifold. This has been matched by an increase in enrolments in engineering as well as rise in number of engineering institutions in India. The number of engineering colleges in India increased from 158 in 1980 to 3575 in 2009. Most of them produce quality engineers capable of working in world environment.

Engineering Colleges in India (other than IITs, NITs and IISc)

The engineering colleges in India can be classified as

a. Affiliated Colleges

b. Autonomous Colleges

c. Deemed Universities

In the case of affiliated colleges, the institution is affiliated to a university, which is the degree granting body. The college has no flexibility or powers related to curriculum or evaluation. The academic powers rest with the university. In the case of autonomous colleges, the institutions have academic flexibility viz they can make curriculum changes and conduct examinations and evaluation. However, they are nationally under the university and have relatively less financial autonomy. Institutions that have acquired deemed university status have maximum academic and financial autonomy. In India, most of the colleges are affiliated.

In India, apart from IITs, NITs and IISc there are several other state government run engineering colleges that have an established reputation. These colleges are affiliated with different universities. Besides, there are a huge number of private unaided engineering colleges in India and about seventy five percent engineering graduates are taught in the private engineering colleges. At present more than 3500 engineering colleges are running various disciplines of engineering with modern equipped facilities and curriculum.

The AICTE has distributed all engineering institutions in seven regions of India, among those Southern region is having highest 974 college, South West region is having Karnataka 485 (among these 195 are Private Un-aided Colleges) and Kerala 117 colleges.

History of Technical Education in Karnataka

Imparting of technical education as a part of curriculum made its beginning only in the latter half of the 19th century, when the first institute, the School of engineering was established in Bangalore in 1862. The school had two classes and was intended to train men for employment in subordinate engineering services. This was affiliated to Madras University. However, the school had a short tenure, for in 1880 the idea of training men for university examination was abandoned and the instruction in the school was confined to the requirements of the subordinate services as it was in the earliest stage of the engineering school. Even the school of Engineering, Bangalore the only institution in old Mysore for several years. Thereafter, Public Works Department School was established by Rao Bahdur Arcot Narayanaswamy Mudaliar in Civil and Military station in 1873.

As a first step, industrial school was established at Hassan in 1889 and a similar school at Mysore in 1892. There were 14 industrial schools in old Mysore at the time of integration. Some of them were converted into industrial training institutes and some others closed. Sri Krishnarajendra Silver Jubilee Technological Institute was founded to commemorate the silver jubilee of the reign of Krishnarajendra Wodeyar in 1938 with Textile technology as the subject of study. Presently this is offering graduate and post- graduate courses in Textile technology.

The Sri Jayachamarajendra Occupational Institute (presently Sri Jayachamarajendra Polytechnic) was started in 1943, with a view to training youths required, by utilizing the munificent donation of Rs 2.00 Lakhs by Sir M Visvesvaraya. Before 1922, the Jaya Chamarajendra Technical Institute, Mysore had a civil engineering section imparting instructions in Civil and Mechanical engineering. The Engineering School, Bangalore was imparting instruction in Electrical and Mechanical engineering.

The expansion of industry during the war as well as in the post-war period created a greatly increased demand for technicians of grades, which was met by expanding the existing technical institutions. By 1955-56, the number of industrial and vocational schools rose to 15. The number of courses in Jayachamarajendra Occupational Institute also increased. Vocational Institutes were started at Hassan (1948), Davanagere (1949), Chinthamani (1950), Bhadravati (1950). In 1954, CPC Polytechnic at Mysore was started. By 1955-56, there were 9 institutions in the then Mysore state (Karnataka Gazetteer, 1986).

In 1917, the Mysore Government started an engineering college at Bangalore. For a long time till 1946 this was the only college for the whole state. After 1946 three more colleges were started, one of which was by Government and the two where by private societies. And at the time of unification, there were four engineering colleges in Mysore region and one college at Hubli in the Bombay Karnataka region. They were the College of Engineering, Bangalore (Government), the B M S College of Engineering, Bangalore (Private), the National Institute of Engineering, Mysore (Private), B V B College of Engineering, Hubli (Private) and B D T College of Engineering, Davanagere (Government). The total student strength of five institutes during 1956-57 was 2,924 which included only 2 girls. Between 1956-57 and 1968-69, 10 Private engineering and one Government college i.e., Karnataka Regional Engineering College (KREC), Suratkal were established. Now it is renamed as National Institute of Technology, Karnataka. During 1960-1970 six more engineering colleges were added. Further, 21 engineering colleges were established during 1980-1990 to meet the demands in different parts of the state. This growth continued during 1990-2000 and the Karnataka state saw the birth of 24 engineering institutions during this decade. The demand for more colleges continued resulting in the establishment of 31 additional colleges during 2001-2004 bringing the total number of engineering colleges to 115 and one deemed to be University i.e., National Institute of Technology, Surathkal, Karnataka.

As a tribute to the great visionary Sir M.Visvesvaraya, the Government of Karnataka has established Visvesvaraya Technological University (VTU) at Belgaum as per the VTU act 1994, in order to affiliate and manage these engineering colleges.

The total intake of students for graduate courses in engineering education is 46000 in Karnataka. There are 27 engineering courses available for graduation study (CET Brochure 2010). Due to advancement in technology the total strength in engineering colleges is increased to satisfy the present need. For admission to Post Graduate courses Viz, MCA, MBA M.E and M.Tech in various universities and college, Government of Karnataka has made arrangement to conduct entrance exam PGCET through Visvesvaraya Technological University, Belgaum. About 7500 students are studying in post graduates courses.