An engineer is an individual, a citizen and a professional: all at the same time. Education in general and engineering education in particular should prepare a student so that s/he can flourish in all these roles. This ideal is difficult to achieve. Particularly, two difficulties are becoming dominant and need attention so that remedial measures can be taken.
1). The first difficulty is global and emanates from “acceptance by engineers of inappropriate constraints placed upon their profession by the discourses of commerce and science, which have been permitted to define and delimit what engineering is and can be. The result has been a serious limitation in engineers’ capacity to examine the social meanings and effects of their work and to self-consciously reflect upon their practice and professional identity.” (Ref 1)
2). The second difficulty is particular to India. This concerns the post-liberalization craze for engineering education. This has resulted in loss of respect for school education. Thus the character building parts of education and ability to engage in reasoned discourse have been compromised. As a result, the students (and faculty) in engineering educational institutes are not succeeding in rising to their full potential.
All educational institutes are aware and conscious of these imbalances and are grappling with this situation in their own way. We are particularly interested in the attempts at i) IIT Gandhinagar, ii) IIT(BHU) Varanasi, and iii) IIT Bombay in this direction. Some scholars from these institutes would present the special feature of the educational approach being pursued in their institutes. This would culminate in an open-forum panel discussion to discuss the contours of short term and long term remedial measures that are required in India.