Engineering is one of the most famous and rewarding courses all over the world. It is one of the most sought after professional courses in India and abroad. Look around yourself and see how engineering innovations and technology covers every aspect of your life. All the machines around you or the everyday use appliances that make your life so easy all are the innovations of engineering. The world of engineering has been dynamic always and still continues to evolve. The dictionary defines engineering as the activity of applying scientific knowledge to the design of machines, bridges, roads, appliances of communication or electrical etc. In today’s fast rising world engineering technology holds a very important place in consideration of the growth chart of countries. We Indians too are leaving no stone unturned to come up to the global levels of development in all disciplines.

The Evolution that set rolling

The word engineer was coined in the 11th century. The word has its derivation from the Latin word ‘ingeniator’ that means the ingenious one. The word was used for people who made ingenious devices. Though there is no information about the first engineer or the first engineering invention that was made because it is such a vast field that one can think of engineers dating back to the ancient times when the simplest yet fundamental inventions like the pulley, wheel and lever were made. Previously engineers used to be a part of the military services only but later as the world progressed they were the ones who designed the civilian structures like roads and bridges. The earliest examples of civil engineering can be found in the hill forts of Europe believed to be constructed during the late Iron Age.

Leonardo da Vinci was valued as an engineer of the renaissance period who had a variety of inventions to his name. These included hydraulic pumps, steam canon, musical instrument etc. Now engineering has diversified into a number of branches. There are a whole lot of choices available to students who want to opt for a career in engineering. The latest that have been added are Biotechnology, Nanotechnology and Aeronautical engineering. These new branches are offered by only a few institutions in India. One of the oldest colleges of engineering in India was set up in 1847 as the Civil Engineering School in Roorkee.

The various disciplines

  1. Civil Engineering: This branch of engineering is one of the oldest. It is related to the construction by planning, analysis, design, construction and maintenance of a variety of civil structures. The civil structures include roads, highways, damns, canals, water treatment, bridges or tunnels etc.
  2. Electrical Engineering: This is one of the most sought after discipline of engineering. It is related to the research, development and operation of electrical appliances or machinery. The subjects in the course include Electricity Technology, Machines, Circuit, Electronics, Control Systems and Power Engineering. It is interconnected with other branches like computers as these utilize electric power and appliances that are generated by electric engineers.
  3. Mechanical Engineering: This branch of technology covers design, manufacture, installation and functioning of engines, machines, robotics, automobiles etc. This field finds vast applications as it deals with designing and developing of machines of almost all sizes ranging from a bicycle to a jet. A mechanical engineer has love for machines and tools.
  4. Computer Engineering: It deals with design and construction of computers and the computer programs required for functioning of various software and machines. With the wide use of computers in the modern era a computer engineer is sure to have a plenty of options to work on. Computer finds application in all fields be it management, steel plants, electrical industry, services and data management industries and so on.
  5. Chemical Engineering: It is the study of chemical processes principles, fluid and particle mechanics, thermodynamics, process dynamics and control. It uses science to convert raw materials that is chemicals into various forms that are of benefit to humans like drugs, cosmetics, fertilizers etc. Chemical engineers have wide options to choose from as they find place in various public or private sectors in the design, development, production and control of chemical processing plants. Food and agro industries also have a huge demand of chemical engineers.
  6. Architecture: It produces architects, those who design buildings or cities. Designing of world class buildings is gaining much popularity like never before. The metropolitan cities have innumerable buildings of class infrastructure and design. An architect also has to ensure the safety of the general public and the company employees or the users of the building.
  7. Automobile Engineering: It can be considered as a branch of mechanical engineering as it comprises of designing, manufacturing and maintenance of automobiles. While mechanical Engineering is a wider discipline automobile engineering is a part of it that focuses on automobiles. It has become one of the most trusted career options as the automobile industry has seen a tremendous growth in the recent decades and is expected to grow continuously.
  8. Information Technology: IT is related to computer science. It deals with the design, development and management of computer based information systems. IT professionals get career opportunities in database management in companies, computer hardware and software implementation, telecommunications, multimedia, web designing, gaming and almost every industry type.
  9. Agricultural Engineering: One of the fastest growing opportunities is offered by this branch as the population is continuously growing so is the demand for more and more production of quality and quantity food. An agriculture engineer has to study crop production technology, soil science, farm implements and machinery, irrigation systems. They have to plan, supervise, manage irrigation, and analyze environmental factors to produce best quality grain.
  10. Food Technology: This is a relatively new discipline which deals with the quality of food materials, production, improvement and downstream processing. As food industries being global career options are numerous in the field.
  11. Biotechnology: It is one of the recent additions to the engineering education. One of the most powerful tools that can be used for the best benefits of mankind. It utilizes living systems or their modifications for the benefit of humans. It finds its application in a variety of fields like medicine, agriculture, food and industry of various types. It covers varied subjects like microbiology, immunology, animal biotechnology, botany, cell biology, ecology, biochemistry, bioprocess technology and genetics.
  12. Mining: It comprises of planning, designing, construction, operation and maintenance of mines. It also includes their safety and excavation.
  13. Production Engineering: This field of engineering caters to the modern manufacturing units and enterprises. The subjects taught under this discipline are engineering materials, machine science, wielding, forming, tool design, process engineering and tooling.
  14. Textile Engineering: It is mainly all about textile fibers, their transformation into yarns and fabrics. Textile engineers are in great demand due to the ever-growing and ever-changing fashion industry and the increased rate of purchasing of Indians. It includes three different departments that are Textile Chemistry, Textile Technology and Textile Engineering.
  15. Aeronautical Engineering: This popular discipline offers diploma, degree and as well as certificate courses. The subjects included are aviation, air traffic control, aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul of aircraft, aircraft production, design and development etc. This course offers a lot of career options in research, development and design in reputed organizations in India like Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO), Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) and Hindustan Aeronautical Limited.
  16. Nanotechnology: Nanotechnology is one of the most recent branches of engineering. In India there are approximately around 15 colleges that offer programs in Nanotechnology. It is still a developing field. The main divisions of the course include Nonmaterial, Nanoelectronics and Nanobiotechnology. With a lot of research going on in the areas like nano-medicines, nano-probes and non invasive surgery this booming field can be promising in the years to come.
  17. Electronics and Electrical: It is all about electrical power engineering and electronics. Power engineering includes generation, distribution and use of electric power. While electronics is about the applications of electronics in the processing in areas like communication and control systems, computers, industry instrumentation. It offers a wide scope in industries both public and private.

Some of the top most engineering institutes in India are-

  • The Indian Institute of technology, Kharagpur, West Bengal
  • The Indian Institute of technology, Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh
  • The Indian Institute of technology, Chennai, Tamil Nadu
  • The Indian Institute of technology, Roorkee, Uttrakhand
  • The Delhi Technological University
  • Birla institute of Technology, Mesra
  • PEC University of Technology, Punjab
  • National Institutes of technology (NITs)
  • Vellore Institute of Technology (VIT)

The criteria for admission may vary from institute to institute. The toughest exam is the one for admission to the topmost IITs, NIITs and IIITs that has been revised recently and changes announced by the Minister of Human Resource Development and IT, Mr. Kapil Sibal. Unlike earlier now a due weightage will be given to the performance of students in their Class 12th Board examinations. The exam will be held in two main parts, JEE MAIN and JEE ADVANCED. After much discussion and some disagreements the new system of entrance examination was adopted and will be implemented from the year 2013 onwards.

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