By Er. Mohammad Ashraf Fazili
Engineering is involved from making of a needle to the modern spaceship and other ongoing research in diverse fields.
Many wonders have been created since the dawn of history and the process continues with the development of knowledge.
World-Class Engineers are:
Solidly grounded in fundamentals of their discipline and are committed to lifelong learning.
Conversant in multiple technical disciplines. They design solutions that span business functions such as finance, marketing, legal, and manufacturing.
Understand the worldwide nature of their profession and are sensitive to the speed required to keep pace in geographically and culturally diverse environments.
Uphold the highest ethical standards. They readily identify, and carefully address, ethical issues that arise in their professional lives.
Develop precise definitions of complex problems and formulate sustainable solutions by thinking creatively across the technical, business, social, and environmental dimensions.
Seek optimal outcomes through collaboration and honor the intellectual property rights of all partners. They work effectively within co-located and geographically dispersed teams.
Visionary Leaders Are courageous, customer-oriented leaders who develop visions that deliver successful results.
Thus Engineers are key figures in the material progress of the world. A world-class engineer, regardless of the job he is engaged in, is always considered an asset to the nation and the society; as it is he who makes a reality of the potential value of science by translating scientific knowledge into tools, resources, energy, and labour to bring science into the service of the country.
It is a challenge to conclude about the class to which the engineers of India belong. In the diversified, heterogeneous nature of development in our country, the engineers have to work starting from the construction of rural roads to the manufacturing of spaceships to Mars.
Both are equally important for accelerating the development of the country. There is no scope to undermine the contemporary skill and knowledge of the engineers of our country. It is a matter of pride that Indian engineers, whether working in the country or outside, are a force to reckon with globally.
There is a gap of development in the developed, developing and underdeveloped countries. However, the lessons learned from the experiences in the developed countries can be utilized in the development of the developing and the underdeveloped countries. It was recently in the media that vertical expansion of the cities have not found favor in developed countries, and it was suggested to go in for the smart cities, which may also be suitable for the future development of Srinagar city Master Plan.
I have personally witnessed the excellent contribution of world-class consultants and engineers besides the Indian engineers in the development of the modern cities in UAE and had an opportunity to attend the Infrastructure Arabia Summit conference alongside World eco-consult, 22-25 April 2012 Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC), extracts of which have been published by me in my book “Environment in Jammu & Kashmir” under the heading: “Building a sustainable framework for the Middle East compared to J&K State”.
Besides, American visitors expressed their opinion that the newly developed twin cities of Dubai and Abu Dhabi are far superior to the age-old developed American cities. One finds a marked difference between the huge steel sections of Indira Gandhi International airport and the aesthetically designed sections of Dubai airport.
Similarly, we find every road curve, footpath, signaling system, electric installations, etc. strictly according to the prescribed engineering standards as against our constructions in J&K State, violating all norms without any consultancy or quality control. However, the knowledge, skill, and wisdom of Indian engineers are no less than that of their counterparts from other so-called “advanced” countries.
Due to the socio-politico-economic structure of our country, engineering is still very much labor-intensive. Unlike in other parts of the developed world, Indian engineers are quite capable of blending the modern mechanized systems with prevailing traditional human-oriented activities.
As rightly said, it does not mean that the pursuit of self-enrichment by Indian engineers will not be perceived. India requires large numbers of qualified and competent engineers to address the numerous challenges faced in the developmental journey.
To produce large numbers of competent engineering and technical personnel to take on the global challenges, India will need to complete the following activities to transform the curriculum for training and skill upgradation:
i) Generate awareness about the global nature of the profession, in-tune with growing challenges and opportunities – In this connection as seeing is believing, exposure of engineers to the problems could be achieved by arranging their tours to the developed and the developing countries.
ii) Develop a comprehensive understanding of the respective engineering discipline to tackle complex, real-world problems.–One need to keep abreast with the current challenges of engineering issues through modern information technology and enrolling as members of the national and international societies of engineers.
iii) Accept challenges and solve them with wisdom and shared knowledge — Our engineers are equally competent to take challenges and find their solutions if given the opportunity.
iv) Acquire knowledge and expertise through lifelong education and continuous learning – In the present age of developed information technology, this has become easier than before. Besides participation in seminars helps exchange of thoughts and knowledge.
v) Build familiarity in other engineering and scientific disciplines so that interdisciplinary solution approaches can be evolved.—Holding of interdisciplinary seminars, participation, interaction and exchange of thoughts can be of great help in this direction.
vi) Pursue opportunities to apply skills in both traditional and non-traditional fields to address societal challenges — Our engineers are quite competent to undertake this task provided given the opportunity.
vii) Communicate and interact with other highly recognized international leaders in engineering, (again present facilities are far better for this job) and
viii) Establish themselves as personalities with ethical and noble values—This is the most important aspect for which moral education right from the school days needs to be stressed. In earlier days, there used to be taught to children the stories with moral endings like Shaikh Sadi’s Karima Nami Haq, Gulistan, Bostan, Moulana Rumi’s Masnavi and also Ikhlaq-i-Mohsini, etc. that would remain inscribed in the child’s mind all along with his life and would help to build his character. This aspect has been ignored in the modern education system and that is why we are confronted nowadays with moral degradation around us.
It is rightly said that achieving excellence is a journey that needs considerable effort. It requires a transition from a reactive, compliance-based approach to a proactive, contributory and value-add mindset to create an environment of sustained operational progress. Over the long-term, it is hoped that the world-class engineers will create a set of approaches and best practices that will improve tomorrow’s world, create long-term value, and institutionalize business sustainability.
It is engineers who have contributed their bit in the creation of world wonders in the past and the process is on with achievement of new discoveries in different branches of science and technology. Right from the making of a needle to the creation of spaceship engineering is involved at every step. It is only when blood and sweat are put together that wonder comes into being.