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Losing Faith In Indian Engineering & India As Well.

By on Jun 11, 2010 | 23 comments

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Sometimes, the beliefs one has, are challenged. I’m going through the same phase. Every day, I keep on losing my faith in Indian Engineering. There’s a solid reason why India could not make any significant progress in technology and engineering despite so many years of Independence – We Indians have lower IQ. No, don’t blame the politicians. They are intelligent people who know how to do their job well. But the Indian engineering fraternity in which I had all my faith for so long (my reasoning: Indians who go abroad do wonderful work, then why can’t they do it here in India) is now dilute. I now believe the ones who did great job abroad, were exceptional people who got relevant opportunities.

After four years of being among engineers from over 180 countries; I can now conclude that an average Indian engineering graduate has lower knowledge than a 10 year kid in USA who grows up watching his dad, uncle work in a workshop. I’ve met (online) several kids (aged 14-16) in Europe & USA, Canada who claim 6-7 years experience in JAVA, PHP. When I worked with them I found out that they can easily put a software engineer who worked in JAVA for about 3 years to shame. You might think I’m exaggerating; but trust me, I’m not typing this for the heck of typing. Observation has changed me. I would feel excited to see a 15 year old, getting his/her hands dirty coding PHP or getting that ‘CSS’ thing right than spending hours on Facebook or Orkut. But you know what? Finding such people is next to impossible.

I find it extremely surprising when engineering students ask for ready-made projects, seminar topics; some even go ahead and ask for complete report along with explanation of tough points. I think this behavior is a result of lower IQ that most of the Indian engineers have. Am I insulting Indian Engineering Fraternity? I don’t want to. But the world is already doing that by outsourcing brick-laying work to India who do it for 1/10th of the cost; thinking what they do is ‘awesome’.

I always believed that if I could gather just few talented engineers; I can make huge change. I have solutions to the problems people face in India. I just need few talented engineers (mind you, just few of them) who want to make a change. I’ve been working in one direction with this faith; but I’m always being disappointed.

Give them a 20k INR paycheck and ask them to sweep the floor – they’ll do it. If someone asks, “What do you do for a living?, they’ll proudly say “I work for <big corporate name>”.

The world is already treating us as their slaves and we don’t mind it as long as we are getting paid. We don’t care as long as we’ve enough money to buy a Levi’s.

I’ll watch how things develop over the next one year; else move to America to continue my work. Its not that I suddenly have started hating India. Its just that I realized that we have lower IQ.



23 Comments

  1. durga

    June 12, 2010

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    watch how things develop? This is not you.
    This post must be having that satarical ting as well, which as of now I dont quite get, nevetheless – I think you have inspired atleast lead many to think about staying back/coming back to INDIA – myself being one.
    May be (if you are demotivated) .. nah! doesnot suit you too much!

    • The_Big_K

      June 12, 2010

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      Maybe that's not me. The post is not satirical at all. There are too many examples that tell me Indian engineering as no future. Students are clueless about Industry and Industry doesn't care because it can make profits with the low IQ talent, cheaply available to them. As long as Indian Rupee stays below their currency; all izz well.

      Yesterday, I met couple of enthusiasts who are taking steps to change the scene and I was elated to meet them. It restored my faith a bit; but there's still long way to go.

      All I'm trying to do is gather a few talented engineers and produce something great. That's what world's most successful companies have done.

  2. Amruta

    June 12, 2010

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    hmmm…. so finally a budding entrepreneur leaving India for better opportunity abroad. I really felt sad after reading this. But I don't believe that we Indians have lower IQ. MONEY drives everything and so people (including me) forget to work for their true interest.

  3. The_Big_K

    June 12, 2010

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    We definitely have lower IQ. Why is India not a developed country? If we were intelligent, we'd never have elected corrupt politicians to power. Leave the government.

    Tell me what about the middle class and higher class engineers? They have access to everything – from computers to internet to labs: So why don't we see anything being produced here?

    Look at China. They are technically far ahead of us. They are like a big octopus that's spreading its tentacles in almost every part of the globe. I won't be surprised if theres a war been China and USA. We Indians will be there for exploitation.

    • Elmyra

      June 15, 2010

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      IQ does not have anything to do with corruption. It is more of an awareness issue. Our public is not aware of their rights in this country; thus, they let these politicians do whatever. If the base was built stronger from school days, India will change. By the time a person turns adult, they give up hope of a change and learn to mind their own business.

  4. durga

    June 12, 2010

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    May /May not be lower IQ , I cant comment on it, but definitely lower inspiration to do something new. I always used to wonder -I wonder even now – What are we actually proud of. Whatever we list as "great" deeds, date years ago may be even centuries ago, there is nothing new thing what we developed or invented or discovered. No aggressive research work , its all IT . Every tom dick and harry wants to be in MNC. I have no clue what's so attractive about these jobs. I have been in one since past 4 years – at least for me -i don't belong here, I want to be in R&D but when I look for Phd opportunities in INDIA , nope-nothing significant in telecom.
    IT which was previously sour grapes , is now an mango which grows in your own back yard. Its like – we are just happy with handful few who made it high, rest all are confident they can earn as much as what they want for survival under these hand ful. No ones ready to go out of their comfort zone to venture into something new. There is no motivation, the degree of freedom offered is too less in our education systems to try anything new.
    Consider Engineering course, damn it! you are given three months and 6 subjects and evey alternate week exams and final exams, semi final exams!!! Its like – when you are not given time to understand what you are reading- what is the deal about sitting in exams? Its so simple. If I dont know how a mobile phone works- why the hell am I drawing a sine wave in paper??
    Many things needs to be changed, else we will end up as just few dumb asses sitting in a hi fi chair and typing stuff in excel sheet and nothing more.
    As far as kids abroad know java, they just do it at will – what we lack in our childhood. We are provided with social studies books (I have no clue why I read it till now) and usless outdated info. Simple.

    • Elmyra

      June 15, 2010

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      Even kids abroad study social studies. Courses like US Government, US History, and US Economy is required for all college students regardless of the major.

      • durga

        June 16, 2010

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        looks like the whole point of mentioning social studies is lost here. No I did not mean social studies was taught only in INDIA, I pointed out that we need more relevant topics and practical application needs to be included in today's times. Alright! since the comparison has already begun- let me know how many of INDIAN kids are regular with school projects and extra curricular activities? Kids in other countries are.. They have regular projects where they have to come up with their own ideas, so pseudo models and justify its use. Infact, the school timings are such that the kid is given ample after hours to do things of their own. Where as the trend in INDIA is – long school / college hours better marks! Sucks! it all ends up in marks. Yes, our whole society is based on marks, but how many of these toppers have done anything significant???

        • Elmyra

          June 21, 2010

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          I agree with you completely on this. India's education system (not the content) needs to change. Unfortunately, it is a long way before that change happens.

          The school I attended in India had a library but I don't think we ever entered it to do any sort of research. In US, a lot of class time is allocated to library to do research. First we need to change the mindset of teachers and then the overall change will come.

  5. Elmyra

    June 15, 2010

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    I don't think this has anything to do with the IQ. There are differences only due to the exposure. In India, doesn't matter which school a child attends, it is very unlikely that they had full access to the computers at an early age. The exposure gets hard core once they decide what they want to do. However, in US, the kids have access and exposure to the computers at a very early age. Government schools in US provide one login per student and while they are in their computer class, they have full access.

    That is all changing. Many adults 20-30 yrs of age did not have access to computers 24/7 in their early age. However, lots of these adults have computers with full internet access in their homes and their kids have full access. It is not too long before our kids can compete with kids of US and UK. From my experience, kids in US are dumber than kids in India.

    • The_Big_K

      June 16, 2010

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      Point well noted for the kids who do not have access to computeres. But then what about the middle class society that's capable of providing their children with most of the comforts and computers. Over 10 years have gone by and we haven't had any 'Zukerbergs' here. Kids who get access to computer and internet are mostly on to time killing activities.

      Corruption is an outcome of lower IQ. When we can't make the sense out of the normal things; we have lower IQ. Not voting even once in 5 years, is a sign of low IQ. Accepting/Giving bribe to get things done is a sign of lower IQ.

      Kids in US might be dumber than kids in India; but they know they are. In USA, when one smart kid tells others how to do stuff, others follow without using their brain. But in India, everyone thinks he/she is smart.

      Don't give me that 'but the times are changing' thing. Times didn't change much in last 60 years of Independence. Are we expecting some magic to change everything?

      • Elmyra

        June 16, 2010

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        The voting rate is also lower in developed countries. It is the drive. We Indians don't have the drive to be better as a nation. Everyone is only looking for their own benefit, and that does not have anything to do with lower IQ.

        USA got its independence in 1776. There was lots and lots of corruption initially. It took them 234 years to be where they are at currently. India got its independence in 1947. That's only 62 years and you are already competing with USA. India is way ahead of time. The literacy rate has to go up. The inflation has to come done. Once the literacy rate goes up, corruption will come done. You just can't sum up everything and say the IQ is lower. It is the knowledge, not making "sense out of the normal things." Giving and receiving bribe is sign of desperateness, not lower IQ.

        • The_Big_K

          June 23, 2010

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          JAPAN was at ZERO ..no MINUS 10 when they started. Now leave that 'population' thing aside and compare them with us.

      • Elmyra

        June 16, 2010

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        Talking about middle class: middle class families in India have tons of responsibilities on their heads from providing financially for education to marriage to grand children. In some parts of the India, cars are still luxuries because people have other priorities. Middle class in USA don't have that many responsibilities. Schools are free and provide quality education. In most parts people pay for their own college education and expenses later in life. Once they are married, parents are a different family all together. Summing this up, middle class in India who can provide a computer to their kids have other priorities to deal with, where middle class in USA might not have those same priorities.

  6. Mayur

    June 21, 2010

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    Let me waste my 5 minutes commenting here on this post written by an electrical engineer who now writes code. This discussion is like a television channel. The reporters always point out the atrocities and short comings. But they never offer a solution.

    I can not comment on the IQ of the engineers of the whole country. But I know for sure that we are not dumb. It is the upbringing we have had that prevents us from thinking different. It is good to know what you yearn for India. But we too were students of engineering and have copied stuff many times. Even we had asked for notes and attended tuition classes. It didn't make us bad engineers. And why did we do that? Because the education system demanded that. All teachers wanted was the f***ing software program to run or the Delta connection to work or the column to crack at ideal load. They didn't want us to experiment. They wanted us only to score marks. Education then became a responsibility rather than a liking.

    Most of us have continued the habit, joined software companies for big money despite having interest in Civil, Mechanical, Management and are doing a job equivalent to a janitor. Most of these engineers have a higher IQ. But easy money has crippled them… sad!

  7. Rishabh

    June 23, 2010

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    its really sad to see a person like you speaking like this. You are being an escapist and are running away from the challenge you yourself undertook. You are a inspiration to many and this new attitude of yours will demotivate those who look upto you.

    About the IQ thing, we Indians are not any less. In a crowd there are all sorts of people, so you will find lots of dumb ones but will find intelligent ones too. Your point of US kids being smarter than Indians may be valid according to you because you are seeing them only from your own viewpoint. Engineering is not just about computers. Computers were a western fancy item which until now was not so common in Indian household. You speak of US kids being experts at computer stuff while Indians being noob. That is because of the resources they have. Most Indian kid still does not have a computer at their home atleast untill he or she is into engineering. Even then they do not have a proper internet connection, maybe due to unaffordability or unavailability but that is a very important factor. Internet is the thing that drives growth of knowledge in an individual as it gives the access to world's knowledge at their command. Its unfair to complain about all these things just because we or our country could not afford these things. Is it right to leave our house and parents just because they could afford us a personal car or a fancy mobile phone ?

    Kids abroad are smarter in the knowledge of computers you say, just go to answers.yahoo.com or such similar QnA sites and see for yourself what kind of questions these computer literate people ask over there. And for other fields we are catching up fast or maybe even are smarter than those guys.

    When the whole world is looking up at us, you want to look back at them? Foreign companies come to India and recruit Indians not because they are cheap but because they give value for money.

    Though I do agree that we are just slaves when it comes to the IT industry as we just do their clerical jobs back here in India. Problem is Indians, by default, do not have guts to think and to do big. All other engineering fields are changing in this regard but our IT industry is way too lazy to innovate stuffs out of its hat.

    Indian education system is not good, neither is our democratic system and society. But it needs time to change and it needs people to change that. If people like you say that you want to leave India because we are less intelligent than our American counterparts then you like that kid I mentioned above, wanting to leave the house just 'cos his parent were not able to afford the fancy phone or car that he wanted!

    US got its independence in 18th century and its industrial revolution started since then. China's economic changes started almost 40 years back and now they are reaping benefits. India got its independence only some 60 years back and its economic expansion is just over a decade old. Give it time and situation will improve. Already there are IT and management students abroad who are dying to take internships in Indian companies so as to improve their resume profile. Does India's future look bleak ?

    • The_Big_K

      June 23, 2010

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      @Rishabh: I agree with few of the points you said, but not all.

      I might be looking at US kids from one viewpoint. I never expected poor kids to turn into computer wizards. But what about our middle class? We do have a large number of kids who have laptops and computers at their home. What are they doing with it? Given the population of India and our above average IQ; what's wrong if I expect something innovative from them? Even if you see the companies, startups in the US – most of them are started by techies who came from middle class family.

      I've problem with the middle class kids who are wasting time watching videos.

  8. afzaalace

    June 28, 2010

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    Hey the Big K, you found one person who wants The Big Change, I am one of those. Don't talk to people who are after money and just settle with what is going on. I know its hard to go for the change but luckily I have a family that support me at all ends. I was going to join VIT but dropped engineering itself. I now run a software business at Lucknow and aspire to create a lot of employment opportunities at least for those who want a change and do what interests them and not what forces them.
    My contacts : http://en.gravatar.com/afzaalace

  9. sagar

    July 1, 2010

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    Hey its the Indian education system which needs to change.Look all the Indians in US they made great career in there.This is because of the advantage of developed living condition.In India after high school a student starts to learn all the subjects,mainly physics,chemistry and biology in a new language called English.Most of them doesn't really know how to speak that language.The Americans studying physics not in french or German but their own language.In china all of 'em speaking Chinese but India has 15 authorized language in it.The concept about life,the physical barriers between communities,the sexual racism and most of all the fucking cast system that destroyed India over thousands of years, these all want to change.We need more Paracelsus in our country to make a change.

  10. periasamy

    July 14, 2010

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    People of India not willing to do anything new or they prefer always tightened with their society with minimal wages. They don't fit in physical as well as mentally in their work except some poor family (hungry for money). The following link shows nature of Indian software engineer
    http://www.aboutmyjob.com/449/pays-damn-good-life

  11. Hello-Canada

    February 27, 2012

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    Big K, hello from Canada. I am in my late 20’s and have worked for large EPCM companies in Canada Oil & Gas. I am thinking about doing a year long stint in India but am apprehensive for the same reasons you mentioned in your blog. Maybe we can connect and discuss ideas? my email is kumaranirudh@gmail.com if you are still in India.

  12. Radhakrishna

    July 17, 2014

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    I will give it a twist with a topic Why is India lagging behind? You mentioned low IQ, but that’s not a reason, we need more than the mind or brain. We need exposure, until and unless brain is not exposed to techniques, environment, it does not acquire the capacity to investigate, because, where is the starting point? In USA, computer science is taught in schools, same in europe, that’s why kids there tinker with php,python etc. What about India? My journey with computers began when I was 18 years old, by that time, I had lost steam to learn. Once again why? Preparing for Entrances and Plus two board examination had burned me out and that’s obvious. So Indian Education System is at fault. And only Engineering is not alone sufficient to make a nation super power, other things do matter. What about Arts, well, I don’t reckon bollywood crap as arts, I mean, they are so filthy. Culture? Once again, singing and dancing is not culture, thought proclaimed. Literati? V S Naipaul has rightly said, something is wrong with India.

  13. Radhakrishna

    September 18, 2014

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    Agreed. I had organized an event and two IITians came there. They were material scientist graduates. They told us that skill level of the people in The USA is very high. They build voltage regulators as a part of their semester project, and even sometimes during their holidays. Check the age of the founder of the Tumblr, 19 years. We don’t have those kind of skills to make something, and by making, I mean, stuff which is used by others in day to day life.

    Two years back, a report came out, which ranked India at 72. This was global education survey report. Even Middle East, Turkey etc are above India. Yes, turkey has produced an Engineer ,orkut.

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