A general survey on higher education states that 84 per cent students graduating from technical colleges take to services in industrial sector and move out of their native towns in search of jobs. Out of the remaining 16 per cent, only 10 per cent take to entrepreneurship and six per cent to small businesses. In such a scenario, observers opine that institutions need to provide vocational education and hands on training during the study period so that through innovations and skills, students develop the surrounding areas of their native places and contribute in progress of nation rather than become job hunters, staying unemployed for years together. Renewable resources need to be tapped and trained youths can use their skills to explore their potential in rural development so that brain drain can be checked.
Today, in many states of the country, including Uttarakhand, there is considerable migration of youths from mountains to plains and metro cities, because of lack of suitable educational and skilling facilities in accordance with the need of current and future industrial world. There is a need to identify the gap between academics and expectations of industry and society. To fill this gap, current education needs a major reform and upgradation integrating greater use of the information technology in the field of education, say the educationists.
College of Engineering Roorkee (COER) chairman JC Jain said, “We have initiated Do It Yourself (DIY) laboratory in our college and center of excellence. The best quality international level technical equipment has been provided to make the students of civil engineering aware of the ‘Learning and Earning’ concept. A soil testing lab has been started which would enable the local farmers to test their soil samples and improve their crop produce depending on the quality of soil.”
Shreyance Jain, managing director, Texplas Group of Industries said that guidance should be provided in the use of technology which helps reach the person in remote corners of the country like making a mobile phone application which could help a farmer sell his product to the consumer in a metro city.
One must not forget one’s own land on getting opportunities afar in foreign lands. “Be loyal to your own motherland, especially the native region. Use the technical training gained for the progress of the country, especially rural areas since India lives in villages to stop migration from mountains to plains,” says educationist SK Batra.
Suggesting ways to uplift the rural areas in surrounding areas of the city, professional engineer Subarno Bhattacharya suggests effective solutions for water and electricity problem in rural regions. Lighting solutions that replace kerosene lamps with portable, solar/LED lamps that are safer, brighter and cheaper should be opted for. Improved cooking solutions for the household such as efficient stoves and biogas plants that pose fewer hazards and save time otherwise spent on collect fuel should be focused upon. Further, solar home systems and micro-grids that provide electricity to entire households and villages cut off from the main grid should be used.
A soil engineer from Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Roorkee, Satyendra Mittal opines that small turbines made of waste material like empty drums conjoined can be used to generate mechanical energy on any flowing canal and transformed to electrical energy. He says, “The age old ‘Gharats’ (water mill) system on flowing water canals are still in use in countries like China while we have closed them down in our own villages. Such systems can be built in and around Haridwar to provide electricity to rural areas.”