Kolkata. In a landmark decision that could change the face of the state’s Education Industry, the West Bengal government has decided to open the doors of engineering colleges for the students coming from Arts and Commerce background. Up till now only those students who had pursued Science in their plus two (class 11-12) were eligible for Engineering curriculum.
The decision comes close on heels of earlier announcement of allowing engineering admission to students who were either disqualified or did not appear for the West Bengal Joint Entrance Examination (WBJEE).
“This is to ensure that maximum students of our state get opportunities for higher studies. It guarantees a booming software industry for the future and a flourishing education industry for the present,” said Mr Suporno Lele, the Minister for Adult Education.
He assured that the lack of science knowledge will not affect the students, “Firstly, contrary to popular beliefs, Science knowledge is never a pre-requisite for completing modern day engineering. Moreover, we are coming up with Arts-Commerce friendly disciplines like ‘Historical Engineering’, ‘Economics Technology’, ‘Electronics & English Communication’, ‘Journalistic instrumentation’, Fine Artsytechture, etc.”
However he avoided answering other questions, like “If seats are vacant will the government also consider allowing Pre-school students?” and “The reason behind government’s apathy towards other courses”, stating that these are out of scope of the press conference.
A certain pony tailed social activist/reporter/educationist was seen particularly irked by the fact that the government is still not ‘daring’ to think beyond engineering even after his repeated requests.
“This is ridiculous; what benefits will students get by studying Engineering? Will they get a free laptop? NO. Will they get a foreign travel to exotic locations in Bangladesh? No. Then what good is this curriculum for? In this way we will never discover the diamonds from them, I mean in them,” he fumed.
“After watching ‘3 idiots‘ my life’s aim was to become an engineer,” said M.A final year student Miss Shikhsha De, “Now I have ways to fulfill it. Once enrolled, I can crib about the unbearable stress, sing songs about the pressure, sometimes I can even be suicidal and all this will now look perfectly natural. Oh, it’s such an exhilarating feeling!”
Several English-medium schools in the city have welcomed this move. “It’s a positive step towards development. We are also planning to add a new subject of ‘Engineering’ in our curriculum from class 5 onwards. Students can opt for this course by paying a minor fee that will be taken against Apron, Development and Transport charges,” said Mr. Frank Orally, the Principal of GReen English Education Day (GR.E.E.D) School.
The engineers and the engineering students are the only people who are frowning upon this decision.
Some like MaiGan Durani, 1st year engineering student of newly opened ‘Om Har Sai Halwai Institute of Technology (O.H.S.H.I.T)’ is concerned that if the trend continues then his father’s constant threat of admitting a donkey in his class might come good someday. Whereas others like ‘95 batch IIT Kanpur Mechanical Engineer Mr. K.L Padnis laments the lack of lateral thinking in Indians.
“We always like to follow rather then get followed,” he said, before leaving the country on an onsite assignment for his Software Company.