India’s Engineering Graduates Fail to Crack English Language Code
Moreover, as per the report based on the study, about 67% of engineers graduating from India’s colleges do not possess spoken English skills
required for any job in knowledge economy.
The study `The National Spoken English Skills of Engineers Report’, conducted by Aspiring Minds, surveyed English skills study of 30,000 engineers
across 500 engineering colleges.
Although the problem is far more pronounced in tier 2 and tier 3 colleges, instilling spoken English skills is a big challenge in Indian Institutes
of Technology and National Institutes of Technology as well.
About 600,000 engineers graduate annually in India.
“As we get students from different back grounds and regions around the country , they are mostly not comfortable with the English language,“ said
Gautam Biswas, director, IIT Guwahati. “Quite a few students appear for JEE (joint entrance examination) in their mother tongue. It becomes very
difficult for them to follow the curriculum as almost everything is taught in English.“
UB Desai, director of IIT Hyderabad, said the problem of students not being able to speak English is not restricted to IITs but is prevalent across
the country, and even in China and a few European nations.
“Over the years, the focus in the education system has shifted to chemistry, maths, physics. Focus on soft skills has reduced. This is impacting
the students. Sometimes, these students may even lose out on good job prospects as many companies come to campuses for global positions as well,“
Engineering students in the metros do much better in spoken English skills than those in the non-metros, according to the study . Kushal Sen,
dean-faculty at IIT Delhi, affirms this.
“A majority of our students may not have the problem of speaking in English but there are about 30 per cent who need to be groomed when it comes to
soft skills. Soft skills that include speaking in English, etiquette, etc, are important from the job point of view,“ he said.IIT Delhi offers its
students additional courses on soft skills.
Tier 1 colleges fare better in spoken English skills than their peers down the line. “As expected the spoken English ability of candidates becomes
worse, on average, in campuses in lower tier cities,“ said Varun Aggarwal, co-founder and chief technology officer (CTO), Aspiring Minds. “There is
further degradation of spoken English skills from tier 2 to tier 3 campuses as compared to that from tier 1 to tier 2 campus,“ he said.