Civil Engineer Shortage and Foreign Investment in Infrastructure

Civil Engineer Shortage and Foreign Investment in Infrastructure

Although India is  noted as producing some of the best creative technologically-oriented talents in the world today, too few young professionals concentrate their education toward civil engineering. This bottlenecks the nation from realizing its full economic potential. India is challenged by inadequate roads,  as well as an electric  power system that creates the need for individual office buildings to install their own generator-powered electricity.

Money is not really the problem since the government has plans for a $500 billion infrastructure investment through 2012 and more beyond. The problem stems from a lack of qualified home-grown civil engineers. During the British Raj and for years later, civil engineers were among the most respected tecnical professionals in India.  The first engineering college in India, now known as IIT Roorkee was established primarily to educate “overseers”, highway engineers, dam builders, soil specialists and all the flavors of civil engineering.

This once-enviable profession  no longer pays as well as writing software programs for the world’s leading companies.  So, what’s a modern-construction yearning society do do?

The Indian government acknowledges a critical shortage for civil engineers. Therefore, India has set on a path creating an additional 30 universities and is examining permitting foreign educational institutions to set up campuses in the country.

Foreign investment in India’s current infrastructure needs is also being called upon since no amount of emphasis upon home-grown talent will be appropriate. Kamal Nath, minister of road transport and highways, recently said the government plans to finance a highly ambitious road-building campaign through raising capital from overseas investments that include soliciting pension plans as well as securing long-term investments.

Kamal Nath, India's Minister of Road Transport & Highways
Kamal Nath, Union Cabinet Minister of Road Transpost & Highways

Plans are also underway soliciting foreign construction company participation in development projects that have been compared to the post-World WarII U.S. Highway construction boom.

This bodes well for American, British, Canadian, Japanese, Korean and Chinese engineering and construction companies if they can invest the time and effort to understand how India functions


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