We live in an age of mechanics. Technology now rules supreme in a civilized society. Man has mastered largely the forces of Nature through application of technical skill. The day is not far distant when computers and even robots will rule the field of work.
In the circumstances, technical education is essential to run our factories and fields of production. That is also financially advisable. There are a few households in an Indian city that do not nowadays depend upon machinery, directly or indirectly. Manual labour is being superseded by steam, gas and electrical power. The mighty forces of Nature are being harnessed to serve the wants of man. We are dressed by machinery; transported by machinery; lighted by machinery; our very catering and amusements are being ministered to by the mechanical contrivances of radios, televisions and cinemas and internet arrangements. Every home has to depend on electricity; every office is equipped with telephones and Dictaphones and teleprinters, and computing machines of all kinds. Even the playgrounds have electrical scoreboards and timekeepers. And this mechanization of life will increase and expand as days would roll on.
Hence we have to be mechanics and technicians to manage these, and must build up heavy industries to manufacture these. The need for industrial education in our country is no longer a subject of debate. Today we are eager to take our place by the side of gigantic power driven machines.
But in order to step up progress and develop efficiency in this direction we have to alter our system of education. Larger place must be found for technical subjects in our courses of studies. Now schools for these are being opened; old schools must be forced to change their bias. The over-emphasis on language and literature must be replaced by emphasis on science; for science is the basis of technical education.
It is good that the Government is sponsoring multi-purpose schools. There the right type of students may go up for technical training. The Secondary Boards and Councils have opened separate vocational streams and discipline for this purpose; they are adjusting their syllabuses to this end. But this is a process that requires crores of rupees. The state is up against financial difficulties. The industrialists may be compelled to maintain vocational and technical schools attached to their firms or workshops. A beginning has been made by having engineering colleges attached to Industrial centre’s like Durgapur. The students of the schools may be quickly absorbed in these and allied concerns. If these new schools turn out technicians, the growing industries in the country will not suffer from want of technical manpower. That would be a practical way to remove unemployment and bring economics prosperity. It is gratifying to note that India has the largest number of technicians after USA and Russia.
It is, of course, a good sign that the Government of India maintains IITs, i.e. Industries of technology in six different centres. More and more students are being sent overseas for specialized training not available here. Research laboratories and institutes are located in different parts of the country. The Government is also helping the expansion of existing technological facilities at the universities and engineering colleges. The industries have also subsidiary specialized technological institute like those of Jute, Glass, Ceramics, etc. These will be of inestimable value for the future development of our country.
It has been contended that technical education lacks the humanising influences of a literary education. These are outdated ideas. What is important is the spirit in which education of the mind is given and received. The mode of imparting liberal ideas has to be changed. Technical College also has a subject to teach humanities or cerement orientation.