Saturday, April 3, 2010

Total Engineering Seats in India & some conjectures about IT

This document contains the total number of engineering seats in each of the major states of India. Some of the southern states have a huge number of seats relative to the demand and hence some seats are going vacant. This 'some' is about 50000 seats in case of Tamil Nadu. Recently, this has been observed in Northern States like Haryana as well. An interesting thing to note here is that the number of Engineering seats in the city of Pune is greater than the combined total of 7 States. Overall, there are 7.3 lakh engineering seats in India.

These numbers partly explain why IT companies are setting up shop in Bhubneshwar, Jaipur, Indore,Ahmedabad and Lucknow but not in Patna, Jamshedpur, Ranchi, Shimla, Guwahati and Panaji.Neither are they likely to do so despite the fact that some of these states do send students to other states in large numbers and despite the fact that quality of life in some of the latter group of cities is comparable to the former and might be better in some. When the new private engineering colleges come up, their students are below employable standards for some years. These students are employed for low wages by small IT companies mostly focused on domestic IT market. Here, they polish their skills or learn the new ones in 2 to 3 years and move into bigger and more professionally managed companies. Due to this continuous poaching, the smaller companies would vanish if there was no availability of large number of fresh Engineers willing to work for them. Gradually, quality of newly setup Engineering colleges and hence the quality of students improves thus boosting the supply of good local talent. Also ,some of the small IT companies may grow bigger and better and start attracting talented people who left their home state/region to join bigger companies. Due to this competition for talent, apart from a desire to lower operational costs, the big companies might set up shop in the small city thus improving the Eco-system further. This is not possible in States who only have a couple of thousand Engineering seats.