by Noah D'Mello

Where are the engineers in India? Below the Vindhyas, well mostly

Nov 06, 2015
Construction and Engineering IndustryGovernmentTechnology Industry

We are moving toward becoming a digital-savvy nation, thanks to various government projects aiming toward digital transformation. But to achieve this, where exactly can we find our engineers?

Come to Bangalore and you will notice that most of the people are engineers or IT professionals. With a great startup culture and more than 25 tech parks, no wonder it is called the IT Capital of India. But are we exaggerating when we say that Bangalore just knows three languages: Kannada, C, and C++? Maybe. According to the 2011 Census data, Karnataka, whose capital is Bangalore, does not top as the state with the most number of engineers in the country. Didn’t expect that, did you? So where are the engineers in the country?

Tamil Nadu, the sixth most populous state in the country, has the maximum number of engineers. Out of the 7.3 million engineers in the world’s largest democracy, 1.2 million, which is approximately 16.45 percent, reside in the southern state. Andhra Pradesh, which during the census period included the present day Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, came in a close second at 14.05 percent. Engineers in Maharashtra and Karnataka account for 13.24 percent and 10.29 percent, respectively. Add these numbers and you see that more than 50 percent of the engineering population lives in these states. Interestingly, these states only account for around 30 percent of the total population above the age of 20. 

On the flip side, the most populous state, Uttar Pradesh, has around 7.92 percent of the engineers, whereas “The Seven Sisters” just make up for a little more than 1 percent.

This is just where the engineers reside, not where they originally come from. Unfortunately, the census data doesn’t capture that.

Now let’s talk gender. Only 30.44 percent of women engineers are over 30 years—compare this to 46.35 percent of male engineers. This shows that not many women saw engineering as a viable career option almost two decades ago.

Let’s talk some more about gender. If you were to look at the sex ratio of engineers in the country, these numbers are also not encouraging—392 female engineers for every 1000 male engineers. This gender imbalance is at its worst in Bihar, where only 16.42 percent of its engineering population is female or 196 female engineers for every 1000 male engineers. Gujarat, which has the sixth highest engineering population, also fares badly, with an engineer sex ratio of just 245.

However, Kerala stands true to its status of being progressive in matters of education and gender equality, where 40 percent of its engineers are female—or a sex ratio of 667, much higher than the national average. Surprisingly, Punjab also has almost the same proportion of female engineers.

So, if you ever want to set up shop about anything engineering, you better head south—you will find talent in abundance.