The inclusion of two new papers, Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering (NA&ME) and Geomatics Engineering, in the 2022 edition of the Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering (GATE), answers the call of undergraduates who aspire to pursue specialised careers in these disciplines. The GATE 2022 will be conducted by the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Kharagpur.
“The leap from undergraduate (UG) to masters course is a step towards specialisation. Students who want to pursue a masters in marine engineering did not have the provision of appearing in a specialised GATE paper till now. Such students opted for general engineering papers and consequently, could not score well. This impacted their overall score as they could not get through the admission process of the desired M.Tech programme. The inclusion of these papers will allow students to score well in their respective fields,” K Murali, professor and head of the department of ocean engineering at IIT Madras, said.
The decision could also improve student enrolment in marine engineering at all levels. As per the All India Survey of Higher Education (AISHE) 2018-19, 4189 students enrolled in undergraduate courses in marine engineering. A total of 299 in PG courses and only 180 in PhD. In contrast, 8,80,349 joined UG courses in computer engineering, followed by 29,714 at PG level and 5,846 at PhD level.
“Usually, students of marine engineering opt for mechanical engineering or civil engineering papers. They obviously will score less than those who have studied civil engineering for four years. The recognition in GATE will allow students to join marine engineering early in their careers as they will be assured of specialised opportunities in the future. Hence, the enrolment at UG, PG level will automatically increase, giving a boost to the overall field,” said Debabrata Karmakar, assistant professor, department of water resources & ocean engineering at National Institute of Technology (NIT) Surathkal.
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The subject of geomatics, known informally as survey engineering or surveying as a discipline, was part of the civil engineering discipline. However, from the early 20th century, it attracted special attention as it turned to different practices for land measurements. The discipline was then known as topography.
“Today, it is popularly named as ‘geomatics’ as it includes semi-automated and automated processes for data acquisition, data processing, and applications related to Earth information,” said Ajay Dashora, assistant professor of geomatics earth sciences group at IIT Guwahati.
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Technologies like photogrammetry, radar, sonar, GPS, remote sensing, and GIS are some well-known applications of geomatics. Such evolutions also demand changes at the education level and perception of the field.
“The subject has diversified from conventional civil engineering and developed itself into a new discipline providing new career ambitions to industry, students, and researchers. The inclusion of geomatics in GATE will not only strengthen the government bodies like (e.g. ISRO, DRDO, Meteorology Dept etc) but will also provide opportunities to students with distinct knowledge for many areas that are important for civil society,” Dashora added.
Karmakar added that GATE scores are also accepted by several foreign universities and graduates of these domains will have better career opportunities at their disposal.
Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs) also use GATE scores to hire engineering graduates in various domains.
“Marine engineering and geomatics engineering have several industry partners, both government and private agencies, that are recruiting through GATE. The initiative of offering these papers will enable the students to qualify for recruitment, This will ensure better employment opportunities,” Murali added.
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