Promoting Merit and Professionalism in India’s Work Culture and not ThekedariAs a civil engineer with firsthand experience, I have witnessed projects being awarded based on low bid and personal connections, rather than professional expertise. It is disheartening to see deserving agencies and professionals who have invested their time and effort for 4 to 6 years (BE/ME) into building their skills, being overlooked in favor of those with little or no educational or professional qualifications or technical know-how.
If you treat any project solely as a business, you will only see the profit. But if you are an engineer, you will strive to complete the project with quality from your heart. Therefore, flyovers will not collapse. The contractor culture promotes business but not professionalism. That’s why the traditional 50’s era government contractor (thekedaari) culture needs to be eliminated. If the management is educated, it will definitely make an effort to ensure that its entire junior team is professional and educated.
However, it is important to remember that change is possible. As professionals and members of society, we have the power to shape the future of our work culture. Here are a few steps we can take to promote merit and professionalism:
Education and Awareness: Let’s continue to educate ourselves and others about the importance of merit-based selection processes. By raising awareness, we can challenge the status quo and encourage a more equitable system.
Collaborative Efforts: Encourage collaboration between professional agencies, the government, and the corporate sector. By fostering partnerships, we can create an ecosystem that values expertise, transparency, and accountability.
Embrace Technology: Leverage technological advancements like e-procurement platforms and online bidding processes. These tools can help streamline processes, reduce biases, and bring greater transparency to project procurement.
Lead by Example: As professionals, let’s commit ourselves to ethical practices, maintaining high standards of work, and advocating for fairness. By setting an example in our own spheres of influence, we can inspire others to follow suit.
Change takes time, but with persistent effort and collective action, we can overcome the challenges posed by the thekedaari culture. Together, let’s create an India where qualifications, expertise, and professionalism are valued above all else so that we can make a difference and shape a brighter future.
Pursuing a Career in Civil Engineering
However, I believe differently because Civil Engineering is an evergreen branch, and if a student persists then he/she can achieve top positions regardless of the branch they choose. However, it is essential to have the aptitude to excel in the field. The demand for infrastructure will always exist, and there will always be a need for professionals in this field. Intelligent, disciplined and hardworking civil engineers are in demand, and the demand for skilled professionals in this field is increasing along with packages.
Ultimately, you should consider your interests, passion, and strengths. If you have a genuine interest in Civil Engineering and believe that you can perform well in this field with dedication, hard work and consistency, then pursuing a career in Civil Engineering should not be a problem.
Civil engineering requires a combination of technical knowledge, problem-solving abilities, and practical skills. It is true that some individuals may struggle with challenges and lack the passion or interest required to excel in their careers. This is why it’s essential to have a genuine interest in the field and understand the demands and responsibilities associated with civil engineering.
Furthermore, the quality of education and training received in civil engineering programs can vary. Some colleges may have lower standards, resulting in graduates who lack the necessary skills and knowledge to perform effectively in the industry and there are institutions that provide excellent education and practical exposure to students.
Developing managerial skills, accepting guidance from seniors, and working effectively in teams are crucial aspects of professional growth in any field. These skills are often acquired through experience, mentorship, and continuous learning. It’s important for civil engineers to be open to learning from experienced professionals, collaborating with their peers, and actively seeking opportunities to enhance their skills beyond technical expertise.
Overall, the demand for skilled and dedicated civil engineers remains high, and those who possess the right mix of technical knowledge, discipline, dedication , problem-solving abilities, and interpersonal skills will continue to have excellent career prospects in the industry.
Is waterproofing solely the responsibility of a specialized agency?
It’s essential to recognize that the unskilled workers lack knowledge of critical aspects such as the system envelope. In their attempt to waterproof, they applied the coating similar to a cement slurry exclusively on horizontal surfaces without proper termination. Should leaks occur in the future, they would be wrongly professional waterproofing agencies.
Similarly, developers, government bodies, or end-users often opt to award all construction work, including specialized tasks like waterproofing and expansion joint systems, to known civil contractors, who often prioritize concrete or general construction work over specialized tasks. Some even undertake concrete work simultaneously, disregarding the waterproofing agency’s recommendations, which leads to complications. Some get systems like polyurethane waterproofing installed on the wet surface. Concrete sets while waterproofing issues arise, leading to leaks and defaming the professional waterproofing agency.
In today’s world, understanding the limitations of specific specifications is crucial. Otherwise, people will continue to place blame without addressing the root causes of the problem. Therefore, raising awareness about specialized systems is imperative. Attempting to save money or rushing the job by assigning it to an agency that is ill-equipped to handle it can lead to far greater losses in the future. Everyone involved in construction projects, from contractors to end-users, should prioritize the importance of specialized expertise and adhere to the proper procedures.