The Narendra Modi government recently allowed private players based in India to manufacture equipment for the Indian Air Force. In July this year, the Defence Ministry approved the construction of 56 transport aircraft by private players. This is the first time that the private sector will design and manufacture aircrafts and will not be supported by the government enterprise, Hindustan Aeronautics Limited. “This is a good move,” agrees Raj Narayan, founder MD of the Radel Group (a design and manufacturing company that deals with aerospace and defence mechanisms), which runs DRONA Centre for Excellence. DRONA is a skill development centre that trains students to be job-ready for the field of defence and aerospace. “There has been some shift since the new government is encouraging participation of the private sector. It was not a dynamic environment before, but now we can expect some change and emergence of indigenous technology in the industries,” he adds.
Demand for the course
In India, you can do a course in Aerospace/Aeronautical Engineering. BE/ME, BTech/MTech and PhD-level courses are available in the country. Aerospace engineers are required to have both theoretical and practical knowledge. So, most of these programmes will focus on maintenance systems, production planning and control, airframe instruments and industrial management. “I was interested in working with aircrafts and was always fascinated by them. So I wanted to take up this course. Studying the subject is very interesting as it has practical applications and is challenging compared to computer science or electronics engineering,” says Lynden Martin Gomez, an aeronautical engineering student who graduated last year from KCG College of Technology, Chennai. “Students get attracted by IT companies and take up jobs there while the passionate few go into core engineering industries,” says Raj.
Aerospace engineers are paid from `15,000 to `50,000 a month depending on the firm and their experience. You can become a general manager, aircraft design engineer or a technician. Some companies where you can seek jobs include Indian Space Research Organisation, Defence Research and Development Organisation, Hindustan Aeronautics and National Aeronautics Labs. While there are many job roles and companies that take in such engineers, “it was hard finding a job immediately after graduation,” says Lynden. Raj explains, “Very few who come to us have hands-on capabilities. They seem to have pre-conceived ideas that seem dull. Students should be encouraged to innovate and design new equipment.”