Business Goa interviews Er. Chandrashekar Prabhudessai on his role as Chairman of the Institution of Engineers – Goa State Centre
Tell us about Institution of Engineers (IEI) Goa State Centre.
Institution of Engineer (India) or IEI is the largest multi-disciplinary premier professional body that encompasses 15 engineering disciplines and gives engineers a global platform to share professional interest. IEI has membership strength of more than 2 lakh professional engineers, which is the largest in the world. Established in 1920, with its headquarters at Kolkata, IEI has served the engineering fraternity and the nation for the last 100 years.
In 1935, IEI was incorporated by Royal Charter and remains the only professional body in India to be accorded this honour.
IEI operates from more than 125 centres located across the country and six chapters abroad.
IEI, Goa State Centre of the institution has been functioning for the last 47 years and has more than 1,375 corporate members. It was established as a sub-centre in 1974 and was elevated to a State centre in 2008. It is governed by an elected Managing Committee headed by the Chairman.
At the Goa State Centre, our Managing Committee comprises of 17 members. There are different branches of engineering and most of the members of the Managing Committee are engineers with significant expertise and experience in their respective fields.
To help the engineering fraternity with the latest in the profession, lectures, seminars, conventions are organised.
IEI has representation in many bodies of the government. By being, part of the various bodies, the institution gives their opinions on various issues sought by the government.
Your experience in the field of engineering over the years…
I graduated in 1989 from Mumbai University with First Class Honours and later joined a design firm as structural engineer.
After 3 years of practical experience, I started my own firm of RCC consultancy; and at the same time I was doing free-lance work of design for more than 9 years for the same office in which I started as Design Engineer. I registered myself as Government Approved Valuer under Wealth Tax Act. Later, I answered the IBBI exam and cleared the same. I made a presentation at the International Summit conducted by the Construction Industry Arbitration Council.
Today, I am a structural consultant registered in Engineering Council of India.
I am a Government approved valuer, both under Wealth Tax Act and Companies Act and empanelled Arbitrator in various Institutions like CIAC, IEI, IITArb.
Who are part of your team at IEI- Goa and what strengths do they bring to the table?
At IEI Goa, I was elected unanimously as the Chairman in the year 2018 for a period of two years term. However, due to Covid, the council extended my term by one extra year.
IEI Goa is headed by the Chairman and we have a Honorary Secretary, Joint Secretary and about 15 members from different divisions.
Members representing each division, take care of the corporate members of the division that they represent as well as join together and support each other to conduct training programmes, national seminars, conventions etc.
As council members, we take care of not only the engineering fraternity of Goa but all engineers from the country. As a representative of Goa, I help the council during our flagship programme, the ‘Indian Engineering Congress’ which is held every year. All issues faced by engineers across the country are discussed, debated in the council while recommendations and suggestions are sent to Government of India.
What are the various activities undertaken by IEI during you term as Chairman and what are the upcoming activities planned by you for the year?
The various activities conducted by the committee were: training session conducted for staff of Pig Iron Plant, Vedanta; training session conducted for staff of Sahayat Nursing School, Bambolim; visit to Atal Setu bridge; formation of students’ chapter at Government Polytechnic, Panaji; RERA for transparent real estate at Ravindra Bhavan, Margao; two-day all India seminar on New and Innovative Technologies in Civil Engineering at Ravindra Bhavan, Margao; Training session at Swastik Vidyalay, Priol Mardol; Lecture on World Telecommunication Day at ICG, Dona Paula; two- day all India seminar on safety aspects at construction site at Ravindra Bhavan, Margao; Conferment of Honorary Fellowship for Late Smt. Mridula Sinha, ex-Governor of Goa; Engineers Day 2019; lecture at WRD, Porvorim; 31st National Convention of Mining Engineers, Goa at Panaji; partnered Vibrant Goa with Government of Goa in October 2019; organised World students’ day celebration at Panaji; training session at Teva Electricals, Verna Goa; conducted the AMIE examinations for aspiring students at Panaji; organised Hackathon at BITS Pilani, Goa campus; organised World Engineering Day for sustainable development at Panaji; organised felicitation of Prof. B. K. Mishra, Director, IIT, Goa, associated with National Design and Research Forum to organise an invited talk by Dr. Latha Christie, Scientist G, DRDO, Ministry of Defence; and Engineers Day 2021. Due to the pandemic, some planned activities could not be held, which may be organised in the near future. The term of this committee is scheduled to be completed next month after having been given an extension of one year due to the pandemic. There are activities that are planned which the new committee will be organising in the future.
What is your focus on engineering education in Goa?
As far as Engineering education in the state is concerned, the role of IEI is to help students to gain practical knowledge, skill development required for absorbing them in the industry.
We have a national skill development forum based in Shimla and an Engineering Staff College of India based in Hyderabad. With their help, as well as with the help of Goa State Centre, we conduct various events for engineers. We have student chapters in the engineering colleges through which we do activities for the students.
We are open for discussion with the Government of Goa for taking a lead role in building up the skill of our engineers.
AMIE examinations are conducted by the Institution and was recognised as an equal to Degree Engineering till 2013; and after 2013 this was not recognised by the Government, which needs to be looked into in order to help students who complete their diploma courses. The IEI is open on this issue for discussion with the Government.
Recently, Engineer’s Day was celebrated. What was the theme for this year?
This year, the theme for Engineers Day was ‘Engineers for Skill Development and Employment in Combating Covid’. The heralding of a new decade in 2020 was marred with plummeting of the global economy pushing millions into penury as the covid-19 pandemic took centre stage. The shutting of commercial establishments due to the second wave of covid-19 has rendered several people jobless, leaving them financially vulnerable.
We, as professional engineers, need to think of technical interventions to design and implement sound labour market information systems, including accurate market assessment and need anticipation, and putting in place processes for skills recognition to prevent attrition, poor labour market integration and deterioration of working conditions for all workers.
There is a dire need to scale up the skill development ecosystem, while strengthening our cloud based infrastructure. Access to skills recognition processes, especially for low-and medium-skilled migrant workers, will be crucial and would assist us in formulating policy recommendations for improvement of the relevant legislative and operational mechanisms. The pandemic has provided us with an opportunity to come up with a well-crafted strategy to deal with this crisis. As uncertainty persists, it is imperative that our workforce is empowered with the right skills through timely and relevant skilling, upskilling and reskilling efforts.
This will make our people more agile and resilient, and help to cope with the challenges posed by the pandemic and what lies beyond.
What is your vision for IEI-Goa in your term as Chairman?
When I took over as chairman, I wanted to promote advanced technology in the engineering field to all our members including students, to create awareness amongst engineers about the role of IEI, objectives of IEI, awareness on IEI incorporated by Royal Charter.
This institution would tap the huge potential of industries by joining hands with them and getting tie-ups done with various state centres to share technology with engineers from various States. My vision is that the resources and expertise of the various engineers available in different States should be shared effectively with the other States, so that each and every one benefits in this process.
In addition, engineers could derive benefits in various fields such as valuation, arbitration, etc.
I wish to have representation for IEI in almost all government bodies where contribution by engineers is required for the development of the State. We need to have dialogue with the Government of Goa and are looking forward to come with some solutions and help the government in building up the economy.
How is IEI – Goa’s association and relation with other government bodies and how would you like to build bridges with them in and outside Goa?
IEI Goa State Centre has an excellent rapport with the Government of Goa and is working closely with a few government bodies.
IEI assits the government formulate laws such as land and building regulations along with formulating heritage or conservation zone policies, approvals etc.
IEI GSC helps the engineering fraternity to have a dialogue with the government and discuss, debate and resolve issues faced by them. We hope that the Government of Goa gives representation to all our divisions and engages representatives on various other boards which requires inputs from the respective division engineers.
How are you building a connect with the industry to further the aims and objectives of IEI- Goa?
IEI GSC worked to connect with the industry to further the aims and objectives of IEI.
At the national level, we have signed a MoU with ICMAI, CII and various other institutions for sharing knowledge with our members. GCCI invited me to join their Real Estate Committee and we joined our hands in supporting the real estate industry. IEI signed a MoU with Vibrant Goa team and we interacted with the industry and developed relations with the team. We also invited CREDAI to partner in our seminar on RERA. We organised different seminars, events and invited the industry to support, participate and during these interaction, we developed a relationship with them which helps us in the growth of engineering fraternity. We organised an all India Mining Convention in which we invited mining industrialists, which helped engineers from the mining division. We invited the director of BIS and other BIS members for our seminars on National Building Code.
We are approaching technical institutions so that the gap in teaching-learning process can be analysed and successfully addressed.
I have developed a network with fellow engineers across the country and through them knowledge sharing is being facilitated.