Vivek Singh

Director at All India Radio & Doordarshan

Q. For our readers, can you tell us about your job profile and elaborate on the industry you are currently working in?

My name is Vivek Singh and at present I’m working as the Director (Engg.) for All India Radio & Doordarshan (Prasarbharati) which is a public broadcaster in India. I was honoured with this job of social service after qualifying the UPSC Examination after having completed my B.Tech in Electronics and Telecommunication. So yes, I’m an IES officer.

Q. Could you elaborate on the project you’re currently working on and the developments in the telecommunication field?

Currently, I’m working in the Project Section for West Zone which includes five states- Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Goa, Chhattisgarh; for the technical projects & new installations of AIR- MW, SW, FM services in India and overseas. All services till now were analog. But now, as per the 12th plan of Govt. of India, all the transmitters are supposed to be digital for better quality reception & efficiency. All the services at present are in terrestrial mode, through satellite and now, through internet also. But with humongous gains in technology, also come the shortcomings. It is rather easier to hack digital data as supposed to analog (despite the lower efficiency of the latter). As we are a Govt. organization our end goal is educating the public and not commercialization. So yes, bridging this gap is the main area of focus at the moment and this will lead to the future developments in the field.

Q. How big is the gap between the average quality of engineers in our country and the required level in the industry? What steps can the government and colleges take to reduce this gap?

Mediocrity is the only reason the value of engineers is not as much as it was when I graduated, which was like, 25+ years ago. Though, I wouldn’t talk about the usual “Decrease the number of seats or Increase level of competitive exams”. As an Electronics and Telecommunication Engineering graduate, I feel there is not enough scope in the core field. There are not enough industries to absorb these young and intelligent minds, which need to develop in India. This is something that the government needs to change by creating more and more opportunities in the field of core engineering.

Q. How important are soft skills to become successful in any industry? How do you think colleges can prepare students better and improve this aspect (soft skills)?

Soft Skills are a must for any graduate in general. Colleges can inculcate more activities involving public speaking, as a part of the curriculum or otherwise. But these should be a mandate for each student to attend.

Q. With the ‘Make in India’ and ‘Digital India’ programmes launched by the government in 2014 and 2015 respectively, what are the noticeable impacts of these programmes in the industry?

Not much since the policies are not lenient enough, at least in this sector. It has not proven to be beneficial for the people in general on the lower level of economy trying to establish production business in India. Even we, for our projects, have to import goods for projects.

Q. What advice would you like to give to an engineer who is in the first or second year of his/her course?

I would advise the students to treat engineering degree as not their only goal in life, but the first stepping stone. Engineering has to be their basic graduation, they need to up their skills by going for further education in ANY field. Also, take part in as many activities as you can while you’re in college, this will ensure procurement of the skills needed for the practical life.

Q. What are the different ways you think you can collaborate with our department and help our students?

I would love to help students seeking guidance regarding UPSC exams post engineering be it the process or the career prospects post engineering.