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Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Electrical Engineering: One of the fastest growing fields in India

The demand for electrical energy in India has increased many folds during the recent time because of:

  1. growth in population, 
  2. enhanced lifestyle, 
  3. increased automation in industrial sector etc. 

Recent studies by the US Department of Energy indicate that China, India and Brazil will be the most rapidly growing countries in terms of electrical demand. Total 1102.9 TWh of electricity was produced in the country during 2013-14 making it the 3rd largest producer of electrical energy in the world in the year 2013. 

International Energy Agency estimates that India will add another 600 to 1200 GW of installed capacity before the year 2050. This is clearly echoed in the report of Ministry of Power, Government of India, 2012, in which additional generation capacity to be added in the 12th Five Year Plan is stated as 76 GW. It needs to add another 170 GW of installed generation capacity in the next decade to get the desired 9% growth in GDP and this can be achieved through large capacity power projects such as the Ultra Mega Power Projects based on super-critical technology.  
As on July 2014, the installed generation capacity in India is 250.5 GW. Indian electricity sector is certainly amongst the most active players in Renewable Energy (RE) utilization especially the wind energy. The grid interactive wind and solar generation is 21.69 GW and 2.75 GW respectively; with still more projects to materialize in the coming decades. 

The objective of Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission (JNNSM) is to establish India as a global leader in solar energy by creating conducive atmosphere in the country. The mission under the brand name “Solar India” set an ambitious target of adding 20 GW of grid connected and 2 GW of off-grid capacity by year 2022.
Private sector has a great role to play in Indian power sector and there are many prominent names that have registered their strong presence. At present private sector accounts for nearly 40 % in the total installed generation capacity of the country and is set to increase. Moreover, private players are extending technical assistance to government in erecting power plants and other facilities, involved in power trading, evolving clean energy development mechanism, supplying the power etc. as on March 2014, India had 13.9 GW of installed generation capacity based on super-critical technology; of which Adani Power (one of the leading private players in the Indian power sector) has commissioned the maximum of 6.6 GW. Other big private companies in the generation sector are Tata Power, Reliance Power, Essar Power etc. Government of India has issued certain guidelines for private sector participation in transmission sector also.        
In the light of above facts, various job opportunities are available to electrical engineers in Indian power sector. They can work in both public and private sector industries involved in power generation, transmission, distribution industry as well as in their ancillary units. These companies employ them as engineers or managers, and make them responsible for design and development, installation, commissioning, operation and maintenance of power handling equipment and systems. The service sector which provides the required maintenance also forms a sizable segment.  

The various governmental organizations involved in the Indian power sector are National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC), National Hydro Power Corporations (NHPC), Damodar Valley Corporation (DVC), Power Finance Corporation (PFC), Power Grid Corporation of India Limited (POWERGRID), and various state level power generation companies and power suppliers. These agencies are providing ample job opportunities to graduate electrical engineers. The companies are advertising the vacancies in leading national/ local newspapers and posting the same on their websites. These companies usually ask for 60 percent or above in graduation level. The recruitment process consists of mainly written test, group discussion and personal interview. Sometimes, a technical interview may also be conducted. 

The final selection is based on the overall performance of the candidate. Reservation to various categories is given as per the prevailing government rules. Initially, selected candidates have to work on probation as graduate engineer trainee for one or two years and on the successful completion of probation period they are absorbed as regular engineers.

A huge job potential also exists in rapidly growing private sector for electrical engineers. As far as their selection criterion is concerned, it varies from company to company. However, most of them are hiring on the basis of personal interview of eligible candidates. 

Some of the major private companies in power sector are Tata Power, Reliance Power, Adani Power, Torrent Power, Essar Power, Crompton Greaves, Siemens, Alstom T&D India, Suzlon Energy etc.