With 4.5 lakh engineers, or nearly 7 per cent of the city’s population, Bengaluru has more people with an engineering degree than New Delhi (all three corporations) and Greater Mumbai combined.

The recently released 2011 Census data enumerates those with technical degrees (that is, engineering and technology graduates) matching the numbers cumulatively residing in Hyderabad and Chennai — both of whose economy boasts large IT and ITeS companies.

As an indicator of the large gulf in engineer populations in the mega cities that dot the country’s landscape, Bengaluru, which contributes to nearly one-third of the country’s information technology exports, has nearly 1.4 lakh engineers more than the sprawling National Capital Region (Delhi, Gurgaon, Noida and Faridabad) and nearly two lakh more than Mumbai and its adjacent cities of Thane and Navi Mumbai. Interestingly, more than 70 per cent of the engineers in the city are below the age of 35.

Increasing graduates

It’d seem like in the past decade — since the IT ‘boom’ took shape in the city in 2000s — the number of persons either graduating or migrating to the city with graduate degrees in tow has disproportionately increased. While the past decade has seen the population of Bengaluru Urban rise by 47 per cent, the number of graduates (not just engineering) has risen by a staggering 125 per cent.

While the influx of engineers from outside may have been a factor (the Census 2011 figures on migrants are yet to be released), Narendar Pani, professor, School of Social Sciences, National Institute of Advanced Studies, believes the nearly century-old inclination towards engineering as well as the collapse of interest in non-technical degrees in the city may have contributed to the rise in engineers here.

BENGALURU, January 11, 2016, MOHIT M. RAO