Choosing an engineering college: What you should learn from the creator of AK47

If you want to choose the right college, learn the lessons Mikhail Kalashnikov left for us in his final days.
Choosing an engineering college: What you should learn from the creator of AK47
Choosing an engineering college: What you should learn from the creator of AK47
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It has been called ‘The Most Influential Weapon of Our Time’. The AK47, or the ‘Avtomat Kalashnikova’, is one of the most game-changing weapons of the last century. At least 100 million AK47s are believed to have been manufactured so far. Most major armed conflicts of the last century have seen the AK47 be used as the primary weapon.

The creator of the AK47 was Mikhail Kalashnikov, son of a poor Russian farmer, who had natural engineering skills. He later became a military engineer with the Soviet Union and was wounded in a battle in 1941. During his stay at the hospital, he heard other soldiers complain about not having automatic weapons. So he made one.

The AK47 was an engineering marvel. It was cheap, easy to manufacture and worked under the harshest of weather conditions. And it did the job – it killed people with ease.

Till his death, Kalashnikov had the image of being unrepentant about the widespread violence his creation caused. Millions of people have died because of the AK47, but he did not show any remorse. But a month after he died, in January 2014, a letter emerged which showed that he was pained by the violence he had caused.

Mikhail Kalashnikov (Image: Министерство обороны Российской Федерации via Wikipedia)

In a letter to the church in 2012, he wrote, “My spiritual pain is unbearable.”

"I keep having the same unsolved question: if my rifle claimed people's lives, then can it be that I... a Christian and an Orthodox believer, was to blame for their deaths? The longer I live, the more this question drills itself into my brain and the more I wonder why the Lord allowed man to have the devilish desires of envy, greed and aggression,” he wrote.

One of Mahatma Gandhi’s seven deadly sins was ‘Science Without Humanity’. He believed that if science becomes all about technique and technology, it quickly degenerates into man against humanity. He wrote, “Technologies come from the paradigms of science. And if there's very little understanding of the higher human purposes that the technology is striving to serve, we becomes victims of our own technocracy. We see otherwise highly educated people climbing the scientific ladder of success, even though it's often missing the rung called humanity and leaning against the wrong wall.”

Choose engineering with humanities

What Kalashnikov and Gandhi teach us is that students who choose engineering today should also know and understand the social impact of their technological innovation.

If students were to learn just how to make machines or code software, and not how people respond to it and use it, then we will only be creating a set of irresponsible engineers.

The SRM Institute of Engineering and Science wants to be better.

“The SRM group has prepared students to become great engineers for over two decades. But we also want our students to become great leaders. For the future, it is not enough if you just have an engineering degree – you need an understanding of society, people and economy. And we will enable students towards this,” says Dr. P Sathyanarayanan, President, SRM Institute of Science and Technology.

SRM has now introduced the Inter Disciplinary Experiential Active Learning (IDEAL) environment. With this program, not only will students become good engineers, but also have the opportunity to learn other disciplines like sociology, psychology, law and economics. They can truly learn how technology impacts lives, and prepares themselves better for their career.

With students in India seeking more inter-disciplinary programs and flexibility in course curriculum, SRM addressed this demand by completely leaving the option of program path to the students. A student who is doing a Major in a subject shall have an option of either a Major specialization – like Internet of Things and Cybersecurity - enabling deep learning or take Minor courses in humanities.

IDEAL gives you the opportunity to select a discipline which will give you a career edge, and also study something you are passionate about.

You can read more about SRM’s exciting new IDEAL program here.

And why wait? Apply for SRM Admissions 2018 here.

This article has been produced by The News Minute marketing team in association with SRM Institute of Science and Technology. 

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