Thursday, February 18, 2010

India Facing A Shortage Of Geologists

Geology and livelihoods - 7

An article in the Hindu Business Line points out to the shortage of geologists in the Indian public and private sector. 

Industry watchers estimate that the combined shortfall in public and private sectors could be as high as 600 geologists a year and growing.

"We need some 300 geologists a year, but the availability is less than 100," said Ms Shantha Sheela Nair, Secretary, Ministry of Mines. The Ministry is investing heavily in training programmes to upgrade the skills of existing manpower.

"We need educational institutions to produce geologists even to meet the current demand," Ms Nair said adding Indian geologists are in huge demand the world over.

Besides the private sector mineral and oil companies that employ geologists to map and explore resources, public entities such as the Geological Survey of India (GSI), the Indian Bureau of Mines, the Central Ground Water Board, Oil India Ltd and ONGC hire geologists in large numbers. 

"It is not only geology. Students are not opting for even the basic science courses," said Mr Balachandran, Director of the Hyderabad-based GSI Training Institute (GSITI). "Several universities have even withdrawn the post-graduate courses for lack of demand," he said.

The article suggests that it is the growing preference for IT courses that is responsible for this shortage.

That does play a role....but there is nothing new about the career preferences of Indian students. As long as I remember geology was not the hot subject to major in. The best and the brightest have always preferred either engineering or computer sciences or medicine or MBA to geology.

What has changed is the opening up of the Indian oil and mining industry to foreign players. The Indian education system has not added too many new geology seats over the years and now the new demand seems to be overwhelming the system.

The public sector appears to be suffering a double blow. A low supply of good quality recruits and a flight to the private sector of their experienced geologists.

See: Geology and livelihoods


  1. I do not think money is a problem, atleast with oil companies.
    I have known Geologists in my college getting better packages than CS students

    I think it is a problem of awareness

  2. yeah I agree...its not taught too well or not at all at high school level so likely students don't have that in their scope at all when making career sciences in general don't compare favorably with technical fields partly due to money..partly because for so long work was mostly with the government sector only.

  3. Hi my name is suvesh
    i have done my geology graduation in 2005 from mumbai please can i have job in geology field i am desparate to do work in this field