Apassion that prevailed throughout the 19th century to determine accurately the dimensions of the earth and the important geographical featureshelped us in answering the Where, What, Who like questions Now, the profession has relegated to the background by loosing emphasis, particularly in the field of education.
Surveying has diminished or got mixed up with the more popular choiceslike Civil Engineering, Construction Engineering and Geomatics education.
The present effort is aimed at bringing out the challenges/issues of the current education programmes in surveying across different countries like India,Nigeria, Zimbabwe, Australia and USA.
In India, the professional surveying began more than 200 years ago (Survey of India wasestablished in 1767). The Great Trigonometrical Survey (GTS) is generally considered to be the foundation of all the topographical surveys. This led to setting up of basic surveying infrastructure in the country.
In the postindependent era, India is seeing a tremendous growth in Infrastructure at a largescale (like the Golden Quadrilateral Project etc.) and the professionals, at large, are outof pace with the technology due to the gaps prevailing in the educational programs.
It has been observed that Surveying, as a profession, is mostly taken up by Diploma holders, who come through four years of Polytechnic programmes (from Industrial Training Institutes) after 10 years of basic education and few Engineers who come through a Bachelor Degree in Civil Engineering. The education lacks proper infrastructure, in terms of the instruments available and the jaded course curriculum. Leaving the premier institutes like the Survey Training Institute (STI), the Indian Institute of Technologies (IITs) and the Regional Engineering Colleges (RECs), self sustaining private institutes still lack the proper approach AND there is scarcity of skilled human resources to train.
The loss of interest in this field can also be attributed to the remuneration they gain. A candidate can receive a salary in the range of INR 1,00,000 (USD 2500) per annum for a fresher to INR 200,000 (US 5000) per annum with 2-3 years experience.
Besides these, there is no institute or professional organisation offering specialised courses insurveying, except that surveying is one of the topics taught in the Bachelors/ Diploma education.
On account of deficiencies in the system of survey education and practices, many of the newly introduced technologies are yet to acquire the status of enabling technology in India.