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Consulting Engineering professionals provide services from concept to commissioning and even thereafter for operation and maintenance of the asset that is built. It is a service which can be availed for the complete life cycle of the built asset. The professional services thus inter alia involve pre-feasibility studies, feasibility studies, basic studies, detailed engineering, project management, procurement assistance, construction monitoring/ supervision, inspection & expediting, testing and commissioning and where called for, operation and maintenance for all types of project to diverse nature of clients – governments, lenders, private companies/ owners, industries, developers or contracting companies. Consulting Engineers remains independent of any association with suppliers/ vendors, fabricators/ erectors and contractors so as to ensure there is no conflict of interest and that their services and opinions are fair, unbiased, trustworthy and reliable.

The Consulting Engineering profession came of age in India after decades of struggle and now their services are engaged by small, medium and large clients. Some of the consultants have been engaged directly by bilateral and multi-lateral banks (MBDs) such as The World Bank (WB), Asian Development Bank (ADB), Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau (KfW), Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC), United Kingdom – Department for International Development, UK (DFID), United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Indian financial institutions, nationalised and private banks. Indian consultants are being engaged by the MBDs and others in competition with consultants from developed countries.

The consulting engineering profession in India has also attained world class standards in providing services for multi-disciplinary complex and large projects as is evident from the large number of consultants working on projects abroad either from their home office or a project office abroad.

Indian Consultants are usually engaged for their ability to provide appropriate, adaptable and affordable (cost effective) and innovative solutions to requisite quality standards and transfer the technology and designs for execution of new projects or for expansion of existing projects.

India has a large number of consultancy companies both in the public as well as the private sectors apart from individual consultants. The large companies cover almost every engineering discipline and are doing complex projects for different sectors.

The requirement of engineering consultancy services for projects within India has grown multi-fold due to large investments in all sectors. Government’s funding is ofcourse the maximum in the infrastructure sector. This has resulted in acquisition and absorption of new technologies and up-gradation of skills plus it has attracted a number of foreign consultancy companies to set-up Indian subsidiaries.

Indian consultants are contributing their mite for sustainable development keeping in view safety, health and environmental considerations.

Generally, the services provided by consulting engineers may be broadly grouped as shown in the table. With changing scenarios, the classification and terminologies are also undergoing changes.

Pre-Project Stage Detailed Project Reports Project Stage Post-Project Stage
  • Survey & Geotechnical Investigation Studies
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Master Plans
  • Technical Evaluation Studies
  • Due Diligence Studies
  • Concept & Basic Studies
  • Techno-Economic Feasibility
  • System Studies
  • Project Costing
  • Advisory Services
  • Business Plans
  • Training/ Knowledge Transfer
  • Management Services
  • Technical Assistance
  • Renovation & Modernisation (R&M) Studies
  • Operation & Maintenance (O&M) Studies
  • Due Diligence Studies
  • Detailed Design & Engineering
  • Tender Specifications & Tender Documents
  • Procurement Assistance
  • Inspection & Expediting
  • Construction Monitoring/ Supervision
  • Testing & Commissioning
  • Project Management
  • Quality Management
  • Safety, Health & Environment
  • Operation & Maintenance Consultancy
  • Asset Management

Many firms organise in-house training for their professionals, however, for the smaller firms and the individual consultants training is enabled by engineering associations on a regular basis so that they keep abreast of technological and skill developments in their areas.

CEAI has been engaged in providing professional assistance to its members as well as conducting training and professional up-gradation courses, workshops, conferences, seminars, webinars, etc. and provides technical training as per the need felt from time to time.

CEAI being the only Member Association of the Fédération Internationale Des Ingénieurs-Conseils (FIDIC) representing the Consulting Engineering Fraternity in India. CEAI is the only body in India to conduct courses on FIDIC forms of Contract. CEAI awards Certificates to those who attend the course in toto. The FIDIC Contract courses are conducted by FIDIC accredited trainers. Besides FIDIC forms of Contracts, CEAI also conducts workshops and seminars on project and contractual issues such as Risks & Risk Mitigation, Delay Analysis, Claim Management, Dispute Resolution, Arbitration, Case Studies, etc.

The profession of engineering is demanding and in it the consulting engineering services are extremely challenging to be able to conceptualise and evolve viable solutions which vary from project to project because of the unknowns especially in one-of-a-kind projects.

Consulting Engineering is EXCITING,

poses CHALLENGES at every step and 

in the end gives a DEEP SENSE 



and sees the LIGHT of DAY.


Mr. Sudhir Dhawan, Ms. Sayona Philip, Mr. A P Mull

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