He said the "fast proliferation" of engineering colleges is causing the quality of education in the field go down, as these institutions are started as "business ventures with political patronage".
"A recent survey covering 34,000 final year students across 198 engineering colleges of 13 states showed that majority of engineering graduates in India were not employable," he said.
He was speaking on the 'role of engineers in nation building' as the chief guest at the second convocation of Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University Kakinada (JNTUK) here.
"The survey has brought out the fact that only 12 per cent of engineering graduates are readily employable and another 52 per cent can be made useful to the industry by further training. But 36 per cent of students are not even trainable.
This is indeed a very sad commentary on the type of engineering education and technological training in this country," Sreedharan, who is known as the 'Metro Man of India', said.
"There is a disconnect between what the industry needs and what the students learn as the curriculum is not upgraded frequently enough to match industry's requirements," he said.
"There are more than 700 engineering colleges in Andhra Pradesh alone. There are not enough quality teachers, professors and principals to man so many colleges. The facilities are also sub-standard in most of them which is the root cause for the engineering standards to go down," he said.
JNTUK Vice Chancellor G Tulasi Ram Das presented honorary doctorate to Sreedharan, who is an alumnus of the JNTU College of Engineering, 1953 batch.