Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Industry gets proactive (and a bit pushy)

"Madras University has become the first Indian university to introduce a mandatory course on soft skills for all its post-graduate students." With a strong push (and inputs) from the industry.

A brainchild of CII, the programme has received strong support from the IT and ITeS industry. A consortium of five IT companies — Satyam, Cognizant, TCS, Scope International and US Technologies — have collaborated with the Madras University, which has about 170 colleges affiliated to it, to start the programme. As of now, 135 staff members have undergone the training and 50 are in the process. Soon after the teachers’ training will finish, the course for students will begin by October.

It's a clever move by the industry; this is one great way to reduce the cost of training new recruits in 'soft skills'.

But, what's in it for the Madras University? Are the next targets going to be Anna University, JNTU, Poona Engineering College, NITs, and -- gulp! -- the IITs?


  1. Anonymous said...

    A large share of students though equipped with degrees are considered "un-recruitable in their current form" by companies for various reasons - syllabus and/or skills not in tune with what industry expects
    Madras University, no soft skills including but not limited to English language skills, presentation skills etc. Hence their effort.

    As for whats in it for MU, this can

    - be the beginning of industry collaboration for them, getting a foot in the door kind of.

    - improve the overall quality of graduates and help them get better jobs, not just out of college but even much later

    - attract better students and be more competitive

    These at least in theory.

    - Sharath

  2. Raj said...

    Abi,I agree with Sharath. The primary purpose of Universities, I thought , was to help create or hone skills and prepare the students to serve society at large. As a professor and research scholar, you would perhaps want the undergraduates to acquire just the skills to carry on with their post graduation, Ph.d, research - where soft skills as defined by the industry are not required. Lets'give students the flexibility.

    Dicl ; I am a card holding member of the CII!

  3. Anonymous said...

    I find it disconcerting that many universities need to offer soft skills . In an ideal world, students would pick up such skills as part of their educational experience. If at the end of three years (more so for post-graduate students), a student cannot write well or speak with confidence, do basic math, have some awareness of local and global matters and comport well in civilized society, then her education cannot be considered satisfactory. Perhaps universities should focus on providing a more well rounded education than adding a short-sighted coda to their teaching program.