Anna University - Chennai on Tuesday signed a memorandum of understanding with Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL), Tamil Nadu Circle, to impart training in mobile communication.

It was signed in the presence of Vice-Chancellor P. Mannar Jawahar and BSNL Chief General Manager D. Varadarajan.

At an awareness meeting held here for principals of engineering colleges of the region, Dr. Jawahar said that the university would foot the Rs.2-crore bill for training 5,000 final year students in the State this year. Along with five-day training in mobile communication, three-day theory and two-day practical training and two-day training programme in competence development would be given.

Only final year engineering students came under Anna University - Chennai while the remaining batches were under the respective regional Anna Universities.

Among the 32,000 final year students of electronics and communication engineering, electrical and electronics engineering, computer science and engineering and information technology, 5,000 would be selected for the free training.

From next year, the training would be given to students of these four branches of 152 engineering colleges coming under Anna University - Chennai alone. Mr. Varadarajan said BSNL was providing refresher training to its employees every year at the Rajiv Gandhi Memorial Telecom Training Centre at Meenambakkam. BSNL would offer the course to the university at a concessional fee of Rs.3,750 per student.

The training centre was equipped with a laboratory and equipment and had faculty members. While theory classes would be conducted in the colleges, students would be taken to BSNL facilities in many parts of the State. They need not pay for their travel to Chennai and stay.

“Though BSNL is one of the many telecom players, it is the first to introduce many technologies, including third generation mobile and Wi-max services,” he said. Telecom was a growing industry and required quality manpower for maintenance and upgrading of technology. There was dearth of skilled technical personnel in the country and telecom companies were hiring from China now.

Among those present were Director, Centre for University-Industry Collaboration, Anna University, S. Selvam, and BSNL Madurai General Manager V.K. Sanjeevi.