Engineering institutes in the southern part of the country fare better when it comes to industry-academia tie-ups, a survey conducted by CII and AICTE has revealed.

Performance of these institutes in the management discipline, however, is lower than that of colleges in northern and western India.

AICTE chairman S.S. Mantha said the findings were a benchmark that would help colleges and companies to collaborate better. The report states that only one in five established engineering colleges in the country is in synergy with industry.

The survey, said AICTE officials, was the first comprehensive effort to analyse the quality of linkages between the country’s engineering schools and industry. A total of 1,050 survey responses were received for the online survey, after which members of the jury visited 37 short-listed institutes in October in order to obtain onsite verification of their online survey scores.

AICTE officials said institutes from the southern region achieved an average final score of 31, nine points ahead of the national average and almost seven points ahead of that of the northern and western regions. Institutes in the central region recorded the lowest scores on average, around eight points below the national average.

Additionally, according to the report, emerging engineering institutes from the southern region achieved the highest average survey scores, almost eight points ahead of the western and northern regions. Tamil Nadu has over 550 engineering institutions.

Management institutes from the south-central region however recorded the lowest average online survey score.

Thangam Meganathan, chairperson, Rajalakshmi Institutions, said institutions in south India have traditionally been better than others in engineering and technology but have lagged behind in management education. “The desire for collaboration is more prevalent in engineering colleges here because the IT industry is an HR-intensive industry. Now, companies come here not only for placements but also to seek help for their technical problems. The situation is not that promising in the manufacturing sector.”

K. Purushottaman, regional director, NASSCOM, said the performance of the colleges was directly related to their efforts in co-ordination with the industry. “Besides companies such as IBM, Accenture, TCS and Cognizant reaching out to students on campuses, professors and students have been taking individual interest in IT conferences by attending them or following them online. This has strengthened corporate presence on campuses.”

However, not all heads of institutions are happy with the report as they feel it is not adequately representative.

S. Vaidhyasubramaniam, dean (planning and development), SASTRA University, said the survey is a job half-done, as it looks only at superficial relations between colleges and companies, limited to placements and internships. “It misses the research collaborations that many IITs, NITs and deemed universities have initiated with companies.”