A team of young engineers – who spent a year at IIT-Madras learning about metro rail technology and management – are now part of the Metro Rail contingent that is executing the mega project in the city.

On completion of the postgraduate diploma course offered by IIT- Madras in association with Chennai Metro Rail Limited (CMRL), the first batch of students who pursued the course has been placed across different departments of CMRL, including construction, electrical, underground, signalling and telecommunications and systems divisions.

According to K. Ramamurthy, dean (academic courses), IIT-Madras, the course is one of the institution’s user-oriented programmes. As many as nine students have been absorbed from the first batch, he said. Students looking to pursue the course are selected jointly by CMRL officials and IIT-M professors based on GATE scores and an interview. On successful completion of the programme, they are absorbed by CMRL, which also funds the programme.

“At a send-off party for the students in which officials of CMRL as well as professors from IIT participated, students said they were at an advantage because they have already spent time as a team. They are in a good position to appreciate the challenges faced in other departments as their friends would tell them. This will help cultivate synergy among different divisions,” he said.

K. Rajaraman, managing director, CMRL, said while the course provided a strong academic foundation for the candidates, it is only hands-on training that would strengthen their perspective and understanding of how the project is actually being carried out. “They spent about 15 days at Delhi Metro Rail Corporation and were trained in certain aspects of the project. Now, they are actually spending time on the sites,” he said. One year of academic training and another year of on-the-job training, Mr. Rajaraman said, would equip the students well for the complex project.  

The current batch, the second group of engineers to pursue the diploma programme, has 13 candidates. During the course, CMRL pays students a stipend of Rs. 20,000 per month and later, increases their salary once they are recruited. The new CMRL recruits sound excited about their first job. E. Brigita, a civil engineer placed in the underground construction division, said: “I am fascinated by the enormous learning opportunity this project offers.”

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