The PG course was started two years ago to train students for Metro Rail projects; CMRL says it has recruited adequate number of students for present needs.

A postgraduate diploma course sponsored by Chennai Metro Rail Limited (CMRL) and offered at IIT-Madras has been discontinued.

The user-oriented course, started two years ago, was meant to train students in the workings of a Metro Rail system, and to ensure there were trained professionals at hand for the city’s dream transport project.

CMRL officials however said that as they had recruited an adequate number of students for the project at present, they had merely put the course on a break.

Nearly nine students in the first batch were employed by CMRL, and 13 from the present batch will be soon roped in, officials said. The first batch of students who pursued the course has been placed across different departments of CMRL, including construction, electrical, underground, signalling, telecommunications and the systems divisions.

While the course was on, CMRL paid students a stipend of Rs. 20,000 per month and later, increased salaries once they were recruited.

“We will be paid nearly Rs. 45,000 once we are put on the job,” said a student who had completed the course.

The course itself has been quite rigorous, he said, with lectures on civil engineering, management and specific topics by IIT-M professors and CMRL officials. “It is helpful for many youngsters keen to work with Metro Rail,” he said.

Coordinator of the course at IIT-M, R.G. Robinson said, “We are sure CMRL will start it again when they need more professionals.”

 When contacted, a CMRL official said, “We have only one stretch now and the requirements were fewer.” 

While Chennai’s Metro project may have satisfied its staff requirements at present, the need for trained staff across the country is acute as Metro Rails are coming up in several cities now.

It was only last year that Delhi Metro Rail Corporation’s managing director E. Sreedharan wrote to the Union HRD ministry, seeking assistance for the creation of a cadre of engineers with specialised skills needed for Metro projects, and asked for all IITs to begin such courses.

IIT-Delhi got there first, four years ago, and professors there said the course was still on.  

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