In an attempt to fully harness the potential of CS & IT students, the Computer Society of India is offering new courses and promoting research projects
The need to enhance the competency of Computer Science (CS) and Information Technology (IT) students is being increasingly felt in the country. Apart from knowledge of CS and IT, students need expertise in heterogeneous areas including arts, science, engineering and management to be 100 per cent employable, says P. Thrimurthy, president, Computer Society of India (CSI).
He has outlined the objectives and future plans of CSI, in enabling students to be employable, and improving the quality of teaching faculty and promoting research in the field.
“The mission of CSI is to facilitate research, knowledge-sharing, learning and career enhancement for all categories of IT professionals and users, while simultaneously inspiring and nurturing new entrants into the industry and helping them integrate into the IT community,” he said.
Established in 1965, CSI currently has 67 professional chapters and over 380 student branches across India. Referring to jobs in the field, he said, “Jobs are plenty and it will continue to be so. But we need qualitative human resource. Students need to be made into high quality human resource so that all of them are employable. Youth coming from engineering background should be grounded in management fundamentals.”
In his view, CS and IT graduates along with their counterparts from other disciplines have been primarily hired by software and services companies for the past two decades but their potential is much more than that. “The CS/IT graduates fulfil the requirements of the ICT industry — which has been focusing on services and outsourcing — reasonably well. As technology development and products / systems-design-related work are now becoming India-centric, there is an urgent need to enhance the competence of the CS/IT graduates. We are planning to introduce high-technology courses designed by 15 special interest groups, formed in CSI by domain experts, to CSI student members,” he said.
CSI offers four categories of courses — continuing education programmes for working professionals, industry-oriented professional development for new college graduates and entry-level engineers, faculty development programmes, and technology appreciation workshops and finishing school programmes for students.
He expressed concern over the acute shortage of ICT faculty members and inadequate deployment and usage of ICT in teaching-learning processes. The important learning resources dealing with real-life scenarios and case studies were inaccessible to faculty members.
The CSI Education Directorate, Chennai, was preparing to offer expertise to its member institutions. Domain experts drawn from academia, research organisations and industry would design the structure of courses as per the needs of institutional members across the country.
CSI also promotes research projects in new areas of technology and systems to break the inertia on the research methodology and also provides funding for minor researches to students and teachers who are institutional members, Mr. Tirumurthy said. “The CSI Research Mentors Network consisting of more than 700 Ph.D. qualified members help in promoting research on a continuous basis. We are exploring the possibility of forming a virtual university kind of platform for high-end education and research through participation of industry and government,” he said.