This diploma course can be an ideal platform for students to set up their own printing press.
Printing technology is among the vocational courses that seem to attract meritorious students from Classes X and XII. The course offers hands-on experience in various kinds of printing machines and techniques and provides students with the opportunity to set up their own printing presses, say faculty at the Institute of Printing Technology, Taramani, in Chennai.
The institute, run by the State government’s technical education directorate, offers a three-year diploma course for students who have passed Class X and allows lateral entry for Class XII students into the second year of the course. These students must apply within 10 days of the release of the Class XII examination results, that is, by May 24.
Each year, 90 students are taken in, and in the second year (for Class XII students), 10 per cent of this number is admitted.
In the first year, students learn basic sciences such as physics, chemistry and mathematics. These subjects help the students when they want to go for a degree course in Mechanical Engineering after the diploma. Many of the students take up part-time courses in Anna University even while working.
Keeping abreast of the technological changes, the institute has also revised its syllabus and included webpage designing, colouring and captioning. The institute is renovating a portion of its premises to accommodate a room for computers.
“Entry is purely on merit,” says V. Subramanian, institute principal. “If you study this course you need not go for other engineering courses. Students who need a job quickly given their family circumstances can join the course. After gaining experience for some years in a printing press, one can even set up one’s own printing press,” he adds.
Printing presses are much in demand in smaller towns and even villages, the faculty point out. At present, with an investment of Rs. 5 lakh, a person can set up a printing press and be ensured of jobs for the entire year.
Notebooks, marriage invitations and voucher books are needed even in smaller towns and villages.
The institute has an excellent tie-up with its alumni, many of who are members of the Madras Printers’ Association and own printing presses. They offer the necessary training and provide jobs. Last academic year, all students in the institute were placed in places such as Bangalore and Dubai. “Printing press companies prefer students from Chennai. There is great potential for a student who is thorough with e-design techniques, can upload it on to the Internet,” says Mr. Subramanian.
Students learn the history of printing technology, the pre-press necessities, operate offset machines and gain hands-on experience in post-press work such as book binding, all of which helps them when they finish the course. Though most students are from lower socio-economic background, there have been some who go on to the Anna University to pursue a degree in engineering.