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.
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. This helps 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 small 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 business for the entire year. There is always a demand for printing of notebooks, marriage invitations and voucher books.
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.
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. Some go on to Anna University to pursue a degree in engineering.
“Printing is a fine art and a student who can design something out of his imagination for a greeting card can quote a price,” Mr. Subramanian points out.
With desk-top publishing, design software and e-publishing gaining favour, more girls are also opting for the course.
A beginner can earn around Rs. 4,500 as consolidated pay and when absorbed as a permanent staffer can earn between Rs. 12,500 and Rs. 17,000.