Fortunately for the job market, the realisation among universities and colleges that the seriousness with which they perceive industry-institution interaction will reflect positively in employability of students has set in very well.

In a scenario wherein industry sector is grappling with intense competition on a global scale, industry leaders have apparently put the onus on institutions to measure up to their expectations. On their part, institutions are also exhibiting keen interest to adapt to industry requirement.

That institutions are responding well is apparent in the fact that industry representatives constitute 30 per cent of the Boards of Studies for various subjects that are increasingly being tweaked for job-orientation.

The question is whether the process is working to the satisfaction of both entities. The answer is a definite “no.” Institutions are disappointed that on an average not more than 25 per cent of the candidates are employable, despite rendering their fullest cooperation. The direction of course rectification could be identified at one of the panel discussions at the Empower IT Tiruchi 2009, organised earlier this month jointly by the Electronics Corporation of Tamil Nadu (ELCOT) and National Association of Software and Service Companies (NASSCOM), with the purpose of bridging the skill gap between industry expectations and institutional delivery system.

Chaired by Jaya Ramakrishna, vice-president, Tata Consultancy Services, the discussion on the topic ‘Should industry find a role in curriculum making' had the participation of vice-chancellors of Bharathidasan University, Anna University - Tiruchi, and Periyar Maniammai University, Thanjavur, besides Rajiv A. Vaishnav, vice-president of NASSCOM; Sivakumar, CEO, ICT Academy; and Sundari Ramakrishnan, Assistant Dean, National Management School.

The vice-chancellors were unanimous on the point that there were flaws in implementation of the mechanisms for institution-industry bonding. The existing extent of industry-institution relationship was far from enough, Bharathidasan University vice-chancellor M. Ponnavaikko said.