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Narayana Murthy calls for reforms in education, industry-university tie-ups

The number of patents per one million people is one in India and 289 in the U.S. The number of researchers per one lakh population is 149 in India and 3,805 in the U.S.

MYSORE: Seventy-five per cent of engineering graduates are unemployable, Chairman and Chief Mentor of Infosys N.R. Narayana Murthy has said, quoting from a report.

Delivering the D.V. Narasimha Rao Memorial Lecture on the "Indian software industry: opportunities and challenges" here on Tuesday, he called for greater collaboration between the industry and the academia to enhance the quality of education and help the country maintain its lead in the information technology (IT) sector.

He said the country produced nearly 2.3 million English-speaking graduates, including nearly three lakh engineering graduates, in 2004. But the quality of the engineering graduates varied, and only 25 per cent of them were employable as per the McKinsey report. This means that 75 per cent of engineering graduates are unemployable, which calls for improving the quality of technical education, he added.

Expansion trend

The expansion trend in the IT sector has created a demand for technical jobs, which will be met by 2011, but the industry faces the prospect of a severe shortage from 2012. This calls for reforms in education, Mr. Murthy said and stressed the importance of a sound foundation for elementary education. He suggested that institutions of higher education function on the lines of industries.

He said the academia should seek to collaborate with industries, and universities should have greater autonomy.

The MIT example

He cited the example of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and said nearly 150 new companies come up each year through the efforts of its faculty and staff. There are nearly 4,000 such companies in the U.S. whose combined sales were worth $232 billion, which was nearly 40 per cent of India's GDP. This means the productivity of every MIT graduate is equivalent to the productivity level of nearly one lakh Indians, he added.

Presenting a comprehensive picture of the challenges and opportunities facing software firms, Mr. Murthy pointed out that the quality of education has a bearing on innovations and research, and this is reflected in the lack of innovation and design.

Patents

He said the number of patents per one million people is one in India, 289 in the U.S. and 779 in South Korea. The number of people engaged in research per one lakh population is 149 in India and 3,805 in the U.S., he added.

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