Staff Reporter

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Shashi Tharoor, former Under Secretary-General of the United Nations and chairman of the Dubai-based Afras Projects India Ltd., on Wednesday signed an agreement with the Technopark to set up a finishing school here.

The Academy for Personality Development and Communication will focus on capacity building among youth and will function out of the Thejaswini building at the Technopark, a press note issued here said.

“The academy will be world class with state-of-the-art technology to develop English-speaking skills of the young recruits at the Technopark and focus on quality capacity building of young IT/ITES professionals,” the note quoted Mr. Tharoor as saying. “Besides techies, employment-seeking youth studying in universities and colleges will also have access to the institute,” he added.

American speech pathologist Tina Parsons will head the institute, which is scheduled to be inaugurated in March 2008. R.K. Nair, CEO of the Technopark, said Kerala was gunning for a major share of the global outsourcing business. “Plans and actions for building the physical infrastructure are in place. Equally or more important need is to prepare our young graduates to address this opportunity. It is well-known that Kerala graduates are good in technical and analytical skills but fail in communication and presentation skills and lack confidence. Technopark is happy that Dr. Shashi Tharoor, a Keralite of global stature, is setting up a world-class training centre in Technopark to address this critical issue,” the press released quoted him as saying.