Staff Reporter

Students urged to focus on R&D "Right time to equip themselves with right knowledge so they could tap the market"

CHENNAI: Students should build their knowledge base to carve out meaningful careers and make better use of the increasing growth potential of the manufacturing sector, said Askok Leyland's managing director and president of Confederation of Indian Industry R. Seshasayee on Monday.

In his keynote address after the inauguration of the international conference on Advances in Materials Processing and Characterisation, Mr. Seshasayee stressed the need to make rapid strides in building the knowledge base to meet challenges in the sector.

The need, he noted, was primarily due to "huge opportunities", particularly in the automobile and automotive manufacturing segment.

India, he said, needs innovative ways to make automobiles lighter and more fuel-efficient.

He pointed out to students that this was the right time to equip themselves with the right knowledge so they could tap the market, primarily in the research and development area.

The clients would range from the country's defence establishment to the burgeoning automobile industry.

Earlier, Mr. Seshasayee told the students that India's growth pattern was not sustainable in the current situation.

The choice of services over low-cost manufacturing as well as concentration on consumer-oriented growth rather than investment has led to the focus being on Information Technology and IT enabled services only.

"IT and ITES are not enough. Manufacturing sector is essential to provide employment," he said.

The three-day conference, being held at Anna University, has a host of speakers including professors K.A. Padmanabhan, Horst Hahn, M.S.J. Hashmi, Gerhard Wilde, V.I. Laxmanan and Baldev Raj.

The conference will focus on building future materials such as nanomaterials, composites, biomaterials.

The deliberations would revolve around broad areas such as advances in materials processing and characterisation, their biomedical applications, modelling and optimisation, rapid prototyping and casting, metal joining.

The conference deliberations, supported by the CII, and corporates, will be chaired by K.A. Padmanaban, former director of IIT-Kharagpur.

According to Anna University Vice-Chancellor D. Viswanathan, the university would develop a technology incubator and a centre for nanotechnology to help expand the country's knowledge base.