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Call for better industry-academia links

‘Internships should be project-driven instead of routine apprenticeship’

June 27, 2019 08:20 pm | Updated June 28, 2019 07:51 pm IST - Kozhikode

Sivaji Chakravorti, NIT-C Director, speaking at Bridge-19, an industry-academia meet, in Kozhikode on Thursday.

Sivaji Chakravorti, NIT-C Director, speaking at Bridge-19, an industry-academia meet, in Kozhikode on Thursday.

With unemployability of graduates becoming a major concern in the State, the Higher Education Department started addressing the issue by holding Bridge-19, an industry-academia meet, in Kozhikode on Thursday.

The one-day event, organised under the auspices of the Additional Skill Acquisition Programme of the department, saw speakers highlighting the need to equip students, especially in the technical field, to improve their employability skills.

Sivaji Chakravorti, Director, National Institute of Technology, Calicut (NIT-C), who opened the inaugural session, said the gap between industries and academia was huge and that mental barrier should be broken. For this, government support was essential. Unlike in India, he said, research projects in foreign countries were sponsored by industries. “Such things cannot be thought of in this country,” he pointed out. Dr. Chakravorti called for greater focus on internship of technical graduates so that they are mentored better instead of making them comply with the routines of a company. “Instead of blaming the student community, the industry should take the responsibility to impart skills and opportunities to them,” he said.

Likening the internship programme to a classroom session, he said, students should be exposed more to the world of work rather than obtaining information from smart devices and search engines. At the same time, the industry has no right to blame a fresher leaving for another secure job, Dr. Chakravorti said.

In his address, Keyoor Purani , Executive Director of Indian Institute of Management- Kozhikode Laboratory for Innovation Venturing and Entrepreneurship (IIMK-LIVE), said that industries and academia should work out a networking model to bridge the gap between them. Internships should be project-driven instead of routine apprenticeship. Today, businesses evolved on different platforms unlike traditional linear companies of the past, Dr. Purani said.

Skill development plan

District Collector Seeram Sambasiva Rao said the Kozhikode administration was in the process of bringing out a plan for skill development in association with the Indian Institute of Management - Kozhikode. Several rounds of consultations had already been held with stakeholders. Job fairs held once in a quarter had not yielded the desired result owing to the unemployability of candidates. Only 40 to 60% of the notified vacancies were filled. At the same time, he said, the salary offered were also comparatively low even as the industry felt unhappy with the qualitative skills of candidates.

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