Tamil Nadu Unlimited | Industries must participate in education in a bigger way: Tamil Nadu Skill Development Corporation MD

Speaking at the session ‘Expanding Education Landscape of Tamil Nadu’, she says the Tamil Nadu government is opening the campuses of educational institutions for industry participation through the ‘Naan Mudhalvan’ scheme

Published - December 12, 2023 08:51 pm IST - CHENNAI

From right, V. Kamakoti, Director, IIT-M; J. Innocent Divya, MD, TNSDC; Ramkumar Ramamoorthy, partner of Catalincs, and former Chairman and MD, Cognizant India; and Kalpathi S. Suresh, Executive Director and Chairman, Veranda Learning Solutions, at the session moderated by D. Suresh Kumar, Deputy Resident Editor, Tamil Nadu, The Hindu, in Chennai on Sunday.

From right, V. Kamakoti, Director, IIT-M; J. Innocent Divya, MD, TNSDC; Ramkumar Ramamoorthy, partner of Catalincs, and former Chairman and MD, Cognizant India; and Kalpathi S. Suresh, Executive Director and Chairman, Veranda Learning Solutions, at the session moderated by D. Suresh Kumar, Deputy Resident Editor, Tamil Nadu, The Hindu, in Chennai on Sunday. | Photo Credit: Akhila Easwaran

Industries should come forward to participate in a big way in education, with the Tamil Nadu government opening the campuses of educational institutions for industry participation through its flagship ‘Naan Mudhalvan’ scheme, said J. Innocent Divya, Managing Director (MD), Tamil Nadu Skill Development Corporation (TNSDC), on Tuesday.

Speaking at the Tamil Nadu Unlimited summit, organised by The Hindu in association with Guidance Tamil Nadu in Chennai, she said the State government, through the scheme, was trying to bridge the gap, which had existed between academia and industry for many decades and had only widened in recent years due to tremendous growth in technology.

In a panel discussion on ‘Expanding Education Landscape of Tamil Nadu’, moderated by D. Suresh Kumar, Deputy Resident Editor, Tamil Nadu, The Hindu, she said the government was going to different industrial sectors once in six months to get their feedback on the curriculum and revised them accordingly.

V. Kamakoti, Director, Indian Institute of Technology-Madras (IIT-M), said while Tamil Nadu could rejoice because of its highest Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) of around 50%, it should not relax. The State should target 100% GER to ensure that every child completed at least an undergraduate degree. He highlighted the measures IIT-M had taken in association with the Tamil Nadu government in schools run by it to get more students interested in pursuing technical education.

On improving the research landscape in the State, he stressed the need for investment in high-end equipment in various fields. The government should undertake an initiative to make available for researchers in the State at least one sample of all equipment present in the top 10 departments of the top 10 educational institutions.

Ramkumar Ramamoorthy, partner of Catalincs, and former Chairman and MD, Cognizant India, spoke on the role industry could play in driving research in educational institutions. Highlighting that of around 450 private universities in the country “only two” (top level) are present in Tamil Nadu, he said there was a need to allow corporates to participate in higher education in a meaningful way. With technology becoming more distributed and talent available across Tamil Nadu post-COVID-19, he said there was a huge opportunity for industries to have their physical presence in educational institutions.

On the craze for professional courses, he said there was a need to highlight the success stories of people who studied humanities and went on to become top leaders in renowned companies such as Accenture, Wipro, and IBM.

Kalpathi S. Suresh, Executive Director and Chairman, Veranda Learning Solutions, said while there was accelerated demand for online education during COVID-19, the demand had significantly reduced now. He, however, said the situation would move towards a new normal of hybrid education in certain areas.

According to him, there was a perception among parents, students, and, surprisingly, in the industry that the quality of offline education was better than online education. Expressing concern that some companies were filtering out candidates during the recruitment if they had done online education, Mr. Suresh said this perception needed to be corrected.

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