`Vocational courses must to meet market expectations'

Staff Correspondent

MANGALORE: There is need for planners to give importance to vocational courses in the higher education sector in order to ensure that students meet market expectations, the former Minister for Higher Education B.A. Mohideen has said. Such a practice is already in vogue in China, and India cannot afford to lag behind in effective utilisation of its vast human resources, he said.

Inaugurating "Read Me 05", three-day national conference on recent advances in mechanical engineering organised by the Department of Mechanical Engineering, P.A. College of Engineering, Nadupadavu near here on Thursday, he said the education system should give importance to vocational courses so that students are able to meet market expectations. Merely imparting knowledge-based education is of no use, he said.

Students passing out of various professional colleges should be in a position to deliver, and a vocational approach to education can ensure a transition from classroom to workplace, he said. It is imperative for educational experts, industrialists and others concerned to chalk out a course towards a more vocational approach to education at the earliest, he said.

Referring to the availability of human resources in India, he said the challenge is to ensure that this is used as an asset. He stressed on the need to update our knowledge base in order to remain competitive globally.

He said conferences such as "Read Me 05" facilitate exchange of ideas and thoughts and lauded the vision of P.A. Ibrahim, Chairman of PACE, for organising the event. V. Ganesan, faculty, Department of Mechanical Engineering, IIT, Chennai, said mechanical engineering and its branches are like an ocean waiting to be tapped. He said electronics is becoming an integral part of mechanical engineering and added that it is time for planners to promote mechatronics as a subject.

S.A. Khan, principal, said India has made rapid advances in the field of design and high temperature aerodynamics. Stressing the need for inter-disciplinary approach for engineering studies, Dr. Khan said India is lagging behind as far as engine technology is concerned. He called for steps to address this technical gap in India's aspiration of becoming a self-reliant nation. B.S. Samaga, Dean (Academic), NMAMIT, Nitte; Janardhan Gatty, president, Kairangala Gram Panchayat; and Y. Abdullah Kunhi, Chairman, Yenepoya Medical College, spoke. Antony A.J., organising secretary of "Read Me '05", welcomed the gathering. C.V. Poojar, conference coordinator, proposed a vote of thanks.