ANDHRA PRADESH

Meet industry needs, YSR tells universities

Staff Reporter

TIRUPATI: Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy has made it clear in no uncertain terms that the universities can no longer continue to teach obsolete subjects and issue degrees, oblivious of the needs of the industry and community.

Indicating that such an attitude would only amount to playing with students' lives and being unhelpful to the industry and society as well, he advised universities to generate skilled workforce to help the country rule the knowledge-based world.

Speaking after inaugurating the two-day national seminar on `University industry community interaction' organised by Sri Venkateswara University here on Thursday, Dr. Reddy said that varsities had to be part of the global reforms taken up in the field of higher education, appealing to the administrators to think of equipping the students with the skills required for survival in the industry.

Dr. Reddy said that the Government had set up Jawahar Knowledge Centres (JKC) in 33 engineering colleges in the State to equip final year students with the skills required for the job market. The concept, which had so far been confined to engineering colleges, would be extended to the conventional colleges soon, Dr. Reddy announced.

Tap opportunities

"A number of service centres from USA and UK are coming to India. Notwithstanding the love for our mother tongue, you have to learn English and its various accents to tap the whole lot of opportunities opening up in the era of BPO and call centres," he told students. The Chief Minister also expressed hope that the technical sessions scheduled for Friday would discuss the ways and means of making the fruits of education reach the common man.

Lauding SVU's initiative, Higher Education Minister P.Venkateswara Rao spoke on the wide gap prevalent between academics and industry to the mutual disadvantage of both, and remarked that the R&D fruits of companies never reached students and the research publications of universities never helped the industry.

More varsities?

APSCHE Chairman K.C. Reddy presented to the Chief Minister a report of the panel constituted on reforms to be initiated in the field of higher education, which included setting up of new universities and the guidelines for permitting private and foreign universities to operate in the State. Later, the Chief Minister dropped hints that the suggestion to set up a university each in Telangana, Coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema regions could secure the Cabinet's nod.

Software entrepreneur J.A.Choudary as a representative of the industry at the session felt that the universities could expect the industry's support only after initiating reforms in the field and making education relevant to the changing needs.