TAMIL NADU

Only 40 p.c. of engineers "employable"

Special Correspondent

CUDDALORE: Chairman of All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) Damodar Acharya has said the technical education in India was at the crossroads. Only 40 per cent of the engineers were employable.

"Therefore, the educational institutions are facing the challenge of setting things right." Mr. Acharya made these observations at the Diamond Jubilee celebrations of the Faculty of Engineering and Technology of Annamalai University, held at Chidambaram near here on Monday.

The chairman said there were 14,026 engineering colleges in the country with a total student strength of five lakhs. In the next five years the number of engineering colleges as well as the intake would be doubled. If all these candidates were not profitably engaged, it might give rise to problems such as indiscipline and naxalism.

China fares better

He said according to Infosys chief Narayana Murthy, "only 40 per cent of Indian candidates perform well, whereas 80 per cent of the Chinese candidates do creditably well." Even the so-called brilliant students from the Indian institutions were not as good as their counterparts from China.

China was producing 2,000 Ph.Ds in engineering every year; in India it was hardly 700 (80 per cent of them were from Indian Institutes of Technology). After the General Agreement on Trade and Tariff had come into force in January 2005, the doors were opened for the foreign universities to set foot in India.

In such circumstances, the onus was on the Indian educational institutions to get international recognition. For achieving this, the lacunae in terms of design and syllabus should be removed, and the graduates should be made "global citizens," i.e., they could be able to work anywhere in the world, Mr. Acharya said.

He further said while Rajah Sir Annamalai Chettiar visualised his university on the model of Oxford University, the present Pro-Chancellor, M.A.M. Ramaswamy, was steering the university to greater heights.

The Pro-Chancellor said the university had grown like a banyan tree, and at present it had over 20,000 students on its roll, and several lakhs of learners were registered with the Directorate of Distance Education. Many of its alumni had become successful entrepreneurs in the country and abroad.

Mr. Ramaswamy announced a contribution of Rs. 10 lakhs to the university corpus, and laid the foundation stone for the diamond jubilee building of the engineering faculty.

Monday being Jawaharlal Nehru's birth anniversary, Vice-Chancellor L.B. Venkatrangan named the children's park on the campus as "Nehru Children's Park." He said in the past two-and-half years the university had taken up 21 projects at an estimated cost of Rs. 5.38 crores.

Anna University Vice-Chancellor D. Viswanathan, Expert Committee member A.C. Kamaraj, Interlinking of Rivers, Registrar M. Rathinasabapathi, and Dean of Engineering Faculty B. Palaniappan also participated.

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