`Step up investment in English-speaking workforce'

CHENNAI, AUG. 21. A large English-speaking workforce is a national asset and the country should increase investment in this area, especially to improve the quality of public schools, Jerry Rao, chairman of the National Association of Software and Service Companies (NASSCOM), said today.

Addressing a convocation of the Loyola Institute of Business Administration (LIBA) here today, he said: "The average student in India who completes high school does not speak good English, thanks to the ill-conceived chauvinist educational policies."

While the rich made up with private education, the poor had to contend with inadequate infrastructure in the public schools. Unless the issues affecting the schools were addressed, "We will definitely hit roadblocks and face gridlock as we attempt to grow," said Mr. Rao, who is also the chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Mphasis.

Calling upon management students to participate in efforts to develop the skills and abilities of the less privileged, he pointed out, "Investment in human capital is the only way to ensure economic growth."

Two hundred and eightyseven students, who pursued post-graduate study in management of the LIBA, which was celebrating its silver jubilee, were conferred diplomas. Medals and other prizes were also presented.

Presenting the annual report, P. Christie, LIBA Director, said the institute "is being accorded the status of Centre of Excellence for Ph.D programme in business administration by the University of Madras."

It was one of the very few business schools in the region to have continuously achieved 100 per cent placements through campus recruitment. The institute was earmarking a place for a girls' hostel.

The LIBA principal, Albert Muthumalai, and the Rector, Boniface Jeyaraj, spoke.