New learning models

Published : Aug 01, 2008 00:00 IST

There is an increasing realisation among college principals that it is not enough that students have a bright academic record but they should have employable qualities too. Many colleges have introduced classes for soft skills, which include computer literacy, communication in English, logical thinking, etiquette and attention to detail.

Job Fair 2008 organised by the University of Madras in association with Techruit, a Chennai-based placement service company, on July 5 and 6 was “a success”, said Dr. V.D. Swaminathan, Director-in-Charge, Madras University Students’ Advisory Bureau. As many as 11,000 students queued up for the 2,680 jobs that were on offer from ICICI, HCL, Airtel, Team Lease, and so on. Of them, 1,060 were found employable and another 1,015 were shortlisted. More students were becoming employable now, said Swaminathan, thanks to soft skills being made part of the curriculum.

mains for job orientation, including soft skills and writing skills, and this renders the majority of students unemployable. This creates an ever-widening gap between academies and industries,” said S. Giridharan, chairman and chief executive officer of EdServ Softsystems Limited, Chennai, which introduced a novel programme of education in January to bridge this gap. EdServ’s HEADS model, with web-based learning, provides job-linked, industry-related education to non-information technology students.

Under this system, a student of B.Com., B.A. (English literature) or any other course goes through a counselling process and is linked to a firm job offer from a client. “On completing the course successfully, the student is automatically allotted the job on the basis of his skill level and capability. And industries get trained and employable professionals of both IT and non-IT nature,” Giridharan said.

EdServ’s LAMPS, the software portal engine, provides a centrally controlled and automated learning and placement mechanism. EdServ has rolled out IT soft skills and business process outsourcing (BPO) contents through its 35 centres all over India. It plans to reach 1,000 centres in a year from August 2008. Its clients include those in the retail, telecom, manufacturing and health care sectors.

Another institution that offers “ready to deploy” professionals is Jeevan IT Academy, which was inaugurated on June 3. Napoleon D., chairman of Jeevan Technologies and Jeevan I.T. Academy, said the Academy would aim at transforming graduates into ready-to-be-deployed professionals. This would help corporate companies to get the best employee at the entry level.

Training has already begun for the first batch of 40 graduates and the second batch will begin their course from July 14. The course offers technical training in Java, .Net, Testing, LAMP and Mainframe, software engineering and project management, on-job training, team-building activities and value pack. Activities in value pack include guest lectures, interaction with clients, dressing etiquette, dining habits and social ethics.

With thousands of jobs waiting to be grabbed in animation and gaming sectors, DSK Global Education and Research has set up DSK International Institute of Industrial Design, Animation and Gaming in Pune, which will offer full-time courses in these disciplines. While the courses will last five years in industrial design and in animation, it will be a four-year course in gaming. Admission is open to those who have passed Class XII.

Dr. Ashok Kolaskar, managing director, DSK Global Education and Research Private Limited, said it would conduct the courses in collaboration with Supinfocomgroup, Chamber of Commerce and Industries at Valenciennes (CCIV), France, and offer internationally accepted certification in the field.

The institute, which has been started with an investment of Rs.200 crore on a 20-acre (one acre is 0.4 hectare) campus at Fursungi, Pune, will have faculty from France. The course is open to professionals or those who have received training in these fields. They can complete the courses in three or two years. On completion, the students will receive a certificate from Commission Nationale and Certification Professionale, France.

With 16 colleges, the Jaya Group of Institutions at Thiruninravur, near Chennai, is an educational hub that offers courses ranging from engineering, technology (including aviation), dentistry, nursing, pharma, physiotherapy, teacher education, and so on. The colleges have well-equipped laboratories, libraries with CD-ROMs and playfields, and a cosmopolitan student population.

A. Kanagaraj, chairman, Jaya Group of Institutions, said: “We just don’t educate the students. We offer them a value system for life.” There are literary activities, debates and group discussions. Jaya Group’s colleges are affiliated to Madras University, Anna University and the Tamil Nadu Dr. MGR Medical University.

Kensington College of Business (KCB), London, offers scholarship to students in India to pursue postgraduate and undergraduate courses in the University of Wales and the University of Glamorgan in the United Kingdom. The KCB has now tied up with Loyola College in Chennai to enable students to study pre-MBA courses at the Loyola Institute of Business Administration, Chennai. KCB is a partner college of the University of Glamorgan. The University of Wales recently validated KCB to deliver MBA programmes with pathways in finance and marketing. Development of new MBA pathways in hospitality management, health care management and IT management is on.

The burgeoning of electronic commerce has changed the way the world does business and has created opportunities in the telecommunication, entertainment, pharmaceutical, aerospace, railways, manufacturing, biotechnology, information security and defence industries. Capitalising on this trend, the British Institute of Technology and E-Commerce (BITE), London, has developed programmes at undergraduate and postgraduate levels to handle the challenges in these sectors. Its courses are recognised by the University of East London and the University of Coventry.

The courses offered by BITE include M.Sc. in e-science, e-technology, e-commerce, e-management, e-security, bioinformatics, biomedical science, biotechnology, nano medicine, Internet and wireless security network, wireless and ubiquitous computing and an MBA in innovative management. •

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