CHENNAI: Anna University and National Association for Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM) have offered a new elective paper for engineering students of all disciplines to prepare them better for the job market.
Built around Integrated Product Development, a skill set that NASSCOM says is lacking among the country’s engineering graduates, the course is a move to correct that lacuna.
Launched by the State’s Minister for Higher Education P Palaniappan on Thursday, the ‘Foundation Skills in Integrated Product Development’ (FSIPD) paper is only the first step of a tie up that will see several more specialisations in ‘hot skills’ demanded by the industry.
The move also corroborates the state’s own policy in raising its students’ skill levels.
“In all colleges in our state, skill development centres have been set up at a cost of `1 crore. Funds have also been given for starting incubation centre in colleges,” said Palaniappan.
“We have to revise the syllabus according to present day needs, something that would give immediate jobs to our students,” he added.
The FSIPD seeks to do exactly that. According to NASSCOM officials who were present at the launch, including chairman B V R Mohan Reddy, integrated product development is a vital skill that engineers now learn on the job.
“This is our way of making sure that students gain the skill at the college level itself - something that we have noticed students from other countries have when they graduate,” said Sandhya Chintala, executive director, NASSCOM’s Sector Skills Council.
The FSIPD program will first kick off with ‘Train the Trainer’ program that will see 2000 plus college faculty, primarily young ones, trained in the course guide that was released today. Under the MoU, NASSCOm will provide the trainers for this program, provide guidelines and recommendations in aspects of faculty and student selection, infrastructure etc.
“For faculty to teach the fundamentals of all the stages of product lifecycle they will have to be trained first. This will be the first step,” said Chintala.
The training is likely to be over in 2-3 weeks, she added. Then Anna University will be in a position to offer the course to its students.
The initial phase of the FSIPD program will see a coverage of around 300 colleges and around 10,000 plus students under Anna University, with the rest to be phased later. The course, when it is offered, will be an open elective for students of all disciplines.