CHENNAI: Over five lakh polytechnic students from 500 colleges across Tamil Nadu would begin training on open source software from Friday, learning more about the nitty-gritties of ‘free’ software under a programme run by the Indian Institute of Technology – Bombay along with the Tamil Nadu government.
The training course content has also been extended to all engineering colleges under the Anna University, and arts & science colleges under University of Madras, Madurai Kamaraj and Alagappa University.
Under the programme, all students from IT, ECE, E&I and Computer Engineering streams in Tamil Nadu, including private institutions, will be trained on Open Source Software (OSS) like Linux, Java and C Progra-mming.
“Not only private firms, even most government departments including Indian Railways, the largest employer in the world have moved away from Windows to OSS,” said Mohammed Kasim Khan, the Tamil Nadu coordinator from IITB. He added that the certificate provided on successful completion of this training will increase the chances of getting employed in these sectors and top companies like Google and Infosys.
Unlike conventional teaching methods, this team from IIT Bombay will be using a special audio-video tool (Spoken Tutorial) for training. The training will be for two hours everyday during the time scheduled for practical classes and students will undergo a compulsory online assessment test conducted by the IITB.
This training material was added to syllabi of all engineering, polytechnic and arts and science colleges and principals of these colleges were instructed to make necessary changers before this weekend.
Recently, NASSCOM, a consortium of IT industries in India, had come up with the report that only 25 per cent of IT students were employable on completion of their degree. Referring to this, a senior official from the education department said, “This scenario will soon change in the State through similar attempts which makes the students readily employable.”
More than 4.5 lakh students across the country were benefited by this initiative funded by the Union Education Ministry under its National Mission on Education through Information and Communication Technology (ICT). The IITB has planned to expand this to five lakh students in the State by the end of this year. Shortage of trained faculty is a huge barrier rural colleges in Tamil Nadu face. Experts believed that this training will not eliminate this but also help in bringing down the dropout ratio as it discourages rote learning.