Industry and academia need to stop working in isolation from one another if they want to see tangible benefits for themselves and the nation, said D V Deshpande, Karnataka Minister for Higher Education and Tourism.
Speaking at a panel discussion on ‘India Inc is Not Doing Enough to Further the Cause of Education’, Deshpande said, “One of the biggest problems in India is that the higher education sector and the industry have worked in isolation for too long. This has to end and these sectors have to come together for their own interests and the interest of the nation.”
The minister said human resources will be a big challenge in the 21st century. “The industry has to realise that without a rich source of human resources they cannot sustain themselves,” he stressed. And the best solution is to train students with skills that the industry is looking for. “The industry’s complaint is that most graduates don’t have the skills that they are looking for,” he said, adding that “it is the responsibility of the government and academia to provide them with those skills.”
The minister said industry-institute interactions were the easiest and most effective way to satisfy the industry’s demands. “Academia has to hug industries and interact for the development of each other,” he added.
Srini Raju, MD of Peepul Capital said barely half the graduates produced by the system were employable. Usha Ananthasubramanian, CMD of Bharatiya Mahila Bank, pointed out that a UNESCO report stated that 90 per cent of the world’s illiterate population is in India. “It is imperative that we involve the corporate world in the education system,” she said.