From academia to the industry

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Education in our country is mainly undertaken to fetch a job. The transformation of a student to an employee is not always easy. It is the transition of a puerile to a mature, a careless to a responsible, and a person of theory to a practical human being. There have been many efforts put into at various levels to bridge the gap between the industry and the academia but except from countable serious institutions, the benefits of this has not be reached to the students as required. Because of this reason, the prospective ‘employees’ are almost unaware of the industrial environment, work culture, challenges, processes, etc. Few industries do the needful to groom this ‘raw’ influx to their levels but most of the companies just leave them into an unexplored vast ocean to learn and survive.

The orientation programs: Many companies plan for the ‘orientation’ programs that the new recruits undergo. It exposes them to the companies’ work environment, missions, values, aims etc. so that as an employee they are well versed with the ‘Dos and Don’ts’ of the company.  But these are the ones which an industry plans after the recruitment. But the big question is, are our students ‘industry ready’?

Students from professional courses: The courses having the ‘professional course’ tag are planned to extract maximum in terms of exposure and ‘hands on experience’ from the industries but ultimately all ends up in being just an academic formality. Students passing out from the college still remain aloof with the industrial environment and their practices and find it difficult to fit in. If the campus selection lands the students in companies who have healthy and standard work culture all well, but if the work environment is a ‘pressurized chamber’ they really find it difficult to cope with.

Example these: In one of the interviews, the candidate failed to tell about the company’s products and profile to which he was seeking the job. In another case, one of the interviewers showed a measuring device to a candidate and asked for its name. The candidate failed to recognize it, though he could tell all the associated theories and principles. In another interview, when the interviewer asked about the industrial project that was undertaken by the candidate in his professional degree course, he couldn’t provide convincing answers.

Beyond academics-bridge the gap: There is a need for the colleges to incorporate ‘beyond academics’ type of courses in their curriculum which may groom students to face the interview boards of the companies and make them ‘fit’ to get adapted to their work culture. These can be in the form of seminars by experts from various Industries, in-plant trainings in selected and relevant industries, industrial visits, internships and various other similar initiatives. The participation of each student needs to be mandatory and there should be no relaxation allowed.

Practical exposure: The ‘in-plant’ training was introduced with intent to bridge the gap between the industry and the academia but the seriousness towards it has been depleted over the years and most of the colleges take it as a formality towards the grant of the degree. The students do not get an ear-marked slot for the same and they shuttle between the college and the industry to get the requirement fulfilled. The colleges should however realize the importance and ensure that the students get an ample opportunity and time to make full use of it. The evaluation also needs to be strict. Further, the academics need to be closely linked to the industrial requirements with each student undergoing at least 100 hours of related learning and exposure. The same holds true for students pursuing a law degree, an MBA degree, an M. Phil degree or other similar courses.

In current scenario, the colleges are busy producing ‘book worms’ those either prefer to go for higher studies or ‘incompetent’ candidates, who require a transformation to get accommodated in an industry. The need of the hour is to produce and orient students as per the demands of the industry so that the ‘industry-driven’ approach can provide required impetus to the ‘Make in India’ drive.

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