The irony of a strong demand for highly qualified personnel alongside a lack of employment in the tech sector for engineering and other graduates has prompted Kerala to announce a Special Post graduate Education Expansion Drive in IT (SPEED-IT). Officials here said the strategy was to attract good students into Masters and PhD programmes in IT and IT-related disciplines by providing attractive scholarships by government and industry, which would expand the human resource availability of post graduates for IT and related sectors. Simultaneously, engineering institutions would be encouraged to expand their capacity of intake of Masters and PhD students in IT and related disciplines. The strategy to enhance the resource base of higher qualified engineers involves scholarships and sponsorships for students.
According to officials, if the industry is to climb the value chain by providing higher-level services like R&D or product development, there needs to be better supply of higher-qualified resources in IT and related disciplines, which in turn calls for channeling students into post graduate education. They say that currently most graduates fall short of the skills needed to compete in the global economy, even as industries faced a consistent skills deficit, and that the challenge for universities was to work out a healthy balance between wholeness of knowledge and specialization that catered to current technological demand. The SPEED-IT programme is expected to address loss of employment in IT/ITES sectors, lack of employment among graduating students, and employment of NRI returnees in the IT/ITES sectors.