With the focus to impart skill education at the undergraduate level, AISECT University has made it mandatory for the undergraduate students to learn skill courses in a four year term. Vijay Kant Verma, Vice Chancellor, AISECT University, Bhopal in conversation with Vishwas Dass of Elets News Network (ENN) throws light on how the university is bridging the gap between industry and academia
Could you elaborate the role of AISECT University in skill education initiative.
AISECT University is the first varsity which has introduced skill at higher education, almost around three years back. We have introduced skill courses mandatorily to be undertaken by undergraduates every year. A student has to undergo minimum four skill courses. We have 22 skill courses at undergraduate level. The other aspect is that these courses are multidisciplinary. Importantly, we have designed these skill courses in a way to impart 80 per cent practical training to students while remaining 20 per cent is theoretical.
We have partnered with NSDC and have moved on to a skill academy within the university, which is coordinating all these courses and improving the quality. We are trying to align all the skill courses offered at higher education level, along with NSDC courses. This will improve the quality—the employability of students because these courses are very current in the industry. For instance, we have skill courses from renewable energy, automobile and communication sectors, among others. We have a collaboration with industry to make these courses more employable involving like Reliance, Tata and several foreign firms where they help in imparting skill courses to our students.
Which are the streams where you see the youth moving forward in the skill courses? Also why despite imparting the best training to engineering students, why are they not able to get the jobs?
At higher education level, renewable energy sector is generating a lot of interest, followed by communication and automobile sectors. The non-engineering areas, where engineers are also interested, are banking, insurance and retail sectors. One area, which is common to all the disciplines and where industry is seeing the employability gap, is the communication skill. Communication skill among the youths in Madhya Pradesh is appearing to be deficient which is almost across all the disciplines. We need to improve the communication and other skills to make students enable to get jobs in leading firms. The tie ups with global companies will help in a big way. If you look at the Indian education system, it is more like teaching where emphasis on research and hands on components is not there as compared to European, American and other developed countries. This is the reason why none of the Indian universities or institutions are in the world ranking of first 200. Therefore, we need to focus on research and skills development, and collaborating with foreign institutions will bring in a lot of research orientation to bridge the employability gap.
How is this initiative bridging the gap between the industry and academia?
We are trying to involve industries in these skill development courses. Tata Motors is setting up its labs and we have collaboration with them on automobile skill courses. We have partnered with IT Power Gurgaon, a leading industry on renewable energy. Our first batch of undergraduate level will be passing out with the said skill courses.
What is your opinion on the WES Summit and how it can help the AISECT to reform educational set up?
It is a vibrant platform where all the stakeholders like industrialists, government regulatory bodies and institutes from different parts of the country are coming under one platform and are converging. It is providing a wide platform where a lot of interaction takes places. There has to be a platform where the exchange of ideas takes place that will modulate all the policies and action plan. I must congratulate Elets Technomedia for organising such an event that helps a lot to various stakeholders participating in the event.