Enhancing employability for young Indians

Enhancing employability for young Indians

Like many proud Indians I get upset when faced with alarming reports that point to the poor employment rate of Indias college and university graduates...

Like many proud Indians I get upset when faced with alarming reports that point to the poor employment rate of India's college and university graduates. The IT industry body Nasscom's reports point to the inadequate technical skills and low employability rate of India's engineering graduates. The effort money that the $167 billion Indian IT industry has to invest in imparting months of intensive training before fresh engineering graduates can become productive on basic software jobs brings out the deficiency of our higher education system in creating job ready engineers.

Management education portal MB's report on the industry-readiness of MBA graduates from over 2,000 Indian management schools of some significance, barring the top 200 business schools, points to dismal employment prospects for over 300,000 young men and women who annually join the employment market. Conversations of academics at the assessment and job placement platform HireMee with recruiting managers too point to the woefully inadequate training of Indian graduates spread across different streams -- ranging from engineering and commerce, to management and the social sciences -- to even communicate clearly their core technical skills, leave alone career aspirations, or interest areas.

It's a pity that India's demographic dividend is being put through an education system that is divorced from its very objective of firing up creativity, building problem-solving skills, preparing them to work in a highly inter-connected, interdependent global work environment. That we do have a few Islands of excellence -- some of the best engineering, management schools in the world -- whose alumni have earned a name for themselves, their institutions and India, is equally well known. The success of IITs, IIMs, AIIMS and IISc, can be attributed to the exceptional intake quality as a result of stringent selection criteria and liberal government funding.

What can India do to remedy the situation for a vast majority of institutions that are forced to follow the "garbage-in garbage-out" model? These institutions depend on pedagogy that has completely outlived its utility. Divorced from the world of work these, institutions have "very limited" to practically "no industry interface". (Sanjiv Kataria, who served NIIT as a brand custodian for two decades, is a communications counsel).

BY Sanjiv Kataria

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