How institution and industry can work in tandem


The transformation from a nation of skill dearth to skill surplus, requires some serious collaborative effort. Here is how:

Institutions are factories where the talent pool is created and nurtured to take on various roles in industries. In a way, a better tomorrow is assured by a better university–institution– industry connect.

The transformation from a nation of skill dearth to skill surplus, requires some serious collaborative effort. Here is how:

Establishing communication forums for regular industry –university connect
In professional organisations, there should be well established programmes to connect with the customers, giving them first priority. Through these meetings and programmes one comes to know what is expected from one in this changing market scenario and accordingly work towards providing solutions.

Similarly, regular communication forums by university officials (including select heads of institutions) with industry professionals (people with responsibilities at a senior level) can be scheduled so that the market-required skills can be mastered by the students of different streams alongside their academic curriculum.

Developing ownership mindset
The heads of specific faculties/streams should develop a sense of ownership when it comes to mentoring their students. They have to realise that the mentoring is not restricted to merely providing education but should be all about creating a better future for the students (at least for all PG/ professional courses). The fact that students mainly join professional courses to get into decent jobs should not be overlooked for a single moment.

The industry carries out recruitment majorly based on the merit and intellect of the students in specific areas/streams. If imparting of knowledge is clubbed with structured efforts in campus placements, the result can surely be a win – win for both the industry and the institution. Most importantly, the students will be contributing to Skill India.

Establishing and empowering TPO cell at institute level
Training and placement cells act as a bridge between the academia and the industry. The university should make it mandatory for each institute to have a dedicated TPO (training and placement officer) to take care of the skilling of students and coordinate with related industry for more interaction. The industry needs to support the TPO in encouraging detailed visits at their premises from the talent readiness point of view. Industry personnel should also take out time for knowledge transfer to prepare ready candidates who can be absorbed by industries.

Emphasising on industry-required syllabus/ courses/ projects
Today, technology is changing at a very rapid speed and unlike the past, the demand is for updated students rather than traditional ones, in any stream or are. In a dynamic age where, everything is just an online search away, and where Google offers answers to all queries, universities and industries should connect on a regular basis. This will help review and update the course curriculum, which is the primary requirement of skill development. Of course, keeping the basic concepts strong, the need of the hour is to add on few topics/ arrange regular seminars and prepare the students for the challenges awaiting them when they step out of the campus into the corporate sector. The number of electives should be increased and industry-specific projects should be made mandatory, wherein the students should complete projects in their areas of specialisation. Many organisations today offer long-term projects to trainees, involving greater opportunities for actual on-the-job learning.

Increasing representation at various professional forums at all levels
The institutes and universities should focus on branding and making their presence felt through various professional forums. Forums such as CII( Confederation of Indian Industries – which is the premier industry association body), FICCI(Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry) and NIPM( National Institute of Personnel Management – A premier national body of HR professionals) should be active across locations. The representation from the universities and affiliated bodies will not only increase interaction but the industries will be compelled to consider recruiting from the same region, before looking outside.

Launching flagship programmes/courses
The universities, in association with select industries, can have one flagship programme/ course which can be showcased and highlighted across boundaries. This programme, should be designed to meet international standards and be executed with utmost professionalism, to bring laurels to the concerned universities and the people associated with it.

Just like Make In India is known across the world, it is now time for Make in your University!!!

(The author is himself a millennial and senior manager, HR, at Siemens).

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