Corporate Role in Professional Education

I passed out from IIT, Kharagpur in mechanical engineering and joined Hindustan Motors in1961. For the first time I realized, with whatever I had learned at the best institute, I couldn’t immediately be of much use in any department of the company. An on-the-job training was essential. The company had two types of appointments. In one the employee had to join a department directly and after some amount of learning from the coworkers, he had to get into the work of the department. In another executive trainee programme, the new employee used to get a tanning in various departments before getting fixed up in one where the company wanted. I joined as an executive trainee. I was to work as trainee in various departments before getting fixed up in a department. The training as such was nor very well organized and it depended on the self interest of the trainee to learn. The case was same in other organizations too where my friends had joined. The interaction between the institutes and industrial enterprises was totally missing and still lacks. I am sure with better interactions the gap between the real requirement in the industry, and teaching and training in educational institutes could have been reduced then and can be reduced even today. Perhaps the professional education for medicines is more practice-based.

Finding an acute lack of certain specific knowledge required for working in any sector for the freshers of even high-ranking institutes, many top companies set up its own academies and training facilities.
Accounting firm Ernst & Young (E&Y) has set up its tax academy for the graduates in Mumbai that trains them as tax associates and offers jobs to successful students. E&Y experienced the difficulty in finding chartered accountants in short supply to man its rapidly growing tax audit business. I decided to train graduates and employ them as associates even if they are not qualified chartered accountants.

TCS has started its own academy to train 2,000 science graduates in Chennai.

Infosys’ has built a $300 million campus in Mysore that can lodge 13,500 trainees at a time-the largest facility of its kind anywhere in the country to get the new graduates trained as per the company’s requirement. Infosys Technologies even plans to partner with US universities for training its faculty at its Mysore training campus.

ICICI is partnering with a few associates to set up an Institute of Banking & Finance.

Some companies are tying up with the institutes and universities to modify the curricula to suit their requirements so that after the course the students can directly be taken to work in the companies.

ICICI Bank has tied up with Delhi University to offer a certificate course in banking and insurance. Retail giant Pantaloon has seeded MBA programmes in seven business schools with promise to absorb the graduates passing out of these courses. Pantaloon has also tied up for a three-year BBA program with a focus on retail with the Madurai Kamraj University.

Consulting firm, Accenture has tied up with XLRI in Jamshedpur to launch the XLRI-Accenture HR Academy to train people for the booming outsourcing business.

India’s major progressive companies are either setting up in-house training institutes to meet their growing demand for talent or tying up with universities to create courses that will meet their requirements. Unlike the common, short duration on-the-job training

modules, these in-house institutes are conducting structured courses ranging from few weeks to few months to train science and commerce graduates or even graduates in engineering and technology. The training module is to make graduates industry-ready. In most cases, after the completion of the programmes, the trainees are absorbed as employees by the companies, if they qualify the norms set by the company. Those found unsuitable are dropped at various stages.

Based on McKinsey and Nasscom, India is going to face a huge shortage of manpower for the IT and BPO university. Several recent studies have revealed that India is facing a deepening crisis in higher education with declining standards.

I am confident, most of the shortages can be met with in-house education and training facilities. In a country that produces 10 million employable youths (above class XII) every year, the right talent can’t be a shortage. I am sure, an effort is underway to improve the quality of education at earlier stages of education.

Further, as still interactions between the industrial enterprises and the professional educational institutes are minimal because of lack of appreciation of the mutual benefits, it must be made mandatory for the companies of substance to include the name of the professional institutes with which it interacts on professional issues in its balance sheet. Some of the working executives will more than love to join the faculty on part time basis, if so required. It will certainly improve quality of higher education too.

Rural youth find favour with ICICI Bank

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