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Is an engineering degree enough?
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June 14, 2007

With a majority of private engineering college graduates not matching up to industry requirements, the concept of finishing schools is fast catching up in the engineering sector.

A recent study by Nasscom suggests that only a fourth of the 400,000 students graduating every year in the country are employable.

However, the engineering sector is witnessing a robust growth. A recent estimate by Union Commerce Minister Kamal Nath reveals that India is poised to become an engineering process outsourcing (EPO) hub. The size of the market is expected to touch $ 30 billion annually by 2015. Also, the demand for EPO has grown at 30-35 percent from 2004 to 2006.

Sectors like defence equipment, aircrafts, automobiles and industrial devices are facing major shortfall of trained engineers, according to various studies. Cashing in on the demand, Kolkata-based Descon Limited has tied up with Delhi's Jaintec Limited for providing computer-aided designing, manufacturing and related-courses to engineering graduates.

The joint-venture company will set up its first campus in Kolkata shortly.

Jaintec Limited plans to tie up with various private and public engineering colleges in the future to widen its reach.

In total, it plans to set up nearly 20 campuses in the next three to five years, with an investment of around Rs 20 crore.

Some of the new campuses would be set up by the newly formed joint venture company, said Anuj Saxena, vice-president, technology, Jaintec Information Systems.

Graduates and diploma holder from mechanical and civil engineering streams are eligible for the course.

The company would be called Jaintec-DESCON Training Solutions.

The alliance would aim to address the problems of human resource development in the engineering sector, S Radhakrishnan, managing director, DESCON, and and Ashish Kumar, CEO, Jaintec said.

Descon said the industrial resurgence of West Bengal had created demand for engineering graduates.

West Bengal, and the country, produced a high number of engineering graduates every year but only a fourth of them were employable as they lacked industry-relevant skills.

In disciplines like civil engineering and mechanical engineering, attributes like ingenuity and designing capabilities are needed, but are lacking in today's engineering graduates, said Descon.

This had led to a supply-demand imbalance which needed to be addressed.

The idea was to leverage on each other's core competence, thus ensuring a steady outflow of project-ready design engineers for the benefit of industry.

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