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Now, a finishing school for engineers
Being industry-ready is the key to finding a job easily, especially in the information technology sector in India. With IT firms insisting that candidates are industry-ready before they are appointed, India in general and Bangalore in particular have seen a rise in the number of finishing schools.
While finishing schools are located in cities with the fee structure more suitable for the upper middle class, the big question was what those in rural areas would do in case they wanted to join IT firms.
Mindlogicx Infotech, an R&D-based technology firm at Whitefield in Bangalore has now launched an online finishing school which would help aspirants from any part of the country to nurture their dream of being industry-ready when they join the IT sector.
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Suresh Elangovan, CEO and managing director, Mindlogicx, who is also a board member at Anna University in Tamil Nadu, said finishing schools have become essential especially in the IT sector. "Since most of the finishing schools are based in the cities and are too expensive, I thought the best way is to go online. This is the only way to reach people across the country, especially in the rural sector. A student in the rural sector cannot come to the city and attend a finishing school."
He says this idea was floated keeping in mind the vision of former President Dr APJ Abdul Kalam [Images] who had said that it was essential to create a knowledge bank.
How it works
Those interested in joining the course would have to pick up a pre-paid scratch card known as Edu Card. Suresh says they have tied up with Reliance [Get Quote] who will be selling the cards. For the IT finishing course, there are two options available -- re-skilling and up-skilling.
Re-skilling involves enhancement of built up skill. It basically finetunes the skill of a candidate. This card is available at Rs 1,500. Up-skilling would involve the teaching of new skills. Suresh says there are various cards available for this course and the pricing is between Rs 499 and Rs 5,000.
Suresh says for students who are confused as to what they ought to be learning, they could pick up a card for Rs 499 where details of the various course will be available. The student could take a mock test and the results will be available online. Based on his/her performance s/he would decide on what course s/he wants to do.
The scratch card provides a 16-digit number which a candidate needs to use to log in and create an account. Once a candidate logs in, s/he will get the study material online. Suresh says care has been taken to give a classroom feel to the course. Guest lectures will be available online and students could also participate in group discussions sitting at home, he adds.
Considering the fact that internet speeds are not great in rural India, Suresh says the delivery of the package is available at a mere 40 kpbs speed through a dial-up connection also. He says slow connectivity will not be an issue for students taking up this course.
The examinations too will be online, Suresh adds. Prior to taking up the examination, a student gets a chance to test his skills through a meter to help assess one's performance. If a student thinks s/he is ready, then s/he could take the examination.
The number of attempts a student can make would depend on the denomination of the card. A student who has picked up a card for Rs 499 could make up to 50 attempts and this card would be valid for a year. A Rs 1,500 card would enable a student to have 100 attempts while the Rs 5,000 card would give a student 250 attempts.
A student who uses up all the attempts would have to purchase another card, Suresh says. However, it would be better to get through in the minimum number of attempts as it would read well on the bio-data, he adds.
For those students who complete the up-skilling course they would be certified by T�V Rheinland. Suresh says this certificate will enable students get global validity. The certificate will have a seal of authentication by way of a Global Access Code and the same will be made available in the global database of T�V Rheinland.
The students can connect to the prospective employers by using this unique GAC that vouches for the authenticity of their knowledge base. Suresh says a certificate for those students taking up the re-skilling course will also be provided. However, the certification would be done by Mindlogicx.
The commercial launch of the online finishing school is scheduled for the second week of August 2008. Queries are already flowing in and the responses have been best from Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, informs Suresh. However, he adds that the response has been better from students in the city when compared to the rural areas. "Over the months we will spread awareness regarding this course in the rural areas."
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