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How Andhra Pradesh is helping graduates get jobs
George Iype | September 12, 2006
What if a state has 240 engineering colleges and 272 general colleges, but a large number of the students passing out do not get jobs because of poor communication and human resource skills?
The state of Andhra Pradesh faced this perplexing problem two years ago.
But a unique project -- that the Andhra Pradesh government launched in collaboration with leading multinational and infotech companies -- is these days helping students, even in rural areas, to get employment in reputed companies.
Andhra Pradesh has 272 colleges from where nearly 86,000 engineers graduate every year. And there are 272 general colleges in Andhra Pradesh that teach Masters in Computer Applications, from where annually 250,000 people graduate.
But fresh graduates -- most of them from rural areas -- were never fit to be taken in for a good job, especially by the IT industry, till the Andhra government's unique Jawahar Knowledge Centres made an impact on colleges and students.
"Jawahar Knowledge Centre is a unique human resources promotion initiative of our (Andhra Pradesh) government. It is the first such programme that any state government has launched in the country. Our task is to ensure that Andhra Pradesh has the largest and talented rural human resource pool for the IT/ITES industry in the country," said Andhra Pradesh Minister for Education Rajyalakshmi Nedurumalli.
She said that the quality of higher education across Andhra Pradesh has dramatically improved through imparting suitable skills, enabling potential and gainful employment for final-year engineering students through JKCs.
"In fact, the initiative is now contributing to the educational and economic development of the state and the people," the minister told rediff.com.
So what are JKCs?
They are human resource knowledge centres that the state government has set up in colleges in collaboration with the IT industry.
JKCs have been set up in reputed engineering colleges across Andhra Pradesh to increase the standards of higher education. An engineering college that has a JKC should provide a computer lab, worth Rs 25 lakh (Rs 2.5 million), with a powerful server and 50 state-of-the-art high-end, dedicated desktops, all of which are connected in a LAN (local area network).
In JKC, students are trained in technical skills, soft skills, project management skills and communication skills by employing accelerated learning strategies with a mentor-to-student ratio of 1:5.
JKCs thus provide the best human resource trained in all the skills required by the IT industry, which in turn bridges the gap between the student-curriculum knowledge and industry-desired skills.
JKC training involves a short-term course known as Campus Placement Mission. In this programme, students are made aware of the recruitment process of different companies. Mock group discussions and interviews are conducted for the students.
JKC students also serve in about 70 government departments to analyse, design, develop and deploy IT applications required. They, thus, gain practical experience of doing the projects facing real life scenarios like working in a team, managing time, finding effective ways of developing software applications, et cetera.
Currently, there are 43 JKCs in 23 districts with 164 participating colleges and 40 IT companies, said the minister.
Now, look at the performance of JKC during the last 2 years:
And look at the number of students recruited by MNCs through JKCs:
Officials in the higher education department in Andhra Pradesh say that when JKCs are set up in all colleges in the state, it will help the government achieve the target of providing employment to all graduates.
To give cutting human resources edge to the programme, the government has now invited India's most-reputed IT company Infosys Technologies to partner in the JKC project.
As per the agreement with Infosys, the IT major will provide training to 100 faculty members of JKC participating colleges, who in turn will train 12,900 engineering students.
All these measures, officials said, will help the government achieve the set target of providing employment to 235,000 graduates by 2008.