The miles to go before I sleep...

  • Start teaching science at school and incorporate demo
  • Research, design, implement comprehensive teaching module on science, civic sense
  • Interview social change agents working @ ground level
  • Pilot peer-to-peer teaching programme

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Bridging gap between academia and industry - One step closer?

I remember the days from undergraduate college when I would attend the computer lab session once a week, sit in front of a dying black-and-white computer monitor with nothing but MS-DOS and copying FORTRAN program from the "observation notebook".

I also remember that right after college, I used to go to TULEC - A TATA Infotech computer education center which charged Rs.40000/- for its software courses.

Looking back I can't but wonder if the courses that were offered to me in TULEC should ideally be part of my college curriculum. After all, all the software companies needed the skill and the century or so old University of Madras still had syllabus that was also probably as old and badly needed upgradation anyway. Couldn't the former push the latter for its own good? It seems the stakeholders, the companies and the government have finally turned that corner. FINALLY!

Addressing the Fifth annual NASSCOM HR Summit 2008 in Chennai (July 3-4), Dr. Chandramouli, IT Secretary of Tamil Nadu said that 'IT finishing schools' that "would act as a pre-employment training centre to hone the skills of both engineering and non-engineering students to make them readily employable" [The Hindu - July 4] would start functioning within a month's time. In this is public-private partnership training center would be up and running in all the districts of Tamil Nadu. Each centre would have about 25 computers and students will go through a 3-month training program designed and conducted by the participating companies.

An ICT Academy of Tamil Nadu (ICTACT) is also setup for training the faculty, apparently to allow the cutting-edge industry knowledge to percolate into classrooms directly.

Prima facie, the stakeholders (mainly the government) are serious about this initiative, given that the ICTACT is autonomous, with board of directors represented by the state government, academic and industry (it would be good to know who they are) and a research and training headquarters would be set up in Chennai.[ Business Standard - July 4]

But the scary part is, a search on ICTACT in Google or Tamil Nadu's IT department website comes up with nothing. I guess one has to wait just a little longer to see the bridge across the abyss that separates the academia and the industry, but hopefully only a little longer.

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