Today, in India, there are more than 3300 engineering institutes that have intake of 14.86 lakhs seats. There are 3850 management institutes/schools with a total student intake of 3.5 lakh. i.e precisely, two-third of the global business schools are in India. Quantity i.e. growth of the technical education is on higher side. As per the McKinsey Global Institute (2005) survey, the employability of Engineering professionals coming out of Indian colleges is 25 percent. Compare with China, India has definitely edge over China. Only 10 percent of Chinese engineers are employable. However, Indian higher technical education needs to focus on quality to meet the global standards, like US with 80.7 percent of employability.
Today the business world is changing faster than ever before. In this fast pace world, companies cannot afford to spent time and effort to train the newly recruited students from the campuses. Employers expect more than academic qualifications from new employees. Industry needs corporate ready products (CRP) from higher educational institutions. It is extremely important that colleges need to connect theory with practice. To equip the students to meet the current and future needs and maintain the pace with industry, the colleges needs to focus on five best practices namely, innovative pedagogies, faculty engagement, student engagement, corporate connectedness and international student exchange or study abroad programmes so that students become better prepared for the workplace. Technocrats or leaders of today and tomorrow cannot be developed with the existing curriculum and traditional class room teaching.
To create industry atmosphere at classroom is essential for deeper learning experience amongst the students. This requires smart classrooms and smarter approaches. The innovative pedagogies which may be adopted for effective teaching learning process are interactive Simulations/Beer games, Theater techniques, Outbound programme-experiential learning, Scholarly teaching practices, Case based collaborative learning, Beaming live lecture sessions through technology, Team teaching/Joint teaching and many other ways.
The rapid advancement of knowledge is critical in today's business environment. It is essential to integrate knowledge creation to improve teaching standards. The excellence in teaching requires constant learning in the disciplinary field. The colleges need to place high emphasis on faculty research that is essential to the professional development of faculty that creates relevant knowledge for business and industry, opens opportunities for students and serves the communities of the business world.
Faculty engagement can reap rich rewards on students. Interaction of professors with stakeholders and other organizations (nonprofits, government or private organizations) outside the campus, not only do they enrich their own research, but they often bring their findings into the classroom. Thus, the students gain practical relevance and valuable real-world experience.
As a part of corporate mentorship program (CMP), colleges must ensure that all students have a chance to participate in an internship program. This will give students opportunity to work in companies, giving them business knowledge and skills and familiarizing them with organization, its broad functioning and best practices. As a part of engagement, students must get opportunities for meaningful scholarly work with faculty mentors. Students involved in research projects learn about ethics and gain hands-on, analytical and critical-thinking skills, which are important in the workforce as well as in society. Students also gain significantly in research skills, including formulation of research hypotheses, data analysis, and written communication. As a result, they're better prepared to take in the first job.
The various ways the colleges can to establish corporate connectedness are:
Conducting Business Thought Leadership (BTL) Series periodically, organizing interaction of students with CEOs, technocrats, management thinkers, management gurus and alumni of institute will bring students closer to the ground reality of industry and thus will establish a strong corporate connection.
Teaching by professionally qualified faculty will serve best for students, the experience sharing will not only create different kind of learning experiences amongst the students but it will also provide the latest knowledge which normally takes time to appear in the form of textbooks or articles.The students need to get insight of the industry and its working which is possible by organizing industry visits or study tours. In this process students gain the specialized knowledge through the industry practices. This also helps the students to increase their confidence level- "Seeing is believing".
International Student Exchange /Study Abroad Programme
Colleges and Universities should be a part of student exchange prorgamme, spending a term abroad alongside of multi- nationalities at partner universities, definitely provides a cross-cultural experience and understanding, global exposure and networking opportunities. It is very important to shape the newly graduates as global leaders/technocrats to service at MNCs and make them environment ready.
There is a need to adopt a holistic approach by institutes to develop global managers/technocrats and "ready-professionals" who can add value to the work place from day one. Therefore, it is very important, for higher education institutions in India to reinvent their programmes/courses to meet the current and future demands of the industry.
Dr. Bhimaraya Metri
Dr. Bhimaraya A. Metri received his Ph.D. from Indian Institute of Technology (IIT)ï¿½ Bombay. He obtained his Master Degree in Engineering from Shivaji Universityï¿½ Kolhapur and First Degree in Engineering from Govt. College of Engineeringï¿½ Karad. He is a Certified Lead Auditor in Quality Management System (QMS). Presently serving as Dean Academic & Professor in IMI New Delhi.