When fresh engineering graduates try to enter the industry they are rejected as they do not possess the right skill sets. This can be seen in the statistics provided by NASSCOM and National Employability Report stating that over 70 percent of the engineering graduates are unemployable. "In order to make students employable, institutes must ensure that students possess high capacity of knowledge and talent, and exceptional communication skills," says Dr. G V Parishwad, Director, Walchand College of Engineering.
Started in the year 1947, the institute is one of the first few private engineering colleges that realized the importance of maintaining constant interactions with the industry in order to understand what the industry requires from educational institutions. With this purpose, the Training and Placement office was rechristened as the Industry Institute Partnership Cell (IIPC). The objective of the cell is to increase the partnership of the institute with the industry which will guide the institute to produce top quality engineers with the right skill sets and knowledge for the various jobs available in the industry. Walchand College of Engineering has over 25 MoUs with some of the big companies in the industry such as TCS, Mahindra, John Deere, Tata Technologies and IBM.
"These companies have been impressed by our students and thus are ready to work with us to create the necessary infrastructure so that students can gain the necessary skills before they appear for placements. The Embedded Systems Lab which has been developed by John Deere in collaboration with Walchand College of Engineering and was recently launched is one such example. Another example is Tata technologies who train students at the institute in PLM," says Dr. Parishwad.
Students are encouraged to participate in a lot of industry projects with the hope that they are able to understand the problems that the industry is facing and thus are able to solve the same. Therefore, compulsory industrial visits are conducted every year by the institute. Students are given permission to pursue their projects full time for six months with the industry in Bangalore, Pune, Delhi, Mumbai or any other city across the country. They are also given the opportunity to attend internships through their course.
Industry linked Faculty a Major Boost
Just as the students are given opportunities to go for internships and projects with the industry, the institute encourages its faculty members to do consultation work for the industry as well. 35 of the faculty members are PhD holders and about 15 are pursuing their PhDs. "Our faculty members are doing exceptional research work and consult with the industry frequently. This has enabled our students to learn from the best faculty members who are constantly working with the industry," says Dr. Parishwad. An example of this can be seen where the faculty members have conducted consultancy work worth Rs. 13 lakh using a FFT analyzer which is used for vibration and noise measurement this device in last one year. He claims, "We have obtained 2 patents and filed 9 patents for the research work completed by the faculty and every year generate an income of Rs. 70 lakh to Rs. 1 crore work which is generated through the consultancy work conducted by the faculty."
While the faculty members carry out consultancy work for various companies, the M.Tech. students are allowed to work with them and get firsthand knowledge of how to work with the industry and what kind of work is expected from them. Walchand College of Engineering provides pedagogical and knowledge training to the newly joined and mildly seasoned faculty members by sending them to the IITs and NITs for such kinds of workshops.
In order to reinvent the curriculum while providing the faculty various opportunities to improve themselves the institute has setup a board of studies for all the technical departments. But the most important step it has taken in this regard has been to invite senior industry professionals to be part of it and consistently provide their inputs and feedback about the course. "Apart from the 3 complete revisions that we have conducted in the curriculum since 2007, we make certain that the electives, subjects, topics which are offered are modified to meet the requirements of the industry which will allow the students to gain the necessary skills," says Dr. Parishwad.
Students are provided corporate trainings with which their communication and presentation skills are constantly being improved. "The industry has been impressed with our students and thus it is no surprise that most of them have been able to secure more than 2 to 3 offers during placement," says Dr. Parishwad. The institute which has over a 90 percent placement rate has companies such as Infosys, Wipro, Cognizant, IBM, TCS, Tata Motors, Mahindra Engineering, Bajaj, Bharat Forge, John Deere and others who have offered the students good placement offers.
The institute is striving to increase the industry institute interaction, develop centers of excellence in fields such as Mechatronics, Fluid Dynamics, Robotics and others and sign MoUs with foreign universities. Apart from this, Walchand College of Engineering is hoping to achieve world class quality and this will help shape the industry in the future.
Dr. G.V. Parishwad
He is the Director of Walchand College of Engineering Sangli. Incidentally he is also an alumnus of the institute and has graduated in Mechanical Engineering in 1981. After the completion of his Masters from IISc Bangalore in 1983, he has worked with Bajaj Tempo now known as Force Motors for 5 years in the Research and Development department. He completed his Ph.D. during 1995-98 from M.N.N.I.T., Allahabad. He has been a faculty member for the past 27 years in various engineering colleges such as the government engineering colleges in Aurangabad and Karad and College of Engineering, Pune. He has guided 7 candidates for their Ph.D.; 30 M.Tech. and large number of UG students; filed two patents, and published more than 100 Research Papers out of which 20 are in International Journals.