Redesign job-oriented professional courses
R. C. Dalal
ROFESSIONAL education has experienced extensive changes in recent times in terms of capacity expansion, student enrolment and content delivery. Efforts have been made to redesign the core curriculum to suit industry requirements. However, none of these initiatives has served any meaningful purpose, as achieving gainful employment has become an uphill task as never before.


Campus NoteS


Redesign job-oriented professional courses
R. C. Dalal

More functional freedom needed for private institutions to customise their own courses to suit industry requirements
More functional freedom needed for private institutions to customise their own courses to suit industry requirements. Thinkstock

PROFESSIONAL education has experienced extensive changes in recent times in terms of capacity expansion, student enrolment and content delivery. Efforts have been made to redesign the core curriculum to suit industry requirements. However, none of these initiatives has served any meaningful purpose, as achieving gainful employment has become an uphill task as never before.

Although the mushrooming of private institutions imparting professional education in the country sparked a ray of hope in young minds of getting well-paid jobs in the booming economy, except for premier institutions, students passing out from tier II and III institutions are a desperate lot, seeking employment even in vocations they have not been trained in. To their dismay, 80-85 per cent of these graduates are being considered unemployable in popular employability surveys.

Unable to get suitable employment, students have also turned their back on these institutions. As a result, financial health of many of these institutions is in deplorable condition and now they are scouting for new investors to make both ends meet. These institutions are in a way compelled to resort to unethical practices such as poaching over students of rival institutions and luring academic consultants with a share in fees received. In many institutions, the faculty is underpaid; overcharging of fees and funds from students is also very common. With aggrieved students, the quality and cost of education has taken a beating.

During the mushrooming period, a majority of these institutions were promoted by private enterprises, as these were seen as cash surplus ventures. Invested heavily on land development, building infrastructure, technology, laboratory infrastructure, these institutions are now trying hard to get adequate return on investments. Similarly, the state of state and Central universities is not very different. These institutions, which have been accommodating students beyond their intake capacity, now finds it difficult to offer campus placements and are experiencing a gradual decline in the number of admission seekers in recent times. Faced with the faculty crunch, these institutions are finding it even tougher to regulate and monitor in-company training, and as a consequence, pre-placement offers have almost been dried out.

Curiously, unable to find a suitable employment, a large number of graduates are turning to research degrees. Sometimes this number is even larger than those seeking admission to the course. For instance, 367 candidates queued up for 10 seats for the Ph. D course in management at Kurukshetra University, Kurukshetra, recently. Of these, 61 were entitled to University Grants Commission (UGC) research fellowships.

It is a clear pointer to the availability of competent candidates for the teaching job, whereas universities and educational institutions are lacking initiatives for reasons best known to them to meet the faculty crunch. A large turnout for Ph.D courses further points out that the present-day academic environment is not supportive to capable people for gainful employment. It also reflects insensitivity of the established universities in harnessing this talent pool. In absence of any timely response, this talented lot is expected to land in academic ghettos in quest of research degrees.

Looking from a regulatory perspective, an institution is academically supervised and its activities are monitored by multiple regulators. For example, the All-India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) keep tabs on those institutions that impart education in technical courses. It also comes under the domain of the UGC, which is the apex monitoring body of higher education in the country.

Regulatory agencies supervise and monitor educational institutions with different standards and perspectives. Faculty eligibility conditions, syllabi and requirement of infrastructure facilities are not uniform for these agencies. As a result, a good amount of efforts and resources are wasted while facilitating the regulatory compliance that often leads to confusion, confrontation and even non-compliance. Recently promoted private institutions are also lined up at the door of HR executives for campus placements for their survival. This has an adverse impact on campus placements in the state-run tier II institutions.

Today the state of professional education is at crossroads for want of employability. Professional courses that are being run in these institutions have been customised for a manufacturing enterprise in the perspective, although manufacturing activities today account for only 14-15 per cent of new job creations in the country. This calls for redesigning of job-oriented professional courses to make them more relevant for gainful employment.

A large chunk of new jobs originates in the fields of banking, insurance, finance, information technology, energy (power, oil and gas), transport, media and entertainment, food and beverages, health care and retailing. Thus, a unified coordinated regulatory response is needed for a complete redesigning of courses to suit job requirements in these sectors. The need of hour is to give more functional freedom to private institutions to customise their own courses to suit industry requirements.

The writer is Professor of management at Kurukshetra University, Kurukshetra


US opportunities for Indian students

KOCHI: A US-based non-profit organisation is offering free internship opportunities to bright Indian students in American engineering colleges. The Lab-X Foundation recently launched the pilot programme in collaboration with Startup Village here to facilitate the internship opportunities and outreach programmes in the US. Startup Village, the first PPP (public private partnership) model incubator in the country, is promoted by the central government at Technopark with MobME Wireless. It focuses on mobile-Internet companies. “Most Indian engineering schools have lack of research and development and entrepreneurial effort to build a robust high-tech environment. Barring the IIT’ians, majority of the students do not have any global exposure or hands-on learning experience,” said Sampriti Bhattacharyya, director of Lab-X Foundation and a doctoral student at MIT.

10,000 British parents convicted for allowing kids to miss school

LONDON: A record number of parents in Britain are being convicted for allowing their children to play truant from school. Nearly 10,000 were given a criminal record in 2011, which is a five-fold increase over the past decade, it has been revealed. Though most of the convicted parents were slapped a fine, some received community service while 11 parents were jailed. A total of 153 parents have received prison sentences for their children's truancy in last 10 years, Daily Express reported. According to the Ministry of Justice figures, released under the Freedom of Information Act, a total of 12,777 parents in England and Wales were taken to court over their children's truancy. Of these, 9,836 were found guilty and sentenced - a rise of 7.5 percent on the previous year. Magistrates were given new authority to deal with parents of absent children in 2000, when the maximum fine was raised to 2,500 pounds from 1,000 pounds. Nearly 56,000 pupils in state primary and secondary schools skip lessons everyday without due permission.

China to educate 22 mn neglected rural children

BEIJING: China will make sure that around 22 million rural children, left behind by their worker parents after moving to big cities, receive compulsory education. The Ministry of Education will develop a system to register the children, the China Daily reported. The rapid urbanisation has led to many children, who have one or both parents working away from home, leaving them under the care of grandparents or other relatives, the ministry said. The number of such children in China stands at 22 million, it said. The ministry asked local governments to improve the care of such children and make sure they are not left unattended. A new registration system will document all children under the age of 16 to guarantee they receive education. — IANS

Campus NoteS

Indian Institute of Management, Rohtak
Annual management festival

THE Indian Institute of Management, Rohtak (IIM-R), will organise its first annual management festival ‘Infusion ’13’ from January 19 to 20 on its campus. According to a spokesperson of the IIM-R, ‘Infusion ’13’, the first-of-its-kind festival, will also serve as the occasion for the premiere of a Bollywood movie, Listen…Amaya, featuring veteran actor Farooque Shaikh, Deepti Naval, Swara Bhaskar and Siddhant Karnick. The two-day festival offers something for everyone, with a host of events lined up and exciting prizes to be won. The festival is slated to see over 50 events unfold under various cultural, sports and technical realms, both in online and offline modes. The famous ‘Shambli’ band will perform during the inauguration ceremony. Other highlights include a live rock concert by the renowned Delhi-based 'Aagman' band, stand-up comedy act by Nitin Gupta and a fashion show titled ‘Haute Couture’. The festival is expected to draw a huge number of students from premier B-schools across the country, including the Delhi-NCR region. The various events scheduled for ‘Infusion ’13’ include music and dance competitions, treasure hunt, quizzes, poster making, debates, extempore, online gaming, personality contest, street and stage plays, cricket, football, volleyball, badminton tournaments, etc., apart from technical events like case study competitions, paper presentations and ad-making contests. Registration for the festival has already commenced online at The IIM-R was established in 2009 and is the only IIM in the Delhi-NCR region.

Maharshi Dayanand University, Rohtak
Workshop on medical biotechnology

The Centre for Medical Biotechnology of Maharshi Dayanand University will organise a one-day workshop on “Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction” on January 16. According to the Dean, Faculty of Life, Sciences, Prof. S.K. Gakhar hands-on training in real-time polymerase chain reaction will be provided at the workshop.

Blood donation camp

The National Service Scheme (NSS) office of the university organised a chain of events, including blood donation camp, painting and declamation competitions recently on the occasion of the National Youth Day and to mark the 150th anniversary of Swami Vivekanand. While as many as 90 units of blood were collected at the camp, a painting competition and English and Hindi declamation contests were also held to mark the occasion.

Pt. B.D. Sharma University of Health Sciences, Rohtak
Award for Senior Prof

Dr Zile Singh Kundu, a Senior Professor in the Department of Orthopedics, PGIMS, has been awarded a gold medal at a national-level conference of the Indian Orthopedics Association. The conference was held at Chennai recently. According to a spokesperson of the health university, Dr Kundu had presented a paper on the treatment of cancer in the shoulder. Dr Kundu said he had been practicing the technique of replacing the cancer affected bone of the patient with nail and bone cement and he found it very effective. The earlier technique, which was used by doctors to deal with such a cancer, incurred a cost of Rs 1 lakh, but the new technique was far more economical as it cost less than Rs 10,000, he said.


Dr Rakesh Dhankhar, Associate Professor in the Department of Radiotherapy, PGIMS, Rohtak, has been appointed as an Associate Editorial Board Member of the American Journal of Clinical Cancer Research for a period of two years. Dr Dhankar has 45 national and international publications to his credit and has attended over 40 national and international conferences.

— Contributed by Bijendra Ahlawat