"Universities should develop new generation of job creators"

Abhay Anand | Apr 25, 2018 - 11:23 a.m. IST
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Dr. Mariazeena Johnson, Pro Chancellor, Sathyabama Institute of Science and Technology, talks about the role of universities in developing a new generation of job creators...


Q. India is a young nation with over a million ready to enter the higher education system every year. However, that much of jobs are not available. How do we overcome this challenge?
A.
Although it is true that the number of jobs available in the market is low, institutions these days are encouraging students to become entrepreneurs. There are incubation centres to bring to life dreams and aspirations with seed funding options. Entrepreneurship development is the key for economic growth and employment creation. Universities should play an active role in promoting entrepreneurial mind-set and encourage start-ups. Universities should develop new generation of job creators. Universities should develop a work-related curriculum.
Government should introduce policies that necessitate the introduction of professional training programmes apart from the career counselling and work placement in the university. This work experience will improve the quality of human capital leading to the improvement in the labour market.

Q. What role can universities play in developing a new generation of job creators?
A.
The higher education system has a very big role to play in the development of the economy.
The institutions need to adapt themselves to the ever-changing job market. It is mandatory to align themselves with the industry. Institutes need to open their doors to industries to set up Centres of Excellence and training centres to equip the students with the required skill-sets. Institutes also need to encourage students by setting incubation cells and also give seed funding if required.

Q. Do you feel the government has been supportive towards the private sector institutions as far as funding is concerned?
A.
There is and always will be a divide between the private sector and the public sector institutions. The government agencies will have more thrust towards public institutions but it does not mean that the private institutions don’t have the potential to perform. If the project is good, the government eventually funds the private institutions too. For instance, we have got many such funding from various agencies and research organisations like DST, DRDO, IGCAR, MSME, EDI for more than 80 crores rupees. One such funding is the Centre for Excellence in Energy Research from Ministry of Human Resource Department, which is worth four crore rupees.

Q. How can the problem of faculty shortage be addressed?
A.
Universities would be able to attract and retain the best teachers if they recognize them properly, pay according to the expertise and skills of the person, provide academic freedom that gives the teacher the flexibility to determine the style of teaching and provide them with a good work environment.   


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