The Smart Techie was renamed Siliconindia India Edition starting Feb 2012 to continue the nearly two decade track record of excellence of our US edition.

February - 2008 - issue > Campus Reporter

Retooling talent: A silent revolution

Christo Jacob
Friday, February 1, 2008
Christo Jacob
The experience of the semiconductor industry in the U.S. indicates that university research has been one of the key factors of industry’s growth. India, that stood back in research for a couple of years, is now realizing that this stand has created a bottleneck for the Indian semiconductor industry’s growth and hampered the ability of the academia to meet industry demands.

India Semiconductor Association cites that there will be a shortage of 25,000 engineers in the VLSI industry by 2010. To fill the gap, most blue chip companies that started back in early 1990s in India are geared up to reach colleges to groom the ‘cub-engineers.’ However, it is not an easy task.

The VLSI society in its survey notes that every year less than 1,000 students graduate with bachelor’s degrees specialized in electrical and electronics engineering, i.e., less than one percent of graduating engineers in India possess industry-relevant skills. Though many companies today are collaborating with colleges to build talent pools, this has not solved the problem. ISuppli, a provider of industry market intelligence, in its survey finds that there is no adequate and relevant graduate-level design courses that are in pace with the progress. Added to this is the lack of qualified faculty. Today most of the qualified engineers get into the industry as they receive better remuneration there.

Further, many colleges cannot afford the infrastructure that meets the education demands of the industry. While the top technical institutes are strong in these areas with properly equipped labs and tools, regional colleges and private institutes fall short in infrastructure facilitites.

Xilinx CTO Ivo Bolsens asserts that the role of the industry is to be an active partner that educates the academic members in understanding the global system issues and to create a realistic agenda through intensive academics. However, the reality is contrary to this. “In India academic alliance is confined to the few walls of an auditorium wherein industry leaders share their viewpoints with students. Ground level interaction never happens,” says Prof. Sadagopan.

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