Continuum 2006

Date:   Tuesday , August 01, 2006

Amidst rising demand for knowledge workers in the IT sector a NASSCOM–McKinsey report foresees a lack of 500,000 of them in the IT/BPO industry by 2007-08.

Campus Connect, a division of CareerNet Consulting, recently held their annual event “Continuum 2006” as a convergence of collaboration between the academia and the IT industry.

Campus Connect aims to provide a meeting-ground and a platform for the much-needed interaction between the academia and the IT industry. The result of which is the coming together of top-notch IT companies and premier IT-schools of the country. Over 40 institutes, including all the IITs, NITs, BITS Pilani, Delhi College of Engineering, Vishwakarama Institute of Technology (Pune), Kakatiya Institute of Technology (Warangal) and around 50 companies that included among others, IBM, LG soft, Cisco, Adobe, Motorola and Open Silicon participated in the sessions that focused on the emerging career trends, campus recruitments, the semiconductor industry and the academia.

Overall, six sessions that delved into various subjects that needed granularity in the IT industry were hosted. A panel of distinguished speakers addressed the gathering that included professors and industry professionals who explained the evolving role of campus placements and the importance of having a placement department at campuses.

In relation to the recent comments made by chief mentor of Infosys, Narayana Murthy, that 75 percent of Indian engineering graduates were incompetent and unfit for employment in IT firms , the meet focused on generating solutions to decrease the gap between the academia offering and industry needs.

Communication proficiency accompanied with leadership and thought process skills were the challenging issues addressed. Throwing light on the importance of the inculcation of values in our educational system, Kalyan K Banerjee,
Senior Vice president MindTree Consulting, said, “We don’t have a formal curriculum of ethics and values in India. We don’t teach thinking and we don’t teach people to question, thus making them reluctant to take decisions.”
The academia had its share of speakers who vouched for a more interactive involvement of the industry, with the students through guest lectures or partnerships, with internships where possible.

All of them, however, seemed to favor the idea of the industry influencing the curriculum of the students. Professor Sadagopan, Director, Indian Institute of Information Technology, Bangalore, said such an attempt to influence the curriculum of the academia could result in an overall negative impact if not checked.

Previously, Continuum 2005 had brought out the need for a common test for a select group of companies. This eventually resulted in the contraption of SiQuest 2006 like National Semiconductor Campus Talent Program in collaboration with India Semiconductor Association that helped organizations increase campus coverage and reduce cost and time.

Rishi Das, Co-founder and CEO of Campus Connect hopes to see concrete results. “These sessions have to move beyond the drawing board scenario,” he said, adding that the industry had to come up with guidelines that would lead to better recruitments off-campus. “Today the real challenge in India is not talent availability but talent accessibility, and that’s what we are trying to attend to” he explained.