According to Kunwer Sachdev, managing director, Su-Kam Power Systems, “Institutes should develop infrastructure in terms of laboratories, equipment and devices to provide students with hands-on experience through experiments in various areas of engineering as per the course cur-riculum. The interface between the institute and the industry should be very strong; customised programmes may be designed to fulfil the need of the industries.”
ISM, a Bengaluru-based training institute, provides training in embed-ded systems, telecommunications and telecom skills. It claims to impart knowledge and training in areas that are in maximum demand by the industry and are usually the weakest link in the repertoire of a student. Sofcon, a Noida-based industrial automation training institute, offers hands-on training/courses in PLC, SCADA, DCS, drives, instrumentation, panel designing and networking, etc, at various centres across the country. [stextbox id=”info”]
“Britco & Bridco has tuned a better syllabus for making even a matriculate to be industry-fit rather than a certificate holder. The syllabus explains accurate theory and covers practical tips to make the candidate capable of repairing any mobile phone handset manufactured by SM Technology irrespective of GSM, CDMA or any other new convergent product.”
— Unnikrishnan N., general manager, North Operations, Britco & Bridco
Texas Instruments (TI) runs the TI India University programme (www.uniti.in) to help faculty members as well as students. “Faculty members can benefit from our teaching CD-ROMs and manuals in the area of embedded processing and analogue system design. We conduct train-the-trainer programmes for faculty. We believe that empowering faculty is the only scalable solution to quality improvement,” informs Dr Ravikumar.
He adds, “When possible, we also help conduct student workshops. In 2010, we organised training sessions for participants of the Texas Instruments India Analog Design Contest on topics such as PCB design. This design contest is open to undergraduate students of engineering colleges across India. The second edition successfully concluded last month with over 97 teams, including an all-women’s team, participating in it. We feel that students across India do not have the same level of access to technologies.”
TI is now starting two programmes targeted at students. The ‘Summer of Analog’ programme aims to encourage colleges to conduct two-week in-house training for students based on an analogue system design curriculum that TI has developed. This programme was designed after observing the large number of students seeking internships.
“We believe that by having such a programme that can be conducted by the college at its own premises, we can help a much larger number of students. Another programme that we are starting is a student workshop on MSP430 Launchpad—a low-cost trainer kit developed around Texas Instruments’ MSP430 microcontroller,” he explains.
Established in 1998, Britco & Bridco provides training in mobile phone hardware and software in about 500 cities across the country. “We provide hi-tech training in repair of GSM and CDMA mobile handsets using state-of-the-art technology, which is supplemented by well-qualified and experienced faculty. Britco & Bridco has tuned a better syllabus for making even a matriculate to be industry-fit rather than a certificate holder. The syllabus explains accurate theory and covers practical tips to make the candidate capable of repairing any mobile phone handset manufactured by SM Technology irrespective of GSM, CDMA or any other new convergent product,” avers Unnikrishnan N., general manager, North Operations, Britco & Bridco.
“Mobile phone repair is a proven field for career aspirants. A mobile phone service engineer with proper know-how can easily earn Rs 300,000600,000 per annum or more. Also, setting up a mobile phone service centre is not a matter of huge investment. An amount of Rs 100,000-200,000 is more than enough for establishing a mobile phone service centre,” informs Unnikrishnan.
The fields of electronics and computer science have become more challenging and interesting in the last decade.
“Embedded systems have evolved as a major discipline, encompassing many technologies such as sensors, analogue, embedded processors and embedded software. At the same time, educational resources have become available at lower costs. Today, you can find free online educational content, free software tools and low-cost hardware tools. Students must take advantage of these opportunities with the help of a mentor,” suggests Dr Ravikumar.
Sharma adds, “In academics, make sure that the concepts are clear. Many a times engineers start gaining the skills but their fundamentals are still not so clear. This way, they will remain applied engineers and innovation would not be easy. My message would be simple: Please know the fundamentals very well. Acquiring skills, running tools and using the tools later to develop something is easy and not vice-versa. Therefore while pursuing engineering, go deep into the subject, understand it fully and then get exposure to tools and use them and not the other way.”
“Electronics is a sunrise industry. It is quite penetrated, growing very well and poised to keep on growing in many years to come. Therefore I would strongly recommend all engineers that having picked electronics as a career, stay with it, don’t switch it for other stream. Finally, do what you like,” he shares.
Sachdev adds, “Always keep ‘innovation’ in mind. Su-Kam expects strong practical knowledge in power electronics and electromagnetic devices.”
It’s high time that the educational institutes which are running mostly theoretical courses also start giving more importance to practical hands-on training. Ideally, all engineering students must learn to work with their hands.
The author is from EFY Bureau, New Delhi