Industry-academia interface stressed at SOA University Conclave in Odisha

Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, July 17:

Universities, while designing their curriculum and program, should take care to bridge the gap between the student’s ability to learn and deliver on the ground while the academia should delve into problems faced by the industry and provide solutions through research, opined participants at a day-long Industry-Academia Conclave at the Odisha-based SOA University here today.

“There is a need for the University to align education and research to meet the emerging needs of industry and priorities of the nation. We must set up think tanks on issues of strategic importance at the global level from a national perspective,” RS Mekar, executive director of the Employers’ Federation of India, who was the chief guest on the occasion, said.
SOA Univ
The faculty members should be given opportunity for greater exposure, encouraged to engage in research and publication and interact more with industry and other sectors of the economy, he said.

Management institutions, Maker said, must engage in an ongoing review of the curriculum and pedagogy to ensure they were relevant and contemporary.

The conclave was organized to mark the 7th Foundation Day of the SOA University with Prof RP Mohanty, Vice-Chancellor of the University, in the chair.

Prof Mohanty, who unfurled the University flag in the presence of senior officials earlier in the day, stressed the need for industry to participate in the University’s academic program for up-gradation of knowledge base while involving in real-life problem solving projects. 

The University, on the other hand, would look forward to get consulting assignments, assistance in laboratory development and training of faculty and students in specialized technologies from the industry, he said.

“The gap between ‘knowing’ and ‘doing’ was becoming wider as University graduates were becoming unemployable. Innovation is the key to the future and the Universities should prepare the students to become the leaders of tomorrow,” Alfred Osta, executive vice-president (HR) of Mahindra Systech, said in his address.

Seventy per cent of the knowledge the University students garnered was from theory when they needed 70 per cent of learning through on-the-job experience, he said.

Ravi Singh, vice-president (HR) of Yazaki India Ltd, Pune, said Universities should keep upgrading their curriculum and design it to suit the needs of the industry. The graduates from the University should be flexible and have the ability to adapt to situations, he said.

Dr SK Mohapatra, vice-president (HR) of Jindal Steel and Power Ltd, Angul, said there should be collaboration between industry and academia but felt that the practice of industries going to the campus for recruitment should stop. 

There should be on-line recruitment tests for all and the best students should qualify.

Over 80 representatives from the industry who took part in the deliberations were Arun Mishra, project director, Tata Steel, Vijay Kalra, senior vice-president, Mahindra & Mahindra, Dr Suvendu Das, vice-president (HR), Paradip Phosphates Ltd, RK Vyas, executive vice-president, Mannara Technologies, KK Dave, chief operating officer, Sesa Sterlite Ltd, Rajiv Kumar, member secretary, Odishia State Pollution Control Board, Odisha, PC Das, director, and Dr MK Pradhan, deputy director, Factories and Boilers, Odisha.

Among others, Prof Harish Das, head of department, Mechanical Engineering, SOA University, also spoke. 

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