Generally, the students of IITs are considered to be brilliant. They can crack the toughest math, create innovative machines and develop problem solving solutions for better living. But, many of those bright minds, lack the soft skills such as communication and body language need help to improve the same.
In tune to keep pace with changing times and rising competition, the establishment of new Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs), have decided to usher in the positive change to remain on par with the global needs of employability. The management of the IITs have also decided to bring in outside help wherever needed.
The need for such tests has assumed importance in the face of global competition and employability values. Actually, the problem is much deeper and complex, unlike running a course in mathematics or for that matter in any subject, one has to identify the areas that he or she needs to be improved. Also the changing rural-urban demographics at IITs, especially the newer IITs ones are facing, has urged the management of the new IITs to focus more on soft skills training.
To enhance job readiness, the new IITs have geared up and roping in experts. Plans include assessments such as those conducted by Talent Sprint, getting trainers from the corporate world, business schools and the British Council for English lessons, effective professional communication, body language, resume writing and crash courses on Android app development
IIT Hyderabad is in the middle of a pilot to assess speaking, reading and writing skills of its 1,500 students. The institute — rated as one of the best among the newer IITs in research — tied up with IT skilling firm Talent Sprint to conduct computeraided tests for BTech, MTech and PhD students. Those found wanting will have to undergo a 36-hour remedial coaching programme on body language, effective professional communication, listening and paraphrasing and articulating thoughts. The tests are mandatory for all first-year students from next year.
IIT Kanpur has tied up with the British Council this year to conduct English tests focused on conversation skills and written and spoken fluency. It will get other organisations to help students with aptitude and technical tests. The institute will also set up a Career Development Center (CDC) this year for helping students make informed decisions on job opportunities. CDC will provide exposure to opportunities outside of traditional careers. Knowledge of MBA programmes, IAS training, inter-disciplinary programmes shall be provided to students, and CDC will aid them in preparation and application
IIT Guwahati is in talks with business schools and coding platform providers for mock tests. “The plan is to conduct softskills workshops to infuse confidence in our students,” said a spokesperson. Venturesity, set up by IIT Kharagpur alumnus Subhendu Panigrahi, will conduct a year-long workshop at IIT Kharagpur for online and on-campus courses on Python (a coding language), analytics with R programming, and Android app development.
IIT Madras will also lay strong emphasis on soft skills training, especially on sitting through interviews and developing positive body language
– M D Sridharan.