The National Association of Software and Service Companies (Nasscom) has launched an `IT workforce development initiative` to recognise the criticality of human resource for the IT industry.
Addressing a press conference after the inauguration of `Nasscom HR Summit 2005`, Kiran Karnik, President of Nasscom, said the primary objectives of the initiative were identifying the needs of the IT industry in terms of number of persons, skill sets and quality in various disciplines at different levels. Strengthening the Indian professional education in line with the IT industry`s requirements was also needed.
Similarly, catalysing the interface between industry and academia through specific programmes and exploring alliances and programmes for specific initiatives with corporate, academic associations and consultancy companies were initiated.
In order to create and nurture human resources, Nasscom has signed a memorandum of understanding with the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) for strengthening Indian technical education (through curricula, faculty, infrastructure and pedagogy improvements).
He said India`s biggest potential strength was the scalability of skills, especially of high skills. In IT, the country was already seeing an increasing recognition of this. To retain this advantage and maintain the curriculum up-to-date, Nasscom had partnered AICTE.
Nasscom and AICTE would undertake a `Faculty Development Programme` (FDP) for upgrading the skill-sets and knowledge base of the existing technical faculty in partnership with the IT industry. Under this programme, various modules would be rolled out and the selected faculty members would be getting exposure to the processes of IT companies onsite for a specified period.
Nasscom would help AICTE in projecting the manpower requirements of the industry. In addition, Nasscom and AICTE would undertake initiatives such as curriculum review, training modules, database and study international models.
Nasscom had recently signed a similar MoU with the University Grants Commission (UGC).
Mr. Karnik said the total number of software and ITeS-BPO professionals employed in India had grown to over one million in 2004-05.
The present selection ratio indicated possible shortages for both software and BPO sectors. The quality of teaching and shortage of skilled faculty were serious problems and needed to be tackled at both industry and academia levels, he said.
Mr. Karnik did not rule out the threat from the Chinese market, especially the growth of skilled manpower. He said China was growing with a `vengeance`. The number of graduates and post-graduates with soft skill-sets was growing phenomenally. The Chinese government had been giving a great thrust on education.
He said if India did not keep pace with other countries in producing quality skilled workforce, it would be left behind. As of now, the available workforce was a bare minimum and would meet the requirements for the next three to five years