Industry-Academia Collaboration in India: A Dire Need To Boost The Global Ranking of Universities

Research Questions:

  1. What is our current stand?

The education scenario in India today speaks of over 1 million students passing out every year in the science background into careers across scientists, engineers and technicians. However only 10 per cent of this number is actually employable.

There is a lack of proper practical training at the academic level. Students are theoretically sound but due to lack of practical knowledge, the fundamental understanding is missing among the students.

Karnataka government is doing a great job in that with the BiSEP programme. Through Biotech Consortium India Limited (BCIL), we also take up students for training at our company but there is always a limitation of how many students we can take. The industry cannot afford to spend a lot of time in training the students. In a year, we hire around 25 candidates out which 20 per cent are freshers. We prefer students with MTech (manufacturing), while MSc for R&D and analytical segment). (Statement by Sanjay Lodha, Asst. VP- Operations, Kemwell BioPharma)

However, despite these encouraging statistics, a major segment of graduates remain unemployable – according to ‘National Employability Report’ 2016, which is based on a study of more than 1,50,000 engineering students who graduated in 2015 from over 650 colleges, 80% of them were unemployable and only 3% had suitable skills to be employed in software or product market. Such large segment of the population not getting jobs is indeed a grave problem as it has direct repercussions on the Indian economy and on social conditions.

  1. What can we achieve through Industry-Academia Collaboration?
  2. Why do we need more researchers?
  • Transferable Skills and Graduates Becoming Job Ready: It can help bridge the skills gap
  • Sponsored Projects: Lack of opportunities and secured jobs often deter may students from pursuing research. But sadly enough there are more factors that actually dissuade people to pursue research. One of the key factors is the lack of a defined research question and lack of vision among the professors. Most professors hardly communicate professionally with their students. They don’t keep track of a schedule. Since professors themselves aren’t answerable to anyone with their projects, the enthusiasm reflects on the aptitude of the student. Getting sponsored projects where students can contribute up to 20 hours of paid work will be a great path forward.
  • Campus Placement is Not the Best Recruitment Drive: If companies hire interns and then offer them PPOs, it cuts down a lot of their cost.
  • The CAD curriculum was not a part of the Mechanical Engineering ccourse. Further, for 4 semesters we were made to draw on a sheet of paper which is currently an obsolete process in the industry. While most schools abroad start with hand drawings in their freshman year, several IITs lack in shifting to AutoCAD or Computer Graphics.
  • The quality of entrepreneurship startups is mostly based on online services. While online services are flooding the Indian e-commerce space, their scalability and sustainability large remains an issue. Unless and until, we shift to product based systems and …
  • Students should be allowed to take up industrial projects in their final semester.

Tier I Indian institutes include IITs, NITs, IISc, IIITs (public sector) and BITS Pilani and Manipal University (Private sector).

UK-India Industry partnership program was floated to collaborate with Tier II and III universities of India.

HDFC bank recently announced its plan to partner 50 technology companies and business schools to tap emerging fintech ideas starting with IIT-Bombay and IIT-Roorkee as part of its industry-academia partnership effort.

Indian industries collaborating with UK universities. However, any such reverse collaboration is yet to be reported.

Tata Motors/JLR collaboration with the Warwick Manufacturing Group (part of the University of Warwick), which will see the opening this year of the largest automotive R&D facility in Europe, which will research the future of mobility.

Indian manufacturers PTC and Bharat Forge with the University of Sheffield’s Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre.


observed how schools ranked highly received increased visibility and prestige, stronger applicants, more alumni giving, and, most important, greater revenue potential. A low rank left a university scrambling for money.

How Can We Achieve Industry Academia Collabss?

  • 5000 INR per month for research
  • Flexibility to do a Master’s thesis with an industry or professor

RWTH Aachen houses over 150 industries in its research cluster.


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