Bangalore, Oct 7 (IANS) In a novel e-learning initiative, engineering students of Karnataka's Visvesvaraya Technological University (VTU) will be provided an online learning platform to hone their IT and soft skills to help them fare better in a highly competitive job market.
To enable about 150,000 engineering students across the state get on to the virtual platform, the VTU has tied up with Liqwid Krystal, a Bangalore-based leading provider of e-learning solutions that has developed the software to access the skills online.
'On a pilot basis we are enrolling about 50,000 students of fourth semester (second year) in various under-graduate and post-graduate colleges affiliated to the university for learning the soft skills online,' VTU vice-chancellor K. Balaveera Reddy told IANS here Friday.
'Complimenting the curriculum for the degree, these students will be trained for gaining proficiency in English language and communication skills so as to compete on par with their counterparts from Indian Institutes of Technology and the National Institutes of Technology in campus recruitments and job interviews.'
Touted to be the first of its kind in the country, the e-platform, christened 'gyanX', will have a select catalogue of online courseware, books and other content for empowering students to learn interactively.
The e-platform will be extended to all the 121 affiliated engineering colleges of the VTU, besides 25 under-graduate and 60 post-graduate colleges teaching masters in business administration and master of computer application courses.
'Our aim is to harness the power of the Internet as a learning delivery medium to make our students much more employable and job worthy. At a minimal cost (Rs.50) per semester, registered students can log on to gyanX over the Web and learn collaboratively. They can access the site at anytime from their college library, lab, home or even cyber cafe,' Reddy pointed out.
According to Krystal CEO Anand Adkoli, the courseware and content have been sourced from global leaders such as Thomson NETg and Safari Books Online. Certification courses from premier centres like the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) will also be made available in due course.
'A McKinsey report says only 25 percent of the total pool of Indian engineers are actually employable. In view of the unprecedented growth across the sectors, especially in manufacturing (industry) and services, the challenge is to empower the engineering graduates with skills that will make them competitive in the job market. GyanX is meant to bridge the gap between demand and supply in human resources,' Adkoli said.
Educational practices have demonstrated research is effective in imparting employability skills and traits to students. GyanX connects learning to skills and traits employers value most in a prospective entry-level employee.
'We intend to create a well-skilled student, who can use the IT expertise to connect to jobs as gyanX leverages technology for education,' VTU registrar M.S. Shivakumar said.