IIT alumni plan social fund

[News Source: Business Standard]

Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) alumni  plan to create a social fund aimed at supporting various projects that will create job opportunities for rural youth and transform India’s Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs).  PanIIT Alumni, which conducted the PanIIT 2008 Global Conference from 19-21 December, is working on three important projects in India – Indo-US collaboration for Engineering Education (IUCEE)IITians for ITIs, and Reach 4 India.

Quoting from the article about IITians for ITIs:

Ranjan Kumar, coordinator (India), IITians for ITIs project said the project was initiated by IIT alumni in association with Confederation of Indian Industry (CII’s) Southern Region and academia to push for sustainable excellence in technical/vocational training in India by creating institutions similar to the IITs, but focused on vocational education and highly-skilled workers.

As part of the phase I, over the next two years, around 40,000 students will be trained from around 300 government ITI institutes. It has also decided to set up a 24X7 call centre in one of the southern states to connect the workers with the experts and the industry.

This piece of news comes at a time when I have come across two interesting articles. One article published in Businessworld carried the byline “As IITians bring global glory, bright engineers from lesser-known institutes build the country.” Though the article was more about how engineers from “second-rung” colleges were the ones actually contributing to India’s infrastructure, it does bring questions related to contribution of IITians towards their nation’s growth. The second article is about a survey conducted by IIT alumni.

The brain drain has stemmed to a great extent, even leading to claims of reverse brain drain. I feel that the social entrepreneurship sector in India has just started gaining momentum and could benefit a lot by the entry of experienced IIT alumni and also of socially concious new passouts. In this context, I find initiatives like E4SI (Engineers For Social Impact) and MADD (Making A Difference Differently) trying to ensure that social development space gets the top talent it requires.

Evening Edition

Select headlines of interest:

TIRUCHI: The Tiruchi Corporation has sought Rs.61 crore from the Government for strengthening the roads and drainage network in the city, especially in the suburbs, the Mayor, Sarubala R. Tondaiman, said here on Wednesday.

HYDERABAD: A proposal is under consideration to introduce a toll policy after upgrading eight four-lane roads on State highways through the public-private partnership and build operate transfer scheme.

Construction of these harbours is a dream of fishermen. Because of absence of such harbours, there is social tension between the fishermen of Kerala and Kanyakumari district. Migration of fishermen from the coastal villages of the district, particularly Colachel, one of the worst affected areas in tsunami, could be stopped, residents said.

The Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC) will also take up the construction of a 3.5 km long sea-link from Worli to the Haji Ali junction in central Mumbai by December.

After losing close to 1,500 scientists to much greener pastures of corporate world just since 2002, DRDO is stepping up its ‘talent search scheme’ to lure NRIs into its fold through some ‘reverse brain drain’.