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Ahmedabad (Gujarat) [India], April 16: We took an unconventional approach this year and began our campus recruitment visits ahead of the curve compared to other organizations. The timing of these visits is always a tricky balance to strike, as it seems there is never a perfect moment to start. However, we have gleaned some valuable insights from our recent rounds. The unprecedented challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic have had a noticeable impact on the caliber of students we have encountered. It has become increasingly clear that foundational knowledge and skills must be honed in the traditional classroom setting. Despite the best efforts of both students and faculty to adapt to online learning, it appears that the fundamentals have suffered in this virtual environment. As a result, we have observed a widening gap between the curriculum and what is required by today’s industries.

On the flip side, the slowdown in the industry is also affecting placements for these students. Placement officers are finding it increasingly difficult to explain how the world outside academics functions to a generation that has become used to everything being delivered to their door. Therefore, there is much appreciation from them for the approach taken by Gateway Group.

Recently Nirma University and Gateway Group had an initial meeting to discuss a way forward which would be mutually beneficial to all parties involved. Gateway Group has shown readiness to support the curriculum committee in its endeavour to make the curriculum more industry relevant. The company’s subject matter specialists will provide guest lectures, etc. The meeting was led by Pratik Mehta, Group COO, Gateway Group of Companies & the campus outreach team; a 3-member corporate relations team lead by Sunil Pandi sat across the table representing Nirma University.

“Our main intention to connect with Industry is to reduce the skill gap and make our students ready for the job from day 1. Industry can share the feedback on the current curriculum, and it can become industry ready. Knowledge sharing can happen once industry and academia teams come on the same page”. Sunil Pandi (Sr. Manager Corporate Relations III Cell, Institute of Technology, Nirma University Ahmedabad)

For more than a decade, the company has picked up students during their graduating year and brought them up to speed with industry requirements based on the existing qualities of the candidate. This fast-track course is a 4-phase process before the person is onboarded fully as an engineer.

To become successful in any profession, one has to spend time in one place for at least 3-4 years; it is during this period that one’s professional skills are honed, as in this case, technological skills. The large companies will not provide the exposure and depth to grow as a technology professional; it is the medium-sized companies that get the variety of niche projects that require sharp skills.

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