Bridging industry-academia gaps in India

'Economic success is no longer determined by possession (e.g., of raw materials or physical prowess), but by the capacity to generate new knowledge and by the ability of the workforce to apply this knowledge successfully.' (Mary L Walshok)

The role of academia today has expanded to include innovation, the generation of intellectual property, the commercialisation of knowledge, and the incubation of startups. In fact, every innovation driven startup ecosystem across the world – whether Silicon Valley, Tel Aviv, Beijing or Seoul – can credit higher education as the primary catalyst.

Global industry has always benefitted from the applied research and development taking place in universities, yet the expanded role of higher education today demands that universities interact and align far more closely with industry, if graduates are to meet the needs of a fast-changing workplace.

At Amity University, we believe that one solution is industry-led academic institutions, in which industry professionals not only advise on what is taught, but are actively involved in the delivery of higher education. To achieve this, we have forged extensive partnerships with industry in order to ensure that our students are work-ready professionals even before they step out of university – including three industry-led institutions.

The built environment

The first of these, the RICS School of Built Environment, Amity University, was established in partnership with the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors – an international professional body for qualifications and standards in in land, property, infrastructure and construction. The real estate and construction sector is already the second largest in the Indian economy, contributing 17.5% to the nation's GDP, and has the potential to make a significant contribution to India's economic growth. Yet as rising populations and increasing urbanisation create unprecedented demand for houses, offices, and infrastructure, the RICS warned of a drastic shortage of skilled professionals in the area – with research predicting a likely demand-supply gap of 44 million core professionals in India by 2020.

The RICS School of Built Environment, Amity University, was established in response to strong calls from industry to address the significant skills deficit in this important sector. The school is supported by leading real estate, construction and infrastructure firms, as well as the Indian government's Ministry of Urban Development. Students at the institution can study undergraduate degrees both in real estate and in construction management, and postgraduate degrees in real estate, construction project management, construction economics, quantity surveying, and infrastructure management.

logistics shipping India

Advanced engineering

Recognising the urgent need to train future-ready engineers, Amity University joined forces with Tata Technologies – a global provider of engineering and product development services – to start the Amity Institute of Technology. Here, an industry-led curriculum, designed by Tata Technologies, is delivered by experts from the engineering industry to produce qualified and industry-ready graduates in automobile engineering, aeronautical engineering, and industrial heavy machinery. Students are taught in a simulated factory environment, equipped with high-end industrial software and machinery, and can experience the entire 'concept to production' life cycle of different components and assemblies.

Other facilities to ensure our students are ready for work include a virtual reality centre and flight simulator lab, a creativity incubator for the design and manufacture of product prototypes, and a learning centre equipped with automotive components and working models ranging from steering wheels to full vehicles.

Logistics and supply chains

The logistics sector is a vital cog in the functioning of the global economy and one of the fastest growing sectors in global business. A developed global logistics and supply chain management system will be key to the success of the Indian government's 'Make in India' plan, which aims to strengthen India's manufacturing sector and attract investment from across the globe. Logistics management, however, requires a very specific skillset.

The CII School of Logistics is a unique industry-academia collaboration between Amity and the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), offering specialised MBAs in logistics and supply chain management. The programmes are completely led and governed by industry to produce professionals who can excel in this rapidly changing sector. By the end of their degree, students have gained deep industry-centric insight into areas such as distribution, inventory planning, transport, warehousing, and freight forwarding.

When it comes to industry placements and recruitment, the school is able to leverage the CII's network of 8,000 member companies across India. Meanwhile, the companies themselves enjoy the benefit of recruiting industry-ready professionals straight from campus.

Professor Dr Abhay Bansal is Joint Head of Amity School of Engineering and Technology, and Director of Amity Centre for Green Computing, at Amity University, India.

Dr Sanjeev Bansal is Professor of Decision Sciences, Dean of the Faculty of Management Studies, and Director of Amity Business School at Amity University, India.

The ACU recently partnered with RICS on its Cities for our Future challenge – find out more here

Last modified on 25/07/2018
Tags: Commonwealth, India, employability