Manpower shortage dogs booming air conditioning sector

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Bangalore, Oct 17 (UNI) The booming air conditioning, refrigeration and heating industry, expected to contribute Rs 10,000 crore this fiscal to the economy, is suffering serious manpower shortage that should be addressed immediately by the authorities concerned.

Growing at a pace of 25 per cent in the last three years and expected to touch Rs 16,000 crore in turnover next fiscal, the sector is facing acute shortage of manpower, Indian Society of Heating, Refrigeration, Air conditioning Engineers (ISHRAE) President Pankaj Dharkar told newspersons here today.

As against an annual demand of 5,000 engineers, the present churn out by the academic institutions was only 1,500 and none of the engineering colleges provided a separate course for air conditioning and refrigeration. It was just a part of electrical engineering stream, he added.

Even among those who pass out every year, a number of them migrate to lucrative pastures offered by the Middle East Asian countries, where the wages provided was thrice the salaries offered in India.

''There is a serious vacuum in the middle level and also among design engineers'' Mr Dharkar added.

He said the ISHRAE had asked the engineering colleges to redesign the curriculum. It would frame a curriculum and start its own Centres of Excellence across the country.

However, even this effort would not suffice the huge demand growing every year, he added.

ISHRAE would conduct its biennial International Exposition ''ACREX'' here from February 15 to 17 next year with the Chinese and Koreans coming in a big way to forge tie-up with Indian companies to tap the growing market. As many as 60 companies from the two countries would be present at the exposition, Exposition Chairman Nirmal Ram said.

As many as 30,000 visitors were expected at the three-day show, which would also have technical lectures and seminars in various related fields, he added.


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