Chennai, Sep 13: The IT and ITeS Industry needs more than 3.5 million professionals to achieve the targeted export revenue of 86 billion dollars by the end of the 11th Five Year Plan in 2012, a top official said. Speaking at the valedictory of 'Aaruush 2008', a national-level tech-fest organised by the SRM University at its campus in suburban Kattankulathur last night, Union IT Secretary Jainder Singh said the IT and ITeS industry currently employed two million people.
To sustain the IT growth and achieve the export revenue target, the industry required more than 3.5 million professionals.
''The higher education system needs to produce enough graduates to provide another two million willing and suitable professionals over the next five years,'' he added.
Observing the industry feedback indicated gaps in employability in areas like soft-skills, English language and proficiency, Mr Singh said to retain India's position as a major player in the IT arena, there was a pressing need to address the HRD requirement of the industry on a continuous basis.
Apart from this, there was a need for improving the supply of suitable talent through multiple level strategy covering continuing education, providing access to high quality education through centres of excellence, structurally strengthening the existing educational system, evolving new continuum of formals and non-formal education.
Mr Singh said the Centre, as a stop-gap arrangement, was promoting the concept of finishing school to bridge the gap between graduates emerging out of the engineering colleges and their employability in the industry. ''Though varous private sector institutions were working with State and Central Government agencies to bridge the gap in areas like ICT infrastructure, e-content, capacity building, training of mentors, innovation and research, the Union Government has also initiated efforts to improve the quality of IT graduates to meet the industry needs through institutions like C-DAC, Pune, Hyderabad, IITs at Allahabad, Hyderabad, Bangalore and IITM Gwalior.
Stating the IT and ITeS sector had proven to be a significant economic growth engine, Mr Singh said in 2007-08, IT and ITeS exports reached 40.3 billion dollars, recording an impressive growth of 28 per cent.
With this pace of growth, India would certainly lead the global knowledge ecnonomy by the year 2020, he added. University Chancellor T R Pachamuthu said Aaruush-2008 was an occasion to showcase the ability and creativity of the students who would be the future professionals and technocrats of the country.
University Vice-Chancellor, Prof P Sathyanarayanan, said the University would provide Rs 50,000 each for 100 best projects on design and development.