Pathetic manpower plight dogs Airconditioning sector

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Bangalore, Oct 17: The booming Airconditioning, Refrigeration and heating industry, expected to contribute Rs 10,000 crore this fiscal to the economy, is suffering from serious manpower shortage that needs to be addressed immediately by the authorities.

Growing at a pace of 25 per cent over the last three years and expected to touch Rs 16,000 crore in turnover next fiscal, the sector is presenting a pathetic plight in sofar as manpower is concerned, Mr Pankaj Dharkar, President of the Indian Society of Heating, Refrigeration, Airconditioning Engineers (ISHRAE) told newsmen 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 provide separate courses for Airconditioning and Refrigeration. It is part of electrical engineering stream and is included only as a side subject, 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 that ISHRAE is talking to the engineering colleges to have a fresh look into the discipline. It was also framing curriculum and also starting 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, Mr Nirmal Ram, Chairman of the Exposition 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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