book review

What if Academia and Industry go Hand in Hand?

Industry, the world over, is under tremendous evolutionary pressure. Industrial structure is constantly changing driven by: preponderance of information products and IT embedded products; transformative innovations in production processes; strategic shift towards continuous technological innovation that is driving commercial value; new emerging patterns of work that are gradually replacing older established ones; restructuring of jobs and workforce that are threatening traditional employment patterns and stability of jobs; major shifts in the very nature of skill requirements apart from skills in new knowledge domains; significant shifts in markets and their structure; and in delivery patterns and delivery platforms, to name some.

Institutions, particularly in the realm of technical education, are feeling the evolutionary heat too. They need to evolve, sooner rather than at a current leisurely pace, at the risk of becoming irrelevant and obsolete. The present evolutionary pressures they face are: coping with the implications of rapid technological change in terms of developing skill development programs in new domain areas; new patterns, new program structures and new platforms of delivery; fundamental shift in nature of skills required by industry that would increasingly privilege higher order transferable cognitive skills over traditional domain bound knowledge and operational skills; challenge of developing autonomous learning skills and attitudes of innovation among students; co-developing and co-delivery of curricula with industry; equipping faculty with new domain knowledge and experience of industrial context, as also developing faculty capabilities and attitudes to organise and guide effective industrial experience and internship of students; restructuring roles of key functionaries at the institute and administrative structures and processes to facilitate effective industrial relationship; mobilising human, physical and financial resources from a variety of sources; etc. To this list one would add an important area that has been neglected in a large number of institutions with the exception of some top-end institutions, namely the area of Research and Technology Development, preferably in co-development mode with industry.

The following is the list of chapters:

  • Present Scenario of Industry Academia Networking
  • Teaching Learning Process – Critical Analysis
  • 'Concept of Use' in Technical Education
  • Curricular Aspects for Promoting ‘Concept of Use’
  • University Industry Linkage at BITS, PILANI
  • Pilot Experiment on Interactive Networking
  • Enlargement of Pilot Experiment
  • Some Abstracts from AICTE Internship Policy Guidelines & Procedures
  • Developing Symbiotic Relationship- Action at Institute Level
  • Interactive Networking- Suggested Model

The book is timely as the technical education system, barring a few national institutes, is functioning, more or less, in isolation from the world of work. According to Dr Mittal, technical education and industry exist as two separate worlds. Bookish knowledge being imparted to prepare students for achieving a degree qualification, for which the society has glamour, may not have any place in the times to come. Realizing this, Dr. Mittal, drawing on his personal experience, surveys, and studies, has identified the deficiencies in the system and their causes. To name a few, inadequate understanding of the profile of an engineering graduate, inadequate teacher preparation to teach, inadequate or no relevance of practical work in the laboratories and workshops, producing low or nil reliability certificates by majority students who undergo summer training, one or two project assignments by the whole class, lack of focus on producing entrepreneurs, etc.

The Publisher of this book is also a qualified Engineer who has established himself as an entrepreneur by the name COGNIFRONT. As a gesture to serve the student’s community and bringing down the cost of this book, the author has totally forfeited his royalty on this book and the publisher will be making available this book, more or less, on cost basis @ Rs 395/- per copy, inclusive of postage charge. The book can be had by writing an email at


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