The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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IT big boss boost to state grads

Bhubaneswar, July 23: Infosys BPO, the business-process outsourcing subsidiary of Infosys Technologies, today launched Project Genesis, a programme that aims to enhance employability of Orissa’s graduates.

Orissa is one of the six states in India where Project Genesis, an initiative under Infosys Affirmative Action Plan, is underway with the support of the state government. Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh would follow suit.

Already more than 1,000 lecturers across 360 colleges in Karnataka, Maharashtra and Rajasthan are being trained under the “Train the trainer” programme, the project’s first phase. They, in turn, would teach more than 12,000 students, said Mohandas Pai, the Infosys BPO chairman.

Launching the teachers’ training at the Infocity here today, chief minister Naveen Patnaik said the programme’s objective was to equip Orissa’s teachers with the knowledge of the BPO industry and the skill required to succeed in it.

“This will help general graduates acquire the necessary skills through training programmes and make them employable,” he said.

Quoting data available from a study conducted by Nasscom and McKinsey that reveals there is a shortage of 5 lakh skilled workers in the IT industry in India alone, Patnaik said only 30 per cent of (graduate) the engineers and 20 per cent of the graduates in India are now fit for the IT and ITeS industry.

“This obviously points to a mismatch between the skill-set needs of IT/ITeS industries and output of university education system,” he said.

The chief minister requested Infosys, which has set up a development centre in Bhubaneswar, to start a BPO centre in Orissa soon.

Later, while talking to the media, Pai said they wanted to first work on the education initiative. Thereafter they would start recruitment and assess the capacity and quality of manpower available in the state and then consider setting up a BPO centre.

“Without enough capacity there is no point opening a centre here,” he said.

Pai said about 300 university and college teachers would be trained under the trainers’ programme this year, who in turn would help equip about 5,000 students.

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