The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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English boost for CU techies

In a bid to ensure 100 per cent placement for its technology graduates, Calcutta University (CU) is working on a strategy to help students improve their communication skills in English.

According to university officials, the move follows observations of several major companies that those appearing for campus interviews have “poor communication skills”. “The candidates have thorough knowledge of their subjects but are not good in communicating their views in English,” said university placement officer M.K. Sengupta on Saturday.

As part of the move, CU will focus on group discussions and debating sessions in which students will be made to converse in English. “Discussions and debates will be organised on various topics to help students develop their communication skills,” Sengupta added. Teachers from prominent institutions like St Xavier’s College will be invited to interact with the students in these sessions.

This apart, the university is also concerned about a recent warning from the University Grants Commission (UGC) and the National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC). Both organisations have made it clear that funds for the university’s development and functioning of its technology departments would be stopped if it failed to ensure adequate placement for its technology graduates.

According to Sengupta, the new placement cell on CU’s Rajabazar Science College campus was set up in March 2002. Nearly 80 of the 280 students who took B.Tech and M.Tech degrees last year have landed jobs through the cell in top-draw firms like TCS, CTS, Hindustan Lever and Haldia Petrochemicals.

“The companies categorically told us that our students needed to improve their English for effective communication. Despite being good in their subjects, they fumble while conversing with the interviewers,” Sengupta said. “Once our students overcome this drawback, we will be able to ensure cent per cent success in placement.”

CU students suffered a serious setback over the past few years with very few landing jobs through campus interviews. This was mainly due to the university’s lack of initiative to properly interact with potential employers, sources alleged.

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