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Indian Techies Can't Be Trained On New Tech? Not True, Says Mohandas Pai

Comments from Mr Pai come at a time when the IT industry is staring at job losses due to increasing use of artificial intelligence by clients, rendering many engineers jobless.
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Mr Pai, a former CFO at Infosys, wants the syllabus in engineering colleges to be overhauled.
Mr Pai, a former CFO at Infosys, wants the syllabus in engineering colleges to be overhauled.

Highlights

  1. Indian IT workforce is facing challenges due to changing technology
  2. Mr Pai says, average age of Indian Techies is 27 years
  3. Average age of techies in Germany and US is 45 years
Days after Capgemini's India chief executive Srinivas Kandula said that majority of Indian software engineers were incapable of imbibing the required emerging skill sets to survive the changing scenario in the information technology sector, an industry veteran, TV Mohandas Pai, has dismissed the claim and expressed confidence in the abilities of Indian workforce. The comment from Mr Pai comes at a time when the IT industry is staring at job losses due to increasing use of artificial intelligence by clients, rendering many engineers jobless.

"It is very wrong to say 60-65 per cent Indian IT cannot be re-trained. It's a very wrong statement. In Indian IT, the average age (of employees) is 27 years," said Mr Pai in an interaction with news agency Press Trust of India.

"(If) people of 27-30 cannot be re-trained, then people of 45 cannot be re-trained. In Germany and the US, the average age is 40-plus. India succeeds because we have a group of people who are young and who can be trained. Training them in cloud or big data or anything else is not a complex thing. They can be easily trained," Mr Pai added.

In order to equip the Indian workforce with the changing technologies in the world, Mr Pai wants the syllabus in engineering colleges to be overhauled.

"We need a change in the model where faculty can change the syllabus based upon what is current; we need larger number of autonomous institutions and in those autonomous institutions and universities, faculty should be able to change the syllabus faster," said Mr Pai, a former CFO of Infosys.

In globally renowned universities, the faculty changes the syllabus fast. They don't wait for the government to come and tell them what to do. "That's why top 500 engineering colleges (in India) should get their autonomy. They cannot have the same standards as the bottom 500. Now, everybody has to follow the same thing which is ridiculous," he said.

At the annual Nasscom leadership summit, Mr Kandula had said, "Large number of them (Indian It workers) cannot be trained. Probably, India will witness the largest unemployment in the middle level to senior level."

(With inputs from PTI)

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