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Pallam Raju calls for closer partnership between academia and industry

New Delhi, Apr. 15 (ANI): Union Human Resource Development (HRD) Minister Dr. M.M. Pallam Raju on Monday called for closer partnership between academia and industry, and said that the gap between the two has to be bridged to enhance employability of the people.

Dr. Pallam Raju, who was speaking at a two-day international workshop here on industry academia collaboration for greater national productivity, stressed the need for more contribution from industry in research. He said that most of the funding for research and development in the country is at present coming from the government side.

Calling for greater private sector involvement, Dr. Pallam Raju said that the industry should engage itself more in terms of not only funding, but also in skill development, innovation and entrepreneurship.

He said while China spends more that one and a half per cent of its Gross Domestic Product on research and development, India spends less than one per cent.

Speaking on the occasion, Secretary Higher Education, Ashok Thakur, said that the government had set up three task force on research, innovation and entrepreneurship, skill and employability and the ways to foster institutional mechanism.

“The recommendation of these task force will be discussed,” he said, while stating that the government is keen to promote top end research for skill building and the plans to foster ties with academia, industry and the government. It will come up with a plan within two hundred days.

The Chairman of Confederation of Indian Industries (CII), National Committee on Higher Education, Dr. Naushad Forbes, said that industry is keen to work with academia for its own benefit as the quality of manpower in industry cannot be improved without focusing to quality in academia.

He said that CII has taken several steps in this direction including increasing the number of Ph.D. fellowships from one hundred to one thousand and funding of global innovation alliance. He admitted that the scale of interaction is low between the two sectors.

The Director of IIT Madras, Dr. Ashok Jhunjhunwala, presented a model developed for a better academia industry partnership. (ANI)