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Most engineering students in India lack basic skills: Varun Aggarwal of Aspiring Minds

According to Varun Aggarwal, CTO and co-founder of employability evaluation company Aspiring Minds, most engineering-graduates in India lack basic numerical, logical and communication skills, which impacts their employability.

Devika Singh        Last Updated: February 22, 2016  | 21:00 IST
Varun Aggarwal, CTO and co-founder of Aspiring Minds

For a country that produces an estimated 10-15 lakh engineers every year, the fact that most of them are unemployable is quite worrisome. But even more daunting is the fact that these engineering graduates don't get jobs because they lack basic skills.

According to Varun Aggarwal, CTO and co-founder of employability evaluation company Aspiring Minds, most engineering-graduates in India lack basic numerical, logical and communication skills, which impacts their employability.

"In IT industry, if you write a program of 15-20 lines, companies will hire you. Similarly, in the electronics industry, if you know the application of basic Kirchhoff's law and assemble a circuit accordingly, the industry recruits you. But students are unable to perform even when tested on such basic parameters," Aggarwal told Business Today in an interview.

The latest National Employability Report by Aspiring Minds says more than 80 per cent of engineers in India are unemployable, a trend that has not shown any improvement in the past five years.

Aspiring Minds has been bringing out this report since 2011 and this year about 150,000 engineering students from 650 engineering colleges participated in it.

Another report by the company, which was released last year, pegs that about 40 per cent of engineers cannot comprehend English text. Which brings out the question how do they understand their curriculum, which too is in English.

"Certain foundational skill like English becomes very important for lots of jobs as almost all communication is in the language, and mostly when candidates lack this skill they are rejected," Aggarwal says.

The answer for the problem, according to Aggarwal, lies at the college-level itself.

"Colleges need to plug the gap in the first or second year. Foundational skills like English, logical ability, should be taught to students in first or second semester by doing bridge courses," he adds.

Aspiring Minds, which was set up in 2008 by Himanshu and Varun Aggarwal, is known for its employability test AMCAT. The company is in expansion mode right now and besides India it has started operation in the US, China and Philippines.

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