University wants customised curriculum, reaches out to firms

Mumbai University has decided to address the issue of bridging the vast gap between academia and industry needs. In order to explore the possibility of having a customised curriculum as per the need of the industry, the varsity's board of studies (BoS) for management has written to several private firms and multi-national companies, inviting them to help prepare a curriculum.

While some invitations have already been sent, the department has said that it is in the process of inviting many others and awaiting their responses. Dr M G Shirhatti, director of the board of studies for management, said while the industry evolved rapidly, universities and institutes were not able to keep up with these rapidly changing demands. "Different corporates and industries have different needs. The university tries to cover most topics in the under-graduate and post-graduate courses but as the topics are very generic and students do not specialise in any particular field. That is why a huge gap exists between the industry and academia," said Dr Shirhatti.

To address this issue, Shirhatti said the BoS, which is responsible for framing the curriculum, has unanimously decided to involve the industry and companies in the process of preparing the curriculum. "While we have already written to few companies, we are in the process of sending invitation to many other companies and are trying to send it to different sectors so that we have representation from all sections," added Shirhatti. However, he refused to divulge details of these companies and firms.

MU has already launched its first 'Community College Programme' in collaboration with Hindustan Coca-Cola Beverages. The programme is designed to impart job skills and develop employability amongst youth in India. "Programmes such as community college would prove beneficial in bridging the skill gap between institutions and industry. However we also want to ensure upgrade of the curriculum as per industry need in regular colleges. We will also take suggestions from these companies on which books must be referred by the students for a particular topic," added Shirhatti.

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