(PALS), the body comprising alumni from various Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) in the country, on Saturday launched its 2018-19 annual activities aimed at making engineering college students ‘Industry ready. PALS offer a year-long program with various activities for students, faculty and management of Engineering Institutions. PALS is supported by IIT Alumni Industry Interaction Centre (IITAIIC) and IIT Madras Alumni Charitable Trust (IITMACT) for the benefit of engineering college students in Tamil Nadu. Till Academic year 2017-18, PALS has positively impacted more than 15,000 students and 5,000 faculties across member colleges in Chennai, Tricky, Madurai, Coimbatore and Salem.
Sharing his thoughts on the role he would like PALS to play, Prof M K Surappa, Vice Chancellor, Anna University, and the Guest of Honour, said, “The number of engineering colleges has increased exponentially in recent years. However, some of these affiliated institutions have difficulty in imparting engineering education at the same level as some of the top institutions. In the last four years, many engineering colleges have had trouble attracting students and have closed down. Perhaps, a body like PALS can prevent this from happening by focusing on elevating the quality of education.” Further, he added, “The roles of Social Sciences and Humanities have fast become vital for making engineers well-rounded. This has already come about in the West and now, in India too.” In its seventh year now, PALS started as a series of motivational lectures given by IIT Alumni at various engineering colleges’ campuses in and around Chennai. The offerings have grown and evolved into the present format based on the feedback from the colleges, as well as from the changing market needs.
Sharing his thoughts on the role he would like PALS to play, guest of honour. Prof Bhaskar Ramamurthi, Director, IIT Madras, said, “We have to empower our current generation coming out every year. PALS is a layer that can be added to the existing system to enable those youngsters who are hungry and eager to learn and want to go in a particular direction.” Further, Prof Bhaskar Ramamurthi added, “PALS should work to increase the availability of knowledge, mentorship and getting the students to think differently. If we can provide these opportunities to students, whether they are looking to set up start-ups or are fascinated by research but are wondering how to do it or equip themselves, it will make a huge difference for some people and this is how PALS should measure itself.”
The objective of PALS has all along been on enhancing the quality of engineering education and making students graduating from these institutions, ‘industry ready.’ To achieve this, PALS has tapped into the vast pool of expertise available within the IIT alumni community across the corporate, academic and entrepreneurial domains.
Delivering the welcome address, Mohan Narayanan, Chairperson, PALS, said, “We now strongly believe an intelligent concoction of a supportive anchor institute, dedicated alumni network and industry can recreate this model anywhere else in our geographical educational ecosystem.