India targets 200,000 IT professionals a year

By : |November 30, 2000 0

NEW DELHI: India, a key center feeding a global hunger for software
professionals, aims to raise the annual output of information technology (IT)
professionals to more than 200,000 by 2007, the government said on Wednesday.

India’s graduate educational institutions currently turn out around 178,000
engineers a year from all disciplines. Of these, information technology
disciplines are said to account for around 92,000.

Information Technology Minister Pramod Mahajan told Parliament in reply to a
question that a task force set up by the government on human resource
development aimed to double the intake in engineering colleges in IT-related
disciplines from the academic year 2001-02 and triple it from 2003-04.

"This is expected to raise the output of IT professionals to over
200,000 by the year 2007," Mahajan said in a statement.

There are some differences in approach between the government and the private
industry association on the issue.

The National Association of Software and Service Companies said last week it
would soon unveil a plan to ramp up the annual output of IT professionals to
500,000 by 2006.

The ministry’s numbers refer only to institutions recognized, run or
supervised by the government while several private sector companies run
institutes that directly feed industry demand.

Brokerage Indosuez W.I. Carr said in a study this month that India is likely
to face a medium-term shortage of skilled professionals as technology colleges
are unable to cope with soaring demand.

It forecast annual demand for Indian software professionals to rise to more
than 228,000 in 2003-04 (April-March) from 94,350 in 1999-2000, showing a
compounded annual growth rate of 24 per cent.

It said the supply of professionals is seen growing much more slowly to
around 137,500 from around 90,600 over the period.

Government officials say they want to take steps to ensure that quality of
education is not compromised in efforts to boost the annual output of
professionals.

The crunch for professionals grew this year with the United States deciding
to raise its global quota of work permit visas for skilled professionals to
195,000 every year for the next three years from 115,000.

(C) Reuters Limited 2000.

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