Bangalore: The Indian technology industry’s efforts to combat a talent crunch as well as acquire a voice in the setting of international tech standards has received a surprise boost, with IEEE (originally an acronym for the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.) turning to India in one of its “strategic moves” to reach out to the industry to help workforce development and tech implementation.
Now 125 years old, IEEE is the the world’s largest and most respected professional association of engineers.
“IEEE is reaching out to the industry in a more purposeful way to see how it can help validate the quality of professionals,” said Kasturi Rangachar, president of IEEE Computer Society and professor at the University of South Florida. Rangachar and other IEEE officials are on a four-city visit to India to assess the needs of technologists and industry.
To begin with, IEEE will offer certification programmes for software professionals. The first one, Certified Software Development Associate, which is meant for entry-level software engineers, will have a worldwide launch, including in India, in September.
Indian software companies such as Tata Consultancy Services Ltd, Infosys Technologies Ltd and Wipro Ltd have participated in the testing of this certification.
“We have received tremendous feedback from the industry,” said Rangachar, who believes that from the industry point of view, such programmes will help as there are graduates coming from various educational backgrounds whose knowledge and skills need to be validated.
“This will also help them retain employees once they are sufficiently trained, and establish professional practice standard,” he added.
The computer society is also talking to several institutes in India that impart computer training and conduct courses. Certification for mid-level software professionals, with four-five years of experience, is also in the works.
The non-profit institute publishes more than 30% of the world’s engineeringand computing literature and supports the development of more than 900 industry standards, including the popular Wi-Fi (wireless fidelity) or 802.11. And it says Indian industry, which has so far not really participated in the creation of technology standards, now needs to be more active. As a neutral body, officials say, IEEE can facilitate Indian industry’s collaboration in standards, an area that has been dominated by the US, Europe, and Japan.
“India has much more than just computer science and IEEE has a very active programme in power, bio/engineering, communications, besides 33 other sectors, where it could help workforce development and technology implementation,” said Angela R. Burgess, executive director of IEEE Computer Society.
According to Burgess it’s not only the computer society, but even IEEE’s communications and wireless societies that are seeking feedback from the Indian industry and technologists to increase their presence in the country.
The growing and maturing entrepreneur community here can benefit from the technical resource base of IEEE, said N.R. Krishnan, a long-time member and California-based entrepreneur of an IT infrastructure company, who is setting up a Bangalore office.
Though IEEE currently has 25,000 members here, out of 375,000 worldwide, it thinks a country as large as India can have 500,000 members.