It was a spirited speech by Vice Chancellor G Thiruvasagam that put many at the Academic Council meeting of the University of Madras on Saturday in a spot.
Flagging some statistics that he had gathered, he made a case for the need to improve soft skills among students of affiliated colleges, stating that wards who came from weaker sections of the society are finding it difficult to get jobs thanks to the lack of seriousness on the part of the institutions.
During a discussion at the meeting, the Vice Chancellor pointed out that the University had signed an MoU with a private party to specially train students of the affiliated colleges in soft skills, something that students have been found wanting. The firm had also promised to hire a large chunk of these students after the training.
However, to the surprise of the University, when circulars to the colleges were sent asking for list of students who had completed their fourth semester without arrears, a minimum qualification for the participating in the training, only about 35 colleges replied with the data whereas the varsity has more than 110 colleges in its fold.
“Only two government colleges have replied. I have to remind the members here that it is in government institutions that there is a greater need for such avenues. Most students come from economically and socially backward classes from the rural areas whose soft skills need a lot of training,” he said admonishing Principals of colleges for not taking the effort to revert to the circulars.