Editor's Choice
editorchice

Skill Development for Food Processing Sector — Wanted, a “PPP” Model

What Infosys is doing for IT sector must be emulated in the food manufacturing sector also to create a pool of exceptionally bright talent which can help the industry to upgrade their technical manpower very significantly, writes V H Potty.


Infosys Technologies Limited, a IT giant, is a pioneer in skill development as far as IT sector is concerned and their ‘campus connect’ programme, started in the year 2004 is indeed unique. The concept is based on the need to expand the skill base of students being trained by the average teaching institutions. In less than 5 years, Infosys was able to knit together over 500 engineering colleges in India as well as in other countries like Malaysia, China and Mexico through a well planned exposure program that helped about 58000 students and 3000 faculty members to upgrade their skills vis-a-vis IT industry and its operations. The modusoperandi consists of training of students through lectures and seminars, industry visits, on-hand training, interacting with peers and exposure to world class infrastructure and governance. Similarly faculty members were also provided with opportunities to imbibe industry culture so that their perception and knowledge base is significantly improved making them much superior teachers. Such private-public alliance between the private industry and public institutions (PPP) is laudable and has the potential to create tremendous impact at the national level as the graduates coming out of the universities become more versatile with practical outlook.

What Infosys is doing for IT sector must be emulated in the manufacturing sector also to create a pool of exceptionally bright talent which can help the industry to upgrade their technical manpower very significantly. There could be practical constraints to design such a system in the manufacturing sector as is being done in IT industry because of logistical difficulties. Manufacturing involves deployment of complex facilities like specialized equipment and supporting services for which extensive infrastructure is necessary and there are very few such industries in the food sector which can boast of a world class processing facility. But even if a few of them like Britannia, Nestle, ITC, MTR Foods, Coca Cola, Pepsi can pool their resources it should be possible to create a system like the one Infosys was able to do it.

Food technology training is being done at present in some universities and annual turn over from these institutions is about 1000 technical persons per year. Though AICTE has streamlined the course duration and there is some uniformity in the curriculum, the quality of the products coming out of these colleges is appalling and alarming, calling for an overhauling of the present system. As for the faculty, most of them have never seen a even the gate of a food industry, let alone the shop floor! It is no wonder that there is practically no linkage between the academia and the industry and most of the so called trained personnel from these institutions are not in demand. One and the only PPP model that exists in Mysore today, set up with initiatives by a few enlightened flour millers in the eighties of the last millennium, is just limping along because it was not nurtured properly and adequately during the last few years, the fault lying with the shortsighted policies being pursued.

An industry-academia net work involving at least four large scale industrial units spread over 4 regions in the country can consider creating a regional training programme for students from nearby food technology colleges and such a programme must be built into the course proper with AICTE concurrence. At least a semester must be devoted for industrial training in the industry before making them eligible for receiving their degrees. Government support through incentives to the industry and financial help for the students to cover their expenses incurred during the training can provide the necessary spark. Industry can be expected to build necessary facilities to accommodate these students for training purpose. It must be done for the teaching faculty also through a ‘sabbatical’ programme to enrich their teaching skills.

Food Parks being promoted in a big way can be another ‘vehicle’ for achieving the above purpose. As a policy all food parks cleared by GOI must have a training component, with each unit extending the processing facility for ‘hands-on’ training for the benefit of food technology students from universities. Such facilities should have residential facilities also and special financial support by GOI for such programmes will encourage these Food Parks to offer such programmes. Of course much planning has to go into making the proposition a working reality. Offering deemed university status to private industry who can invest adequately to establish training infrastructure inside their facilities is another possibility that deserves some consideration. Unless some thing is done immediately to improve the quality of trained personnel coming out of academic institutions, food industry in India cannot be expected to be a formidable player in the economic landscape of the country.

"We are what we eat" is an old proverb. Access to good quality food has been man's main endeavour from the earliest days of his existence. Safety of food is a basic requirement of food quality. Food quality can termed as a complex characteristic of food that determines its value or acceptability to consumers. Besides safety, quality attributes include: nutritional value; organoleptic properties such as appearance, colour, texture, taste; and functional properties.

 

Managing IPR

Managing Intellectual Property

Managing Intellectual Property

“Managing Intellectual Property” is a series of articles on intellectual property rights in the trade related matters. The series covers various dimensions of IPR, pertainign to the food processing industry, in the form of simplified legal text with suitable cases studies. We hope the series will benefit the food processors, policy makers, executives, managers, researchers, traders and other stakeholders in the processed food industry.Read More

Current Topics

Current Topics

‘Current topics’ provides the rapid advances in the food processing sector that have taken place in the recent past. The series is being contributed by Dr. V.H Potty – our editorial consultant and Deputy Director (Rtd), CFTRI. He is the doyen of food processing industry in India. We feel that an intensive review of the major issues concerning food processing industry would be of great value to our readers.

Read More

Recent Development

Recent Development

New developments in the sphere of processed food industry take place every now and then, which results in the overall development of the entire food sector. Dr. Rajat K. Baisya — our editorial consultant, and professor of marketing and strategic management at department of management studies, IIT Delhi — keeps a keen eye on these developments in food processing sector as and when they happen. The series has recently passed its 200 mark in its print version.
Read More

Cold Chain

Cold Chain Management

Keeping in view the importance of freezing and cold chain in food business 'Processed Food Industry' has decided to introduce a new series of article ‘A to Z of Frozen Food Operation’. The series is contributed by O S Gautam — a known food consultant and Director, Delicacy International — is being presented here. We hope our readers will be benefited by his experience and give us their feedback.
Read More

Supply Chain

Supply Chain

“Managing Supply Chain & Marketing of Food Products” The purpose of initiating this series of articles is to discus some important dimensions of food processing industry, which can be of some help for decision makers at various levels in food business. This series looks into macro-economic policy parameters, which affect food consumption and retailing patterns and consumer behaviours. We will also evaluate various micro-level developments in processed-food-industry world and their impact on food business, food retailing and consumer behaviour.
Read More

Events

 
 
anutec-india-2020
Copyright © 2019 All Rights Reserved | Designed & Developed by Netnovaz Web Solutions