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Indian engineers good only at theory: Microsoft

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October 07, 2005 04:01 IST

India does not produce enough computer engineers and those it does are good at theory but not very well equipped to handle the practical aspects, according to Microsoft Corporation's Chief Technical Officer Craig Mundie, who is on a visit to India.

"India produces a lot of engineers. But the production of computer science engineers is low, pro rata.

"Computer engineers are more into theory and less in managing businesses, building businesses or writing source codes, the key to software development," Mundie told Business Standard.

Microsoft has a large number of Indian software engineers on its rolls in India as well as abroad. Out of the 2,000 people working for Microsoft in India, a sizeable proportion comprises software engineers. India produced 401,791 engineers in 2003-04, of which 35 per cent were computer engineers. The number increased to 464,743 in 2004-05, of which 31 per cent were computer engineers.

According to Mundie, the problem with the engineers can be attributed to policy issues. Universities in India, he said, did not get proper funding for research and were not directed towards software development. "The lack of trained staff is addressed by firms through internal arrangements for proper training," he said.

Besides, he said, India did not have enough software companies nor were enough companies developing India-specific applications.

"There are so few Indian software companies developing local software. That is a negative reinforcement, because there is no local software and no new applications," he said.

Suveen K Sinha & Gaurie Mishra in New Delhi