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Few Takers For Indian Engineers At Home or Abroad, But Japan Loves Them

Japan is the odd one out when several countries are putting restrictions on the entry of Indian engineers.

When engineers NSE 0.57% increasingly face shrinking job opportunities and layoffs in India and immigration restrictions abroad, there is one country which wants them in large numbers - Japan. The country immediately needs 2,00,000 information technology (IT) professionals, and the demand is likely to grow to 8,00,000 by 2030.

Now about 100 companies in the Nagasaki region in Japan are ready to induct Indian engineers to support their IT, shipping and manufacturing service industries. according to Keisuke Yamamoto, Nagasaki Prefectural Assembly member representing the Iki City Constituency. At an interactive session organised by Bangalore Chamber of Industry and Commerce in Bengaluru on Wednesday, Yamamoto said that of the 2,000-odd companies in the Nagasaki region, 93 have expressed their consent to induct Indian engineers to overcome shortage of professionals. The Nagasaki government is finalising incentives for Indian companies in the IT, services, ship-building and manufacturing sectors. "We shall come out with a specific agenda to invite Indian companies to set up bases or collaborate with Nagasaki-based companies shortly," Yamamoto said.

Why is Japan the odd one out when several countries such as the US, Australia, New Zealand and Singapore are putting restrictions on the entry of Indian engineers?

If India faces a glut of engineers, Japan is struggling with a shortage of them. India and Japan are at totally different economic stages. A developed economy, Japan has been plagued by low growth for a long time which Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is now trying to speed up. India is a developing economy that has to focus on manufacturing to retain high growth rates and generate jobs for its pre-dominantly young population.

Being at different economic stages, India and Japan can complement each other in many ways. Japan wants to boost its investment and has cutting-edge technology to share while India needs both. That's how the bullet-train project came to happen. The other area where they need each other is human resource.

India and Japan have signed a 'Technical Intern Training Program (TITP)', under which India plans to send three lakh youths to Japan for on-job training for three to five years as part of the government's skill development programme. Japan will bear the financial cost of the skill training of Indian technical interns. About 50,000 of them may also get jobs in Japan.

Japanese demand for Indian professionals is just in time when India faces a demographic dividend but does not have enough avenues for its youth.

Japanese intake of Indian engineers can also help India's engineering education sector which has been in a crisis.

Since 2016, the number of engineering seats has been on the decline. According to the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE), it is around 75,000 annually. In 2016-17, total intake capacity at undergraduate level was 15,71,220, of which total enrolment was 7,87,127, which is just around 50.1 per cent. In 2015-16, total intake was 16,47,155, of which enrolment was 8,60,357, which was 52.2 per cent.

Japanese training and jobs can salvage India's engineering education which is marred by poor standards as well as shrinking job opportunities.

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