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95% of Indian engineers can't code? Veterans Mohandas Pai, Shaw slam report

Recent study says only 4.77% of engineering students tested can write correct code for a programme

Bhaswar Kumar  |  New Delhi 

95% of Indian engineers can't code? Veterans Mohandas Pai, Shaw slam report

Former Infosys chief financial officer T V described a recent employability assessment study which said that 95 per cent of were not fit for software development jobs as "total rubbish".

Recently, employability assessment company Aspiring Minds conducted a study, which said that only 4.77 per cent of candidates could write the correct logic for a programme - a minimum requirement for any programming job.

Pai took to Twitter to refute the claims made by the study. The adjective he used for the study was "stupid". Pai's defence of the Indian techie workforce comes when it is facing uncertain prospects due to global headwinds, tightening visa regulations, automation, and artificial intelligence.

While the information technology (IT) veteran did not mince words when expressing his sentiments about the study, he found support in Biocon Limited Chairman & Managing Director Shaw, also in a Twitter post, agreed with Pai and asked where and how the study had gotten its "inference" from. She added that the "blue collar workers of the future are coders".

However, Pai, who is currently the Chairman of Manipal Global Education Services, has in the past warned of challenges posed by rising automation to the workforce. In August last year, Pai had said that increasing automation would shave off 10 per cent of incremental jobs in India's IT sector each year even as half of the sector's middle-level managers could lose their jobs in the coming 10 years.

Acute shortage of skilled programmers?

During the course of Aspiring Mind's study, over 36,000 engineering students from IT related branches of over 500 colleges took Automata - a machine learning-based assessment of software development skills. According to the study, over two-thirds could not even write code that compiles.

The study further noted that while more than 60 per cent candidates could not even write code that compiled, only 1.4 per cent were able to write functionally correct and efficient code.

"Lack of programming skills is adversely impacting the IT and data science ecosystem in India. The world is moving towards introducing programming to three-year-old! India needs to catch up," Aspiring Minds CTO and Co-Founder Varun Aggarwal said.