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‘Oil & gas sector in need of qualified engineers’

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Dr A. K. Balyan
Dr A. K. Balyan

Our Bureau

Hyderabad, Jan. 3 The oil and natural gas industry is facing a serious shortage of trained engineers, according to Dr A.K. Balyan, Director (Human Resources), Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Ltd.

Delivering a lecture on ‘Industry-academia interface’ at Institute of Public Enterprise (IPE) here on Saturday, Dr Balyan said the requirement for specialist engineers in the oil and natural gas industry and geosciences sector is very “high.”

“No university or institute in India is focussing on building a pool of skilled engineers for these sectors. As a result, we are hiring engineers from other branches such as mechanical or electrical and training them in areas such as drilling and well-maintenance,” he said.

Attrition issue

Another problem was attrition. “After receiving training to be specialist engineers, people are leaving the public sector units in three to four years. This is a real issue for PSUs including ONGC,” he observed.

A better collaboration between the industry and academic institutions would solve the problem as educational institutes can train students as per the industry needs in different sectors, he said.

“ONGC is also looking to expand its partnerships and interface with academia in the form of special training programmes and setting up of chairs for studies,” Dr Balyan said.

At present, ONGC has partnership with over 15 universities / institutes of higher learning, including Benaras Hindu University, Andhra University and Indian School of Mines, Dhanbad.

The industry-relevant education / courses should be strengthened in public, private partnership model, he opined.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated January 4, 2009)
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