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Is N-tech the next ‘cool’ career?

DU has launched an M Tech course in Nuclear Technology, other institutions like IIT Madras are also in the process of beginning similar programmes.

india Updated: Oct 14, 2008 10:43 IST
Prasad Nichenametla
Prasad Nichenametla
Hindustan Times

As the nation ends its 34-year isolation from international commerce in the field of civilian nuclear energy, leading Indian education institutions are gearing up to cash in on the huge demand for trained manpower in the nascent sector that offers highly attractive salaries on par with the software industry.

“Nuclear sector was confined to government sector where the salaries were low. But with the sector now opening up to the private players we expect a demand for nuclear technology courses,” Professor Sanjay Dhande, director, IIT Kanpur said.

While the Delhi University has launched an M Tech course in Nuclear Technology during the current academic year, other premier institutions like IIT Madras are also in the process of beginning similar programmes. “As the country is expanding its nuclear programme and is about to set up new nuclear power plants, there is an increasing need of manpower. Even on the international level there is a shortage of manpower in the sector,” Professor D S Kulshreshta, head of the Department of Physics and Astrophysics in Delhi University, said.

The University’s three-year M Tech course in Nuclear Science and Technology is in being conducted in collaboration with the Joseph Fourier University of France. Students avail a scholarship of Rs 3,000 per month and are sent to France as part of the course work and dissertation.

The course requires a bachelor’s degree in physics as a subject. “We started with 14 seats, which are filled through the Joint Admission Test of the IITs. Seeing the good response in the first year, we are now proposing to add more seats for the next academic session,” Kulshrestha said. IIT Madras proposes to start a two-year M Tech course in Nuclear Engineering next year.

“The course is proposed keeping in mind a huge requirement for technicians in the sector. The Nuclear deal is also one of the significant developments contributing to our plans,” said Prof PC Deshmukh, who heads the Physics department. IIT Kanpur and IIT Bombay already run such courses.

“We have about 20 seats in M Tech but the response to the course was not so great. This is owing to the nuclear sector confined to the government set-up (Department of Atomic Energy) where the salaries are low. But with the sector opening up now, we expect a demand,” Professor Dhande said. IIT Kanpur, which started the course about 30 years ago, is also in the process of reviewing the course.

First Published: Oct 14, 2008 09:35 IST