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Indian trainer makes IT happen for the Chinese

Anand Parthasarathy

— Photos: Anand Parthasarathy

CHINESE TECH TAKEAWAY: Prakash Menon, president of NIIT China, and (right) a class in progress on Saturday at the Nanjing Road branch of NIIT in Shanghai.

SHANGHAI: India’s best known brand in IT education NIIT has just completed a decade of its operations in China, having teaching centres in 65 cities across 24 provinces.

On Saturday, this correspondent sat in briefly in the largest of three NIIT centres in this city, the one on Nanjing Road, as a Chinese tutor took a computer and smart-board-assisted class in C++ programming.

“On week days, we have 500 students coming here in various batches,” explained Centre Head, Anil Nair. The course content of the GNIIT degree in software engineering is identical to what is taught in India. But local demand persuaded NIIT to create two new streams — in Networking and Animation/gaming, he said.

NIIT’s China operation now embraces nearly 1,000 teachers, only 30 of them Indians.

The courses are being offered on 131 Chinese university campuses and in many cases, students get credit for GNIIT modules in their graduate studies, Prakash Menon, president of NIIT China, told The Hindu.

Having come to China in 1997 to explore IT training opportunities on behalf of NIIT, Mr. Menon never went back. In fact, he moved his family to China.

His wife and two school-going children are, like him, fluent in Chinese.

In many provinces, NIIT has been invited to go beyond IT training and help restructure and IT-enable school education systems... a tribute to the reputation India enjoys in this arena.

“Growth has been tremendous in recent years; we have 50,000 students taking our courses this year. Sixteen translators are busy at all times, updating and translating material for new courses,” says Mr. Menon. “But for us, the real pride comes from the respect and recognition that an Indian company enjoys in China.”

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