Preparing Engineers for French Firms in India

THE STEADY rise in the number of projects managed by French companies in India has created a market for Indian engineers who also have been exposed to French culture. In response to this new market reality, the Ecole Centrale d’Electronique ( ECE) Graduate School of Engineering in Paris rolled out four new programmes aimed at Indian students.

“Keeping the industry’s demand in mind, we are offering courses in four areas of specialisation — Embedded Systems; Energy; Telecommunications; and Networks and Information System,” Laurent Hua, director ( academic and international development), ECE, said during an interaction with the media in Delhi. “The new session will start in September 2011; in the subsequent year, we will roll out another programme in Health Care and Technology.” The programmes, he said, would be offered on the ECE campus in Paris.

The students have the option of paying 8,000 Euros ( INR 4.78 lakh) as tuition fee per course, or of going for a package of 12,000 Euros ( INR 7.17 lakh) that would include tuition fee, accommodation in Paris, insurance and other facilities. “Each year, 350 students graduate from our school and they get bombarded with 4,000 internship offers,” Hua said.

Founded in 1919, ECE is one of the top five privately owned engineering schools in France with 800 corporate partners, including Air France, Nestle France, Orange and Nokia. Explaining ECE’s India connect, Hua said, “More and more French companies are entering into joint ventures with their Indian counterparts, and are looking for Indian engineers who know about France and its work culture.” The French government recently sanctioned 800,000 Euros to the school to strengthen its research programmes.

At present, only 10 of the ECE’s 2,000 students are Indian, but the school has set a target of increasing the number five- fold by the end of 2012.

And why should Indian students consider it to be an option?

“Our school is focused on providing practical education to students via internships and research projects,” said Ganesh Kohli, ECE’s educational counsellor for India, ECE. “ Our objective ,” added Hua, “ is to produce globally empowered engineering students who can work efficiently in an Indo- French environment.”