Most of his observations are true. Being a faculty member, I have seen this kind of activities in several institutions around Trivandrum. Just take a look at the local classifieds section of The Hindhu. You will see several ads promising students with things like real time linux embedded linux.etc.
I have joined my college very recently and I was asked to do evaluation of a few final year projects last month. Most of the projects were ready made stuff bought from some of these training companies.
Our department has a minor project in the sixth semester. Present sixth semester started in December 2007. I have insisted that all sixth semester projects must be done in the college lab itself. I don’t care if the minor project is really minor. But , I need some kind of contribution from every one in the project.
Consequently, some of them have take very simple projects. But, I will see to it that they design the circuit, simulate it , write the code if any and finally solder it themselves on home made PCBs.
Here is the advice I gave to some of my own students. Your project must be simple enough. I don’t expect any one to invent a new gadget or technology overnight. If you are daring, I dont mind you doing so. I suggest you to take up projects in emerging technologies. Make sure that you grasp at least the basics of your chosen topic ( at least by the end of the project). Do the project in a professional manner. Keep everything documented. If possible, start a home page/blog for your project and publish the report on internet.
You must work towards the completion of projects in the stipulated time. I don’t expect all projects to be completed as expected. There may the technical and practical hitches. Well, that doesn’t matter if you have done your home work and made a through study of your chosen area.
Most of the time you will get around 2 months for a projects. In between, most of you will get some kind of placement which will probably end your interest in academic activities. If you don’t complete a project due to your lack of interest , I can find it out quickly and I wont tolerate.
After this sermon, some of the guys in my college has made some progress. 😀
Here is another sentiment prevailing in student community:- most of the HR managers in companies like Infosys , or Satyam are not really concerned about what their engineers study at college. They just check, whether the guy can talk decent English and do basic arithmetic. Then why should I bother to study bla bla bla when my dad can buy it for me. After all he has bought me a seat in Engineering College.