India’s Polaris, Australian varsity sign deal on skill creation

April 29th, 2008 - 12:48 pm ICT by admin  

By Neena Bhandari
Sydney, April 29 (IANS) A leading Indian software company, Polaris Software Pty Ltd., and the University of Western Sydney (UWS) Tuesday signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on skill creation that will contribute to local capacity building and help address the issue of IT skill shortages in Australia. The MoU includes joint development of a short course on software testing for industry participants and the development of an elective unit on software testing for UWS undergraduate students.

Arun Jain, chairman and chief executive officer of Polaris Software Lab Ltd, said: “Polaris has a significant presence in Australia. The signing of an MoU only reaffirms our long-standing relationship and commitment to the country.”

Earlier, in October last year, Polaris had launched its new software testing laboratory in Sydney. It is in the process of establishing the testing lab, which will create 160 jobs and inject A$5 million ($4.68 million) worth of investment into the state of New South Wales (NSW).

“At Polaris it is a strategic decision to nurture and develop local talent. Today, sourcing of industry ready talent has become very critical for businesses. We strongly believe (this) partnership is the step towards addressing this need,” Jain said.

The MoU also includes the selection of a group of students for practical experience and training in software testing on a project in India, and the design and implementation of an Australian Industry survey to ascertain attitudes and approaches towards software testing and the difficulties arising from it.

Anil Verma, director and head of Polaris Software Pty Ltd in Australia, told IANS: “Through our partnership with UWS, we are contributing to capacity building at the grassroots level. It will help in creating and enhancing skills by exposing Australian students to world’s best practice in software testing.”

Polaris came to Australia in 2000. It currently works with a range of clients, including top Australian banks as well as global giants like Toshiba, Canon and CitiGroup.

The company’s core business is the provision of integrated technology solutions for the global banking, financial and insurance sectors. Its expertise lies in corporate banking, retail banking, wealth management, credit cards, investment banking, insurance, enterprise solutions, pace testing and process consulting.

Minister for Western Sydney Barbara Perry said the partnership will provide significant skills training for UWS students and serve as a model for other organisations facing challenges posed by skill shortages.

“It will help create jobs and will drive industry and international investment in the region,” Perry added.

UWS is a comparatively young institution striving to ensure research is applied and relevant to what it teaches and also to the industries, businesses and the community.

Beryl Hesketh, dean of the College of Health and Science at UWS, said the university is excited about the opportunities that the new joint venture will provide.

“The partnership will contribute to international research, skills and workforce building for Western Sydney, and work experience and exchange programmes for UWS graduates,” Hesketh said.

Polaris is one of a number of major Indian IT companies, including HCL, Infosys, Satyam, Tata Consulting Services (TCS) and Wipro, with operations in Australia.

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