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Pressing need to build capabilities in universities: Jaswinder Ahuja

CDNLive India held its University Conference today. Welcoming the delegates — largely made up of faculty members from various institutes across India and students, Jaswinder Ahuja, corporate VP and MD, Cadence Design Systems (I) Pvt Ltd, highlighted that there are over 300 universities in India that have access to Cadence’s EDA software.

Jaswinder Ahuja, corporate VP and MD, Cadence Design Systems (I) Pvt Ltd.

Jaswinder Ahuja, corporate VP and MD, Cadence Design Systems (I) Pvt Ltd.

Dwelling on how Cadence went about developing its University program in India, he said that the EDA vendor first started its faculty training program. “As a next step, we wanted the students to develop some real designs, and to innovate. So, we launched the Cadence Design Contest. We have had this for five to six years now. This year, we split the contest into Masters and Bachelors levels.” Cadence started the  University conference last year.

Ahuja re-iterated, “It is important that we develop a community — where the faculty and students come together and share their experiences.” A visiting professor from Gerrmany shared his experiences in Europe during last year’s CDNLive India University conference.

Challenges in university ecosystem
Ahuja added: “This year, we have started the Cadence VLSI Certification Program (CVCP). The whole idea is to ensure is that through the curriculum, labs and the like, we can help the student to be industry ready from day one!

“Right now, it takes anywhere from six months to two years to achieve that — which s simply, productive time lost. Our goal is to build capabilities in the universities. We also have two pilots going on under CVCP. Once those are over, we will be ready to scale up.

“One of the challenges that we face when we look at the university ecosystem today — the faculty is the backbone of the academic infrastructure. It is important that the faculty is world class. If some of our best and briightest don’t make the choice to be part of faculty, then the entire industry is at threat. Those who have the passion to teach and impart education, should definitely stick around.”

He noted that the government of India is also very keen on investing in education. That’s going to improve prospects for higher education and for those who would want to get into the education field. It is said that some of the bills that have to be passed in the Indian Parliament are built around enhancing and growing higher education.

VLSI industry prospects
On the VLSI industry, Ahuja said: “About the VLSI industry itself, it has the most exciting prospects over the next 20 years. The consumption of electronics is pervasive and that is only growing. Unfortunately, most of the electronics today is being imported. This could turn out to be a massive challenge for our country.

“The government has taken note of this. There are policies in place that are aimed at improving the R&D, reseach, and even manufacturing in the country.”

Ahuja concluded that Cadence as a company is committed to working with the universities, the faculty and the students to fuel the engine of growth.

“We are committed to staying on this track and expand it further. I’d like to see a collaboration between the universities and research agencies. Today, we are not ready yet! Once we have a strong, thriving network, we would like to connect it to Europe and the US.”

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