OPA inks MoU with Kurukshetra University

Students to get hands-on training in printing and packaging

The MoU was signed between OPA and IMCMT with the blessings of Prof Som Nath Sachdeva, vice chancellor the Kurukshetra University (Centre)

Offset Printers’ Association (OPA) signed a memorandum of understanding with the Kurukshetra University for establishing channels of communication and cooperation that will promote and advance the system of printing and packaging education. The MoU between the Institute of Mass Communication & Media Technology and OPA was signed in the presence of Prof Som Nath Sachdeva, vice-chancellor of the university. 

Speaking on the occasion, the vice-chancellor said that academia-industry relations are the first step to fulfill the dream of a self-reliant India. With these industry-academia relations, now the students will get an opportunity to get hands-on training in printing and packaging which will help them find good jobs, he said.

Discussing the project at the committee room of the vice chancellor

Kurukshetra University is one of the premier educational institutions of India. Established in 1956, the university is providing higher education to over half a million students on the campus and its affiliated colleges. The university has been awarded an A+ grade by NAAC and has been placed at 8th position amongst the state universities of the country in category – 1 by the ministry of MHRD and has also been granted academic autonomy.

Earlier introducing OPA, Parveen Aggarwal, the president said, “Academia must be the guiding force for the development of the industry. At OPA, it is our mission to persuade the youngsters to adopt printing as a career.” 

OPA organizes Print Olympiad

Aggarwal added that he is thankful to the university because they are preparing the future printers under the project of ‘Print Chetna.’ OPA is on the front foot to encourage the printing students by organizing ‘Print Olympiad,’ the first of its kind talent hunt for printing in the world.

“Education is the backbone for the success of the industry and with this collaboration, it will be possible to train the students in future print technologies,” he added. “The doors of the industry are open to provide practical training as per the syllabus, OPA will ensure the practical training of the students in the factories of its members.”

Prof Bindu Sharma (Centre) and other faculty members of IMCMT

Prof Manjula Chaudhary, dean Academic Affairs of the university said that it is necessary to design the education and training as per the industry requirements. She said, “I am happy to see this understanding between academia and industry and I do hope that this collaboration will produce excellent results.”

Speaking on the occasion, Prof Kamal Chopra, chairman World Print & Communication Forum and president All India Federation of Master Printers said, there are ample opportunities available for the talented manpower in the printing and packaging sector. It is the first step to bridge the gap and at the same time the right step for the ‘Áatam Nirbhar Bharat’ scheme introduced by the prime minister recently.

Describing the key points of the agreement, Prof Bindu Sharma, director, Institute of Mass Communication and Media Technology said, “This cooperation will facilitate effective utilization of the intellectual capabilities of the faculty and the industry in developing suitable teaching/training systems, keeping in mind the needs of the industry.” She added that taking into view the new education policy of the government of India curriculum will be designed as per the need of the industry so that there may not be any difficulty for the placements. Later Prof Kamal Chopra and the team of OPA visited the Institute of Mass Communication & Media Technology to interact with the faculty members.

2023 promises an interesting ride for print in India

Indian Printer and Publisher founded in 1979 is the oldest B2B trade publication in the multi-platform and multi-channel IPPGroup. While the print and packaging industries have been resilient in the past 33 months since the pandemic lockdown of 25 March 2020, the commercial printing and newspaper industries have yet to recover their pre-Covid trajectory.

The fragmented commercial printing industry faces substantial challenges as does the newspaper industry. While digital short-run printing and the signage industry seem to be recovering a bit faster, ultimately their growth will also be moderated by the progress of the overall economy. On the other hand book printing exports are doing well but they too face several supply-chain and logistics challenges.

The price of publication papers including newsprint has been high in the past year while availability is diminished by several mills shutting down their publication paper and newsprint machines in the past four years. Indian paper mills are also exporting many types of paper and have raised prices for Indian printers. To some extent, this has helped in the recovery of the digital printing industry with its on-demand short-run and low-wastage paradigm.

Ultimately digital print and other digital channels will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future. For instance, there is no alternative to a rise in textbook consumption but this segment will only reach normality in the next financial year beginning on 1 April 2023.

Thus while the new normal is a moving target and many commercial printers look to diversification, we believe that our target audiences may shift and change. Like them, we will also have to adapt with agility to keep up with their business and technical information needs.

Our 2023 media kit is ready, and it is the right time to take stock and reconnect with your potential markets and customers. Print is the glue for the growth of liberal education, new industry, and an emerging economy. We seek your participation in what promises to be an interesting ride.

– Naresh Khanna

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