Salem, a little steel and textile town in Tamil Nadu, may sound an unlikely place for an Indo-Japanese connect to take place, but nowadays, more and more millennials are having a yen for Japanese culture.
Unlike the French and German language courses that are usually available in Indian metros, Japan has decided to take the JLPT to regional centres, making it easier for students to get certification exams.
Salem is the eighth centre in India authorised by the Japan Foundation to conduct the JLPT.
“The land of the rising sun is now the new land of opportunity, with Japan signalling its intention to welcome 8,45,000 skilled foreign workers into the country by 2025,” Chocko Valliappa, vice chairman, Sona College of Technology and CEO, VEE Technologies, said in a statement on Tuesday.
Earlier, students from Kerala would also travel to Chennai to take the exam, he added.
“The fact that over 800 students took this test in Salem shows that the idea is a good one,” said S Saravanan, Head of Photonics and Nanotechnology Research Centre, Sona College of Technology who is the convener for Japanese Language Course.
Sona Yukti, the skilling arm of the Sona Group, an educational giant, has been empanelled by the National Skill Development Corporation as a sending organisation for the Japanese government’s Technical Intern Training Programme (TITP).
It aims to send at least 100,000 skilled workers proficient in Japanese language to Japan.
A number of students have already got job offers from Japanese companies under the NSDC-backed TITP programme, according to the university.
S Silambarasan, 23, is excited about working in Nagoya, Japan and so is 28-year-old Dr Arul Prakash from Puducherry.
“A lot of high-tech gadgets and household appliances are available only in Japan. Definitely I will go to Japan and learning Japanese was required to make my dream come true,” he said.
“Actually, it’s too easy to learn Japanese from Tamil. The sentence structure, grammar is almost the same,” Prakash added.
Silambarasan said that after working in Japan for a few years, he will seek a good job in India where he can implement the skill and technology learnt in Japan.
“The salary package for blue-collar workers under TITP programme is between Rs 1,00,000 and Rs 1,60,000 per month, and for engineers, the minimum pay is Rs 1,62,000 per month,” said the university.