Sramana Mitra, as part of her series of entrepreneurship in India, asks if entrepreneurship should be taught to students. I firmly believe that school is the right place to inject the entrepreneurship bug. However, I believe it does not fit in the current marks-oriented curriculum in Indian schools.
Introducing the role models will definitely help, but what will really influence them is a chance for them to experience it. We need to have a tighter integration between the industry and academia to make an effective attempt at this. Most of the projects done in the courses are not practically useful as they are completely irrelevant to the industry. It might be worthwhile to involve the industry people to guide students in selecting projects, get them funded and validate them. Seeing his/her work being applied in the real world will encourage a student to do innovative and entrepreneurial thinking.
Schools should also give an opportunity to the students to present their own ideas. Some schools have realized this. IIT Bombay has an entrepreneurship cell, which holds events like Eureka. However, I think this happens at a much lower scale. Perhaps universities should hold events like a BarCamps to get the industry and schools together and encourage interaction between them.
However, this change will require a synchronous effort from the schools and industry. While schools will have to do more than teaching courses, the industry will have to change its mindset. Not only will this help the schools and students, but it will also help the industry develop and identify the right talent.