A round table was organized by the All India Council for Technical Education, (AICTE) for the development of a national vocational education qualification framework with regard to the IT, ITES and Telecom Industry, here, last evening. Shri Kapil Sibal, Union Minister for Human Resource Development presided over the conference. Subsequent to the discussions, to develop the course curriculum, two core groups were constituted, one under the chairmanship of Sh. N.K. Goyal, President CMAI Association of India (for the Telecom sector) and the other under the chairmanship of Shri Ravi Venkatesh, Director, Micosoft India (for the IT sector) with the option of co-opting other members in these core groups. These groups are to submit their recommendations to the HRD Ministry within 3 months.
In the course of the meeting, delegates from various industries deliberated on issues related to development of the qualification framework and there was consensus on the following:
•The IT, ITES and Telecom Industries will come forward and collaborate with the institutions by providing required hardware and suitable trainers for vocational education.
•Indian telecom Industry has about 5,00,000 towers where basic facilities like power, electricity, security, broadband etc. are available. Also, about 30,000 Common Service Centers (CSCs) established for providing various community services and having PC connectivity can act as educational sites for providing vocational skills with focus on rural areas. For maintaining these towers about 1 lac technicians are required. If vocational courses are designed considering the requirements of telecom tower sector the man power trained will be immediately employable.
•It is estimated that 150 million cell phones are manufactured in India which is far less than the number of actual Cell phone users. There is ample scope for setting up manufacturing units for cell phones and the connected spare parts etc.
•As IT and Telecom sectors face the threat of fast changing technology, there is ample opportunity in R&D fields.
•The country has to focus on mobile designing to compete with other global leaders in the field.
•There are repair factories where mobile instruments are repaired by unskilled manpower through hands on training. A structured approach is required for proper repair of mobiles. The five million customer pool of smart phone users is likely to increase 10 fold in the next 5 years. Skilled manpower is required for repairing of such telephones also.
•To ensure National Security we need to focus on the Indigenous manufacturing of SIM Cards, repairing and rolling out of telecom networks etc. Young skilled staff will be required for this purpose.
•Few Industries in the private sector have already adopted a number of colleges for imparting vocational training in a structured manner. Course modules of upto 120 man hours are designed for this purpose. The private sector can assist in setting up the vocational training centers for providing structured training with the industry experience leading to award of certificate.
•Cyber cafés may be assigned the nomenclature, ‘Cyber schools’ and can be transformed into vocational training centers.
•8 million people are using IT enabled applications. We need skilled human resources to generate more of such applications. This skilled manpower needs to be certified and their certification needs to be connected to employment opportunities.
•The availability of 3G Spectrum will open up an opportunity for employment of retired teachers who can impart training through network applications, even from their own homes.
•There is a need for seamless training for development of sector specific skills by performing matrix analysis of the labor market today, and after 5 years.
•The regional training centers of telecom training having adequate infrastructure can be used as vocational training centers. The telecom sector is opening a number of broadband applications, one of which is telemedicine, which requires skilled manpower which can handle the functional operations of the telemedicine kit.
The workshop was attended by the representatives of companies in the field of IT & Telecom including Micro soft India, Ericsson, Intel Technologies Ltd., MTNL, British Telecom etc. The representatives of associations like Internet Service Providers Association of India, Cellular Association of India, Cable Federation of India, Association of Universal Service Providers of India etc. also participated in the deliberations. Future round table conferences will be in the sectors of Construction, Media & Entertainment and Banking & Finance.