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DGT – MSDE Inks Pact with Microsoft and Nasscom Foundation for Digital Skilling

In Career
January 04, 2021

The Directorate General of Training (DGT) joined hands with Microsoft and NASSCOM Foundation to provide a digital content for ITI students and also future-ready employability skilling program for upskilling and reskilling. Nearly 1,20,000 students in around 3000 ITIs across India can be benefited by this digitized e-learning module via the Bharatskills portal.

DGT in the last two years, collaborated with many digital industry front liners like IBM India Pvt. Ltd., SAP India, Cisco Systems India Pvt. Ltd., Accenture Solutions and Quest Alliance, Adobe, SSC-NASSCOM etc., to enable the students to become industry ready. The Directorate General of Training (DGT) under the aegis of Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship (MSDE) is responsible for implementing long term institutional training to the nation’s youth through its extensive network of about 15,000 training institutes (ITIs) and 33 National Skill Training Institutes (NSTIs). DGT plays a key role in the execution of vocational training schemes and in making ‘Skill India’ dream become a reality.

Commenting on the initiative, Dr. Mahendra Nath Pandey, Hon’ble Union Minister of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship said, “Through the DGT-Microsoft partnership, we are aiming to impact thousands of students by enabling digitization in education and hope it to reach more students and teachers soon. As the pandemic is compelling fast-track digital transition, these new learning initiatives will empower young learners with technical and market-oriented skills.”

Pravin Kumar, Secretary, Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, shared his thoughts on elevating the skilling ecosystem in the country, stating that “Skill Development is constantly being upgraded and modernized in terms of infrastructure, pedagogy, curriculum and technological interventions. We are gradually working our way to upscale the skilling system as per industry expectations and demands. I feel extremely happy to acknowledge the DGT-Microsoft collaboration for the new interventions in felicitating online learning initiatives through digitization in support of students, trainers and self-learners.

DGT has launched an online learning platform called the Bharatskills (https://bharatskills.gov.in) in Oct 2019, a Central Repository for skills providing easy access for the trainees and trainers of the ITI ecosystem, to access updated curriculums and course content of all courses under the Craftsmen Training Scheme (CTS), Question Banks, mock/practice papers, learning videos, etc., hence enabling anytime, anywhere learning outside the classrooms. This platform also presents a unique access to a centralized, scalable and a thriving support ecosystem through its industrial partners for the students and teachers who can now learn the newer IR 4.0 skills to meet the demands of the industry.

It is worth mentioning here that during the current COVID-19 pandemic scenario, the usage of Bharatskills learning platform has increased multifold from around 90,000 users in March 2020 to more than 16.55 Lakh users having accessed the portal as on date.

Sharing her views in this regard, Juthika Patankar, Director General (Training) & Additional Secretary , said, “The Directorate General of Training as an organization, is committed to provide quality vocational training through its courses and consequently it is paving its way to provide individualized and standardized learning by adopting new models of learning and skilling. Blended learning is a flexible and adaptable way of engaging the learners, while allowing the trainers to cater to the needs of the students, in a much better way. DGT is absolutely thrilled to partner with Microsoft, the indisputable tech-giant, for its unconditional support in developing comprehensive skills and enhancing the employability of our students as well as the future trainers through its learning modules on futuristic skills.”

Speaking on the occasion, Anant Maheshwari, President, Microsoft India, said, “Empowering the next generation of learners with industry relevant digital skills is critical as we move towards building economic resilience. The last few months have accelerated the need for upskilling and has shown clearly that the future of learning will be supported by technology. Our partnership with DGT and NASSCOM Foundation is built on this foundation of equipping the learners of today with the skills required to thrive in the jobs of tomorrow.”

Ashok Pamidi, CEO, NASSCOM Foundation, said “Blended learning has been a game-changer for all our skill-based programs. With this e-content, we hope to bring this model to the 1.2 lakh ITI students engaged in COPA. Microsoft has been one of our most valuable partners in our journey towards building a digital skills landscape in the country. We thank them for their continuous and unwavering support. We are also extremely proud to collaborate with Directorate General of Training (DGT) to roll out the e-content in 3000 ITIs and NSTIs across India.”

Another testimony to DGT’s relentless efforts is the recent MoU between Directorate General of Training (DGT), Microsoft and NASSCOM Foundation wherein Microsoft has facilitated access to free content available on Microsoft Learn platform for more than 24 Lakh students in the ITI ecosystem, by linking the Global Skilling Initiative (GSI) through the Bharatskills platform. Further, it is supporting the digitization of the entire content of a popular course – ‘Computer Operating and Programming Assistant’ (COPA) through the NASSCOM Foundation and also in conducting faculty development programs to build capacities of the Trainers/Faculties in the NSTIs and ITIs on the newly developed Digitized Blended content and futuristic skills.

The blended content with self-learning digital tutorials and handholding from teachers, is expected to be accessed by more than 1 lakh 20 thousand students pursuing the course across 3000 industrial Training Institutes (ITIs) annually. Hence, this will reduce the number of class-room hours and student-teacher engagement leading to the possibility to train double the existing number of students in COPA course within the same infrastructure. This blended learning mode will help the trainee students to learn basic digital skills at the primary level in a uniform standardized manner and subsequently the advanced level Microsoft Office Technologies including Networking and Cyber Security.