DGT-MSDE inks pact with Microsoft, Nasscom for digital upskilling of 1.2 lakh young Indians

New Delhi: The Directorate General of Training (DGT) has partnered with Microsoft and NASSCOM Foundation to provide digital content for ITI students and also future-ready employability skilling program for upskilling and reskilling. Nearly 1,20,000 students in around 3,000 ITIs across India can benefit from this digitised e-learning module via the Bharatskills portal, according to a statement from the Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship issued on Thursday, 24th December.

DGT in the last two years collaborated with many digital industry front-liners like IBM India, SAP India, Cisco Systems India, Accenture Solutions and Quest Alliance, Adobe, and SSC-NASSCOM to enable the students to become industry-ready. The Directorate General of Training (DGT) under the aegis of the 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), stated MSDE, adding that the 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, Mahendra Nath Pandey, Union Minister of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship said, “Through the DGT-Microsoft partnership, we are aiming to impact thousands of students by enabling digitisation in education and hope it will 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.”

In October 2019, the DGT launched an online learning platform called Bharatskills, a Central Repository for skills providing easy access for the trainees and trainers of the ITI ecosystem to access updated curricula and course content of all courses under the Craftsmen Training Scheme (CTS), question banks, mock/practice papers, and learning videos, enabling anytime, anywhere learning outside the classrooms. This platform also presents unique access to a centralised, scalable, and 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, the MSDE stated.

During the current Covid-19 pandemic scenario, the usage of the Bharatskills learning platform increased multifold from around 90,000 users in March 2020 to more than 16.55 lakh users having accessed the portal as of yesterday, as per the Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship.

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 have 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.”

According to the Ministry’s statement, 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 the free content available on the 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 digitisation 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 digitised blended content and futuristic skills, the MSDE stated.

The blended content with self-learning digital tutorials and hand-holding from teachers is expected to be accessed by more than 1 lakh 20 thousand students pursuing the course across 3,000 industrial Training Institutes (ITIs) annually. Hence, this will reduce the number of classroom hours and improve student-teacher engagement, leading to the possibility to train double the existing number of students in the 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 standardised manner and subsequently the advanced level Microsoft Office Technologies including Networking and Cyber Security, stated the Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship.


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