ITI Cuttack is one of the best industrial training institutions in Odisha that offers best in class technical education and training. It has been at the forefront of relevant technical training in all the conventional and non-conventional trades. The key focus of the institution is to empower students through quality technical education and training.
To know more about the initiatives of ITI Cuttack and the challenges they faced during the pandemic, we conversed with Dr. Hrushikesh Mohanty, Principal, Government ITI Cuttack, Odisha.
Below are a few excerpts from our conversation. You can watch the full video on our YouTube channel.
Q. Could you tell us about the popular courses and placement in your ITI?
A: ITI Cuttack was established in 1958. We offer courses in 21 trades and the current student strength is about 2500. While all our courses are equally popular, trades like Fitter, Electrician and Electronics Mechanic have become popular among students. With our efforts, we have made trades like Carpenter popular among the girl candidates as well. Our ITI is a government institution and we have an online admission process where we select students on a merit basis and allot them with trades accordingly.
Q. What are some of the achievements and distinctions awarded to your ITI?
A: Our institute has achieved many recognitions and awards. It was recognized as one of the best institutions in the Fitter trade. And also, our students achieved many awards in the All India Skill Competitions. We have also won 11 medals in WorldSkills Competition, 2018 and 23 medals in the recently held Odisha Skills competition.
During the pandemic, we formed a team and engaged them in research activities. We have also divided our faculties into three categories and assign them works accordingly. We have also filed a patent for a defence project which is currently under consideration.
We have also developed a service robot for the Kalinga Institute of Medical Science. Apart from the service robot, we have also developed contactless sanitizer dispensers and thermal guns. ITI Cuttack was also appreciated by the Prime Minister, Narendra Modi.
Q. Please tell us more about the industry participation and contribution to your ITIs.
A: There is a huge demand-supply gap between industry and academia. Bridging this gap is the need of the hour and fortunately, during these three years, we have signed MoUs with 25 industries to enhance and align our curriculum to the industry needs.
For our Motor Mechanic course which has two-wheeler, four-wheeler and heavy vehicle repairing as a part of the curriculum, we have partnered with Honda and Maruti to provide them with the required hands-on training. We are also going to partner with BharatBenz to provide them with training regarding heavy vehicle repairing.
We have divided the course hours as 700 hours for NCVT courses and 300 hours for ITI courses. There should be an authentic learning environment for students to create interest. So, we asked the industries to set up labs. Industries are giving training to teachers at ITI. The rate of dropouts has also decreased.
Q. How are you ensuring continuous learning in the present (Post-COVID-19) scenario through e-learning and blended learning? What are some of the challenges and how you are overcoming them?
A: During the pandemic, we didn’t allow our students to sit idle. The situation has compelled us to start blended learning. We trained teachers to help them understand the process of taking online classes, connecting with students through online platforms and other crucial things related to online teaching. We have also created a studio where we record lessons to upload on YouTube. Also, we have developed an online quiz and Google document for assessment purposes.
While we were able to cover the theory part in our online classes, the challenge for us was the hands-on training. As we have resumed the training in our ITI, to compensate for lost practical classes, we are giving six hours of practical training instead of four hours.
Also read: Don Bosco ITI: Pioneering technical education and training with new-age courses https://www.nationalskillsnetwork.in/don-bosco-iti-pioneering-technical-education-and-training-with-new-age-courses/
Q. Please share your advice to students about the importance of vocational training and skill development for employability and entrepreneurship?
A: My advice for students is to keep upgrading with the latest technologies and learn skills accordingly. Learning relevant skills will make them more employable and will help them get their dream jobs. In our ITI, we prepare our students to adapt to future skills and focus on their overall growth. We teach them the importance of skills and encourage them to learn continuously as building the right skills and expertise are the need of the hour. My advice to staff and students is to love your profession and that will make you enjoy your work despite the challenges.