Through systemic development of instructional material, its production, dissemination and training, National Instructional Media Institute (NIMI), has been an integral part of the skilling ecosystem in India. In this Skill Talk, Dr. R. P. Dhingra, Executive Director, NIMI, tells us how NIMI has been at the forefront with innovative use of technology for instructional material and is currently playing an important role in implementing MSDE’s SANKALP scheme in close collaboration with IIM Bangalore. Learn more from the excerpts from our conversation.
Q: Could you tell us more about NIMI and its objectives and approach towards skill development.
A: NIMI was established by the Government of India as a subordinate office under DGET, with the assistance of Government of Germany. At present NIMI functions as an autonomous institute under the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MSDE).Our main objective is to develop and disseminate content for the skilling ecosystem under MSDE. We follow a holistic approach in content development wherein as per the skill requirements of a trade, simple to complex practical exercises are developed under various topics and sub-topics.
We follow a unique approach different from the traditional educational system. We work on the practical content first and later develop the theory material related to the practical, giving utmost priority to skill development and skill component of the curriculum. The content is prepared in such a way that it ignites the mind of the trainee towards innovation.
NIMI streamlines training methodology, prepares practical instruction, handbook, e-books, wall charts and also develops digital models, interactive e-books, instructor guides, question banks for the ITI ecosystem. We have also developed books for short term courses organised by SSC under NSDC.NSDC and SSCs.
We believe in creating quality learning content catering to learners in different languages. Online books are available for free whereas printed books need to be purchased.
Q: How you ensure that classes are lively and interesting to help the trainers?
A: Printed books developed by NIMI are marked with QR code and AR markers to make the book alive in the form of videos and 3D models. Mobile apps have been developed to support the trainees in completing the training process. NIMI has developed mock tests for the students to help them prepare for the examinations and a mobile application has also been developed for the same.
Q: Please tell us more about NIMI’s role in implementing SANKALP project.
A: MSDE has identified NIMI as an implementation partner for additional support in implementation and monitoring of planned projects at State and district level under SANKALP, as it has been realized that there is a synergy in the efforts towards skill development between NIMI and SANKALP-MSDE. Under this collaboration between NIMI and SANKALP – MSDE, a NIMI SANKALP Cell (with a senior level officer as COO) has been constituted under NIMI.MSDE can utilise capacity and services of NIMI in implementation of various skill development projects, content development, monitoring and evaluation, research studies, procurement, training and manpower support for efficient execution of various initiatives under SANKALP.
Currently, NIMI is working as an Implementation Partner in Mahatma Gandhi National Fellowship (MGNF) project. NIMI will provide support in administration, financial, IT and HR management of the fellows under MGNF leading to successful implementation of the project. The academic component of MGNF is managed from end-to-end by IIM Bangalore.
NIMI has developed a portal to e-govern the administrative activities and developed HR policy for the MGNF fellows. At present 74 fellows are working in the project in 74 districts across six states viz, Rajasthan, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Karnataka and Meghalaya. The activities and outcomes of the fellows are captured in the portal for further analysis. This information is captured on a daily basis and assignments are also made available on the portal.
Analysing local skill needs through SANKALP project is also an opportunity to understand the micro level potential of the district and their skill needs. This will help us to offer more tailor-made short term training programs in collaboration with our sister institute CSTARI in Kolkata which is responsible for the development of the curricula for various courses.
Related article: District Skill Toolkit: A major initiative towards empowering District Skill Committees (DSCs) through a standard framework – Read more: https://www.nationalskillsnetwork.in/district-skill-toolkit-a-major-initiative-towards-empowering-district-skill-committees-dscs-through-a-standard-framework/
Q: What are some of the current activities NIMI has taken up?
A: At present, we are using a common online platform to bring together the NSTIs, ITIs and industry together to disseminate their knowledge in the form of virtual classroom. We have received good response from the trainees and trainers during the lockdown period having trained around 12.5 lakh trainees through more than 2100 classes and the sessions are still continuing. Trainers can register and trainees can view the classes scheduled on this platform. A good response is received from the classes webcasted through Facebook and YouTube channels.
Q: What are the ways in which NIMI is coping up during the COVID-19 pandemic?
A: Social distancing has forced us to use virtual classroom, so NSTI master trainers and industry experts were involved from various parts of the country. We are also in the process of developing blended online classroom courses for which will include recorded online classes, practical sessions, demonstrations, quizzes, discussion forums, etc. Online training will supplement the traditional classroom training. We are launching the CITS (Craft Instructor Training Scheme) portal soon where ITI pass outs can apply for registration followed by an examination and counselling. This will be achieved completely online without any manual intervention.