Nettur Technical Training Foundation (NTTF) is one of the pioneering institutions in India which is committed to technical training, employability and entrepreneurship promotion for the last six decades. NTTF is a role model to understand how various vocational programs are being carried out through a huge presence across India.
To know more about the training and skill development programs by NTTF at a grass-root level, Team NSN connected with Mr. Sudhindra Rao Sunkad, Zonal Head and Principal-DTC/BSTC, NTTF. In this Skill Talk Mr. Rao shares his vision for NTTF and tells us about the state of his zone in the current scenario. Here is an excerpt of the conversation.
Q. Please tell us about the zone you are heading and the key programs offered at your centre/ zone?
A: NTTF has been delivering technical education for the last six decades. The first NTTF centre was established in Tellicherry in Kerala. The Dharwad centre, which I am currently heading is the second oldest centre established in 1964. I’m also the zonal head for Murbad, Gannavaram and Belgaum centres.
Dharwad is popularly called the temple of education. Every year, 400 students pass out from our centre. As the strength increased and the skill development programs increased, the centre has grown into two entities. The second infrastructure was developed in the Belur industrial area which is 15 km away from Dharwad. Nearly 1000 students can study in the second infrastructure.
Our centre is well-equipped with the best of the staff and latest and advanced machines like CNC machines, wire cut machines, and other important machinery. We give 65-70% of practical training exposure to our trainees to gain hands-on skills and to make them industry ready.
Our centre offers two main courses:
- Diploma in Tool Engineering and Digital Manufacturing
- Diploma in Mechatronics Engineering and Smart Factory
We always align our syllabus to the industry needs. So, we are constantly upgrading our syllabus and skill development modules based on the dynamic scenario of the industry, from time to time. For example, as per the latest trend in the manufacturing field, we have installed the latest machinery and commenced training programs in “Additive Manufacturing” popularly known as 3D Printing, by associating with STRATASYS who supplied world class 3D Printing machines. We regularly take inputs from the industry leaders and incorporate them in our courses.
Today, industries want people who are ready to deploy in the plant functions. So, we are constantly working towards delivering an industry-ready workforce. Our students have also been trained in Kaizen, TQM, TPM and other continuous improvement tools which is the value addition that NTTF imparts to the trainees to be in par with the industry expectations.
Q. For how long have you been associated with NTTF, please share important milestones in your journey?
A: I have been associated with NTTF for the last four years. I completed my Tool and Design Engineering form Central Institute of Tool Design, Hyderabad in 1986. I worked in different organizations in different roles and was associated with mostly in product and process development field for 32 years. As we all know that people development is harder than product and process development, I wanted to shift my focus to people development. I joined NTTF in 2016 as a principal of Murbad centre near Thane in Maharashtra. After one and a half years I got transferred to Dharwad and since then I am continuing as the Dharwad centre head as well as the zonal head for our four centres today.
Q. How has been the response of the students to the technical courses offered? And what about placements?
A: We have an initiative where we provide career guidance to students. We make them aware about their strengths and suggest courses as per their interest. The career guidance program is for both the parents as well as the students.
In NTTF, a student would undergo highly practical oriented and holistic training although the program period, thereby acquires skills that are required by the industries as well as turns out to be a good citizen. Our placement rates are also very high as our students are industry ready.
NTTF also builds entrepreneurship capability among the trainees and has proved that technical education and skill development can lead to job creation. Many of our alumni have become entrepreneurs. Their successful journey gives the other students encouragement, motivation and power to achieve their goals.
Also read: Why industry-specific higher education needs a skilling orientation https://www.nationalskillsnetwork.in/industry-specific-higher-education-needs-a-skilling-orientation/
Q. How do you ensure that the faculty is upskilled and continuously trained to meet the dynamic nature of industry-integrated curriculum?
A: Faculty development is one of the key aspects of NTTF. Our trainers are constantly upgrading their skills through different training and skill development programs. Our faculties visit industries and spend time there to understand the industry requirements. We provide course as per NSQF level. They also attend training program by NSDC where they are certified as level 3, 4 or 5. In a year, on an average nearly 400 trainers upgrade their skills to the next level. We have also started an initiative four years ago under which we felicitate the best trainer. This keeps the trainers motivated to continue the hard work and deliver quality training.
Q. Any suggestions you wish to give to the students?
A: Today, students are very active as they are a part of this digital world. They should utilize the resources that are available to them and invest their time in learning a new skill. They should learn a new skill and become proficient in whatever they are learning, as this is the only way to survive the competition of today’s world. They should aim to be financially independent as early as possible and learning a skill would definitely pave the way for them.