Telangana is the youngest state in India and after the new government took charge, one of their key focus areas was enhancing skill development by establishing the Telangana Academy for Skill and Knowledge (TASK). As TASK embarks on a journey to enhance the employability quotient of youth in the state through skill development, we meet up with Sujiv Nair, CEO, TASK, to learn more about their plans, programs and projects. This Skill Story is about how the organization has chalked out a clear roadmap to reach the milestones with their unique value creation for the academia, the industry and the students.
From concept to reality
TASK is a non-profit organization that aims at bringing a synergy between the government, the academia and the industry with an objective to enhance employability quotient of youth in the state and to provide quality human resources and services to the industry. Employability quotient is the combined impact of three skills – personal skills, organization skills and technology skills. Our unique proposition is our pedagogy, where the emphasis is more on hand on learning and practical implementations. This is to emphasize the application of knowledge and skills on solving real, industry problems. This enables students to practice by trying and doing things. Just like how hair cutting cannot be learnt by reading 10 books, but it can be mastered by regular practice through learning and doing.
Our key targets
- Prepare students for enhancing employability quotient
- Encourage students to pursue higher studies by understanding the industry needs
- Nurture the spirit of entrepreneurship among the students and teachers
To achieve our goals we have started multiple initiatives. To mention some of them: Professors of Practice (PoP), Technology Entrepreneurship Program (TEP) in collaboration with ISB, finishing schools, tie-ups with IT companies where the training and certification is done by them for Engineering and Degree students. In addition to these, we have programs for faculty development in technology and soft skills where industry experts from Infosys, CDAC and others train faculty members on industry expectations.
We started a year ago and since then we have been able to skill 15000 youth and provide jobs for 2000 students and about 350 faculty members were trained.
Industry – academia connect
Our primary focus is on meeting the industry demand with supply of skilled workforce. We have adopted different approaches to skill the students and improve the faculty. One of them is the Professors of Practice (PoP) . At present only 7% to 8% of the engineering graduates secure job directly from the campus. With this initiative, industry experienced professionals (with 10 years of minimum experience) are identified to visit colleges and conduct skilling sessions on 10 key soft skills and behavioral skill modules. For each of these modules, we follow a pedagogy that perfectly balances content – case study – practice – evaluation/feedback in a ratio of 25:25:25:25. These 10 modules are taught in a span of 3 months thereby providing continuous training, assessment and feedback.
ITIs and polytechnics
TASK is the state level implementing agency for the Electronic System Design and Manufacturing (ESDM) course. We are closely working with DiETY, Telecom Sector Skill Council, Electronic Sector Skill Council, and NIELIT. The prime focus is skilling the youth from ITIs and polytechnics. The course ranges between 200-400 hours and we have empanelled about six training partners. The training partner mobilizes students from ITI and polytechnic.
Under this scheme, we have conducted skill development program for several students including minority community at Haj House, followed by online assessments conducted by the Sector Skill Council (SSC), under the supervision of the proctor. The students are certified by the SSC. We’ve trained about 1000 students in trades like mobile handset repair, computer repair, optical splicing etc. At least 150 of them have got jobs and self-employment.
In another instance, an ESDM company based in Ranga Reddy district, approached us for their talent requirements. They bagged an order for making one crore LED bulbs, and they specifically want ITI , polytechnic students. We are in the process of collating data of about 350 ITIs and polytechnics who are certified by SSC.
MoU with the industry
The MoU between TASK and Samsung is to help Samsung proliferate their operating system called Tizen among engineering students in various districts of Telangana. The students get to explore the OS, and develop mobile apps. This opens up opportunities for job placement and entrepreneurship. They also get a combined certification from Samsung and TASK. This is followed by a hackathon to select students for internships at Samsung. Promising talent is mentored at T-Hub, or the more tech-savvy ones may get into IIT Hyderabad, as we are exploring a partnership with them.
Social impact through inclusive programs
Our programs maintain a good balance between the urban, rural, SC, ST and EWS by making them inclusive. All our initiatives are started at the district level. For example in Warangal, many graduates from underprivileged families couldn’t get through multiple job interviews. They benefited from our Finishing School by learning technical and soft skills. Finish schools were held at Warangal, Adilabad and Ranga Reddy districts; about 178 were skilled and 70 got placed. The students who had lost hope are now excited about their jobs and they spread this news and inspire others. We help slow learners too, and offer subsidies on fee to the needy ones, but we don’t believe in giving anything free!
This year, we want to explore sectors other than IT, we are looking at aerospace, pharmaceuticals and healthcare. Soon, we’ll create a much larger impact on society by building better citizens and productive communities through holistic training in skills and knowledge application.