Telangana Academy for Skill and Knowledge (TASK) has been doing pioneering work in bringing the industry and academia together through many initiatives, collaborative programs in the field of IT-ITes and many other industry sectors.
To learn more about the recent initiatives and the impact of COVID-19 on skill development, Team NSN connected with Mr. Shrikant Sinha, CEO, TASK.
In this Skill Talk, Mr. Sinha elaborates on various initiatives and skill development programs carried out by TASK and the vision of TASK for the youth of the state. Read on to know more…
Q. What are the challenges that you have faced during COVID and what is the road map now?
A: Everyone faced many challenges during COVID, and we took them as opportunities to do something meaningful. While we were not able to conduct physical classes for students, we conducted a lot of classes virtually. We started doing webinars, hosted a career talk series, and other virtual programs for students during the pandemic. Apart from the IT industry, our programs also focused on 18 other industries like Aerospace, MedTech, Electronics, Hospitality, Retail, and Logistics among others. The aim was to help our youth understand the skill needs and the opportunities to be a part of these sectors.
We didn’t take it as a lockdown but we took it as a time where students and faculty members could develop themselves for the post-pandemic time. So, we offered many programs such as programs on 21st century skills, technical programs pertaining to engineering. A major part of our courses was moved online and we started providing training to the students as well as trainers through online mode.
Q. What are some of the recent industry collaborations and initiatives from TASK?
A: We have partnered with many industries during the pandemic itself. Some of the major partnerships were with UiPath, Automation Anywhere, Blue Prism for Robotics Process Automation (RPA), EDS Technologies for civil structure and mechanical structure, Google for Cloud Computing, Google Kotlin for Android Application, IBM Open P-Tech for AI/ML and Data Science, Adobe for digital creativity skills, and Smart Bridge for the hands-on training of the students. The aim of these partnerships is to train our students as well as faculty in the new-age technologies to keep them updated and build their expertise in those technologies. Currently, around 5000 students are leveraging the benefits of this partnership.
Q. Tell us more about the faculty development programs by TASK for the training and skill development of the faculty?
A: We had done many faculty developments programs even during the pandemic as our aim is to keep our faculty members updated. All our partnerships were focused on the skill development faculty along with the students. Some of the programs were on AI, ML, Data Science and other new-age technologies. We also did a program for polytechnic faculty members to become creative educators. Close to 4000 faculty members were skilled in technology subjects during the pandemic.
Q. Please tell us about the initiatives by TASK to skill non-technical students in new-age technologies?
A: Our partnership with IBM’s Open P-Tech platform aims to offer these courses and skill the degree students. We offer programs on 21st century skills such as Communication Skills, English Language, Team Work, Critical Thinking and Problem Solving. These courses are aimed at degree college students as well as technical students.
With an aim to expand to the districts, we operationalized two centres, one in Karimnagar, other one in Khammam during the pandemic. The centres are well equipped for students to come and learn in these centres. As these centres are established in IT towers, we also organized job fairs where over 200 students got placed.
Q. Could you tell us more about what are the other industry sectors with which TASK is actively involved?
A: Not only IT-ITes training, we also conduct programs for many other industry skills. Two years ago we conducted a program for vaccine skill development. We also conducted programs for GDA in the healthcare sector. As a part of our finishing school model, we conducted a program for youth to help them join the Indian Army. We have also conducted various programs on Civil Engineering, Mechanical Engineering among others. Currently we are running a Civil TED talk every Tuesday where industry leaders from Civil Engineering industries address the students for their better understanding. These are some of the examples of the various programs that TASK has conducted for various other industry sectors apart from IT-ITes.
Looking at the underserved students at the state we recently have been working very closely with the Telangana Social and Tribal Welfare Residential Educational Institutions Society where all the students from their 30 women’s colleges would become beneficiaries for the TASK programs.
Q. Any other programs that connect entrepreneurship?
A: While T-Hub and others are incubating the entrepreneurs, we are creating the entrepreneurial mindset. Under an initiative called I4TS- Innovating for Telangana, we got around 7816 people registered for this virtual program that ran throughout December.
For the program, we looked at five domains- Agriculture, Education, Green industry, Healthcare and last mile access. After the program, the interested candidates were asked to submit their ideas. After shortlisting the best ideas, we are now providing them with a three months long entrepreneurship development program.
All our ecosystem partners and industry leaders are helping us in this entrepreneurship development program. About 250 rural youth are undergoing the program. We plan to run these programs in future as well to reach out to more and more people.
Also read: This international organization empowers people through promotion of work-based learning https://www.nationalskillsnetwork.in/this-international-organization-empowers-people-through-promotion-of-work-based-learning/