To encourage digital skilling, the National Skills Development Council (NSDC) has announced a partnership with IBM India to offer Open P-Tech, a digital education platform. The platform will offer courses on emerging technologies. Learners can access courses for free via NSDC’s eSkillIndia portal. The Open P-Tech is a free digital education platform, focused on emerging technologies such as cloud, AI, cyber security and professional development skills.
There will be Good Tech in action, as IBM will catalog 30+ Open P-Tech courses with 60+ hours of learning on NSDC’s eSkill India portal. These will be available at no cost.
The Open P-Tech program has been designed to democratise technology, by curating and simplifying content for the masses. It follows a non-curriculum format to enable fundamental learning and foster STEM careers.
Sandip Patel, MD of India and South Asia, said that IBM’s collaboration with NSDC is a significant milestone to equip the next generation for digital skills. Open P-Tech will make the foundational learning in the emerging technologies and professional skills for the youth even more accessible. It is aligned to the Skill India mission. We are taking another step in the evolution of our digital education approach to help the next generation of professionals that will have the exciting future they deserve.
He added: “The employability quotient is inherent in the very nature of the skills that are imparted through Open P-Tech. The aim is to demystify technology and ensure equal, accessible and quality education for all. We need to have requisite skills that the market is looking for.”
Patel said that there has been talk about creating an India with the requisite skills for the world. Eg., there is AI for education. Things can come together via this platform.
Dr. Manish Kumar, MD and CEO, NSDC added that NSDC skills over 5 million people on the IBM platform. With the Open P-Tech, the quality of training and benefits extended to the students will increase manifold. These learnings can hugely enhance the productivity of the current and future workforce.
He noted that job courses might be useful in retail and automotive. We have created an online employment exchange. There is use of AI at the back-end to look at the competencies. If there is a job close to your home, that may come first to you.
Manoj Balachandran, Head CSR, IBM India and South Asia, noted: “We have content on the platform that is created and made available. We also have many partnerships with multiple content creators. There should be content available from IBM and content partners.”
Manish Kumar, NSDC, added that the outreach is being done via 650+ partners. That gives us the outreach capacity. It is our ability to take courses to the rural areas that has been a challenge.
Sandip Patel, IBM, said that people are now looking at virtual instructions and education. The concept of open university should not be geographically bounded. There should be attempts to develop the geographical student’s journey.
Balachandran clarified that the P-Tech platform was launched in March. The population, age group of students, etc., are very fluid. You only need to have a mobile phone to see the content. This is a free platform. We are asking all of our existing partners to focus on the real-school environments. We are forming partnerships for the future, as well.
Ms. Tuhina Pandey, Communications Leader, IBM, India and South Asia wanted to know how do people take to the online learning platforms?
Dr. Manish Kumar said: “We are both a country and a continent. We don’t have that many platforms, as yet. We now need to also have platforms in the different languages. There are low-income profiles that need to be reached. IBM is also thinking of other platforms.”
She said that the talent pipeline also needs to be created. Sandip Patel answered that Covid-19 has taught us the relevance of different skills. Also, there are the software skills required. You need professionals who are trained in a bouquet of skills that the world is looking for. That is how work will get conducted as we go forward. IBM welcome several schools and young talent. Eg., a girl in Class X is now showing others how to do programming.
Balachandran added that IBM ensures that the kids get the employable skills. We have expanded the model to other countries. The ability to reach out to learners, and give them the skills will not be enough. There are new technologies, such as AI, blockchain, cloud, etc. These are skills required across any vertical. Content is also getting translated into many other languages.
Dr. Manish Kumar acknowledged that knowledge will get enhanced with the partnership between IBM and NSDC.