CoE tag for Polytechnics and ITI colleges will enhance industry training for students

Assam government recently decided to upgrade its 34 state polytechnics and 43 Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs) into Centres of Excellence (CoEs). This will help in imparting the advanced industry skills to students and build a support system to make the state a hub for technology and industrial growth.

Polytechnics and ITIs in other states are following the trend, to offer diploma courses that will help them find a job in Industry 4.0.


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Upscaling technical competency

The up-gradation will bring upscaling of technical competencies, says Hanif Noorani, additional chief secretary at Skill, Employment and Entrepreneurship Department of Assam Skill Development Mission (ASDM).

“CoE tag will give easy access to continuous competency or capacity building. Training in core technical areas and collaboration with several sectoral industry players, with a special focus on emerging technologies. We will update the courses and syllabi according to the changing market demand,” says Noorani.

A CoE campus is facilitated with an industrial lab and upgraded equipment leading to the development of industry 4.0 suitable core technical skills among students. Hrusikesh Mohanty, principal, ITI Cuttack that has a COE tag, says, “Our students are now being trained to handle, fix problems of car engine inbuilt with the latest technology at the industrial lab set up under CoE’s industry collaboration. Previously, in the absence of an industrial lab, training was done using the outdated BS4 engines. So far, 27 companies have set up their industrial labs at the campus to raise skilled manpower.”

Prioritising vocational education

For skill development among students at a large scale, polytechnics, and ITIs play a crucial role as more than 90% of learning happens through practical training. Mohanty says, “Training in a specialized skill is the fulcrum of vocational education and acquisition of such skills requires industrial exposure offered through industrial labs run at polytechnics and ITIs. We need to leave aside outdated technologies and stay updated with industry trends and align training to students through industry collaborations”

V Karthikeyan, principal, at Salem- based Thiagarajar Polytechnic College, which has 11 CoEs caters to the demands of local industries. It helps students bridge the skill gap in the industrial automation sector. “Polytechnic education offers huge job scope as it produces a large number skilled workforce needed in Indian and global market. Prioritising the same, our efforts are directed to provide students with add-on, short-term training under the guidance of technical experts from FESTO India. Similar value-added courses or in-demand trades will have to be offered to students for amplifying the importance, and validity of vocational education,” says Karthikeyan.

Leverage of COE connect

Mohanty says CoE can be leveraged only when the ITI’s senior management team bridge the training-talent gap. He says, “Soon bus, truck manufacturer BharatBenz will set an industrial lab at ITI Cuttack campus.” Under the recent MoU, approximately Rs 12 crores worth of new-age equipment will be installed. Besides, the three mini tool rooms were commissioned at ITI of Cuttack, in collaboration with Central Tool-Training Center (CTTC), Bhubaneswar.

CoE tag helps in getting financial and technical support from state/central governments. Karthikeyan adds, “Despite playing a pivotal role in skill development, a lot more remains to be done in for funding these students to foray into entrepreneurship. Many of the government-run ITIs are now being updated in terms of curriculum, staff as also workshop equipment due to the CoE mandates.”

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