CEO, Power Sector Skill Council
With the change in economic, educational and occupational scenario, along with an upsurge of advancements, opportunities have been leveled enough to supplement the goal to reach nation-wide as well as individual aspirations. With the advancement in technology, the skilling of a child since schooling is the need of the hour to increase the employability factor of the youth. The NEP 2020 is very much aligned with the global parameters and will provide ample opportunities to learn and earn together. In this era, many organizations prefer skilled employees over less skilled ones as they have outstanding career growth, and they help boost the Organisation in the same way with proficient working. Skills intensify the productiveness and quality of work for more significant results.
RP Singh, (CEO-Power Sector Skill Council) shares with Education Post about the impact of NEP-2020 on skill training, job creation, and employment chances.
Excerpts are here:
Q Recently, the Government of India has launched a new education policy. How helpful will it be for the skill ecosystem?
The National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 introduced recently will change the face of the education and skill ecosystem in the coming time. The policy has a multi-disciplinary, value-based approach focusing on holistic education with special emphasis on skill development to improve the employability rate. Education should ideally be a mix of skilling and knowledge.
The NEP 2020 is very much aligned with the global practices and allows students to build their own degree by choosing a diverse range of subjects of their interest, which would provide ample opportunities to learn earn and enjoy together.
Skills intensify the productiveness and quality of work for more significant results.In this era, many organizations prefer skilled employees over fresh ones. Skilled workforce always improves the productivity of the organization and they themselves are benefited by upgrading their skills and seek growth in their employment.
Q The new education policy has much focus on imparting technical and vocational education to students. In such a situation, what will be the role of the Sector Skill Council and what kind of change is keeping in your mind?
India as a country has a huge demographic dividend and after integration of vocational skilling and education, that will create a huge pool of skilled professionals making it the world’s skill capital. There are many countries where population of elderly people is much more in comparison to the young professionals, India can help them by providing with energetic and useful manpower.
As per NEP, the school curriculum will be reduced to core concepts and there will be an integration of vocational education from Class VI. This way, students will be trained to learn useful skills that will help them to get jobs. Key highlight of NEP is professional education. The new policy suggests imparting skill-based education to increase employability among youth. The NEP aims to develop core capacities and employability skills of youngsters’ side by side.
Power Sector Skill Council (PSSC) is already training students with employable skills parallelly with their learning in institutes and colleges and is also keen to implement this at various levels.
Q The education and skilling world are shifting on e-learning, but the Sector Skill Council has not been able to adopt e-learning so far. What are the challenges faced in adopting e-learning and what are the plans for the future?
Being a power Council, we mainly focus on hands-on training, which is not easily possible through online classes. PSSC is planning to take it to the next level with the application of AR (Augmented Reality) and VR (Virtual Realty) techniques. We are emphasizing upon simulator-based training so that trainees can get a good idea and practical knowledge of working.
Q After the lockdown, now state governments are also focusing more on skill development. Have you talked or got any offer from any state government so far, or what strategy are you adopting for expansion in the states?
With an aim to skill, reskill and upskilling, we are in discussions with Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal and Chattisgarh. The governments have launched a digital platform for skill mapping of workers including migrant workers, which will help in identifying skill gaps between the available workforce and region-specific jobs available. We would like to inform that Uttar Pradesh Skill Development Mission (UPSDM) has given the task of skilling 16000 workmen approximately under reverse migrant category.
Q Technology is changing the whole world. What new technology is being adopted in skill training and emphasizing skilling in the future?
To increase operational efficiency and ensure effective network planning, distribution companies are also undertaking several digitization and grid modernization initiatives. The DISCOMs are also focusing on enhancing their consumer service experience by implementing IT solutions such as Smart metering. With advancements in communications technology, digitization has become even more meaningful because it accurately measures performance parameter and communicates it on a real-time basis facilitating better and quick decisions.
In the Transmission segment, there is continuous advancement of transmission equipment with the application of digitalization and automation, making smart grid operations, a reality. Moreover, it is more compact, reliable, environment friendly and requires minimum installation and commissioning time.
Robotics has already found widespread applications in utilities, especially in demand-side management (DSM). The advent of smart meters and IoT connected power appliances has enabled consumers to track and monitor their energy consumption and save money in energy bills. Similar technology is expected to make aggressive headway in the power generation and transmission segments.
We are closely following these technological changes and trying to align our QPs with it.
Q Few State governments are setting up a skill university. Some private institutions are also moving in this direction. With this initiative, what kind of challenges will the Sector Skill Council have to face and what are the preparations for that?
I don’t think so, they are creating challenges. We all are working for Skill Ecosystem and the youth of India to make them skilled and employable. All stakeholders are working as partners, not competitors. To give you an example, we have helped Bhartiya Skill Development University, Jaipur (BSDU) to develop the courses of B. Voc and M. Voc and helped them in providing hands-on training in the industry. We have also extended help to carry out the Assessment of the students.
Q What is the message for the youth especially for college-going students?
Learning new skills and gaining knowledge is a lifetime activity. This is not something which is limited to the period of education. Every student should be learning a few basic skills and a few specialized as per their choice along with formal education.
These days, expanding your knowledge and skill base has become a necessity, not a choice. If you don’t know what to study or which learning opportunities are going to help, try looking into the things you’re curious about. Ask yourself, “What have I been interested in or passionate about since childhood?” Answer that and you’ll discover the learning journey you should pursue. You’ll also discover immeasurable satisfaction in learning. Whether for hobby or career purposes, learning brings joy and satisfaction, regardless of age or professional standing.