Tuesday, February 6, 2024

Indo Swiss collaboration brings State-of-the-Art Skill Centre for deserving students in Pune

Agriculture, Future Manufacturing Technologies and Underwater domain studies are the key skills being imparted

The Indo Swiss Centre of Excellence, Pune (ISCEP) is a non-profit Section 8 company, promoted by the Malhotra Weikfield Foundation.

The total project cost is approximately ₹ 50 crores, of which over ₹ 19 crores has been contributed by the Malhotra Weikfield Foundation, the rest being contributed by Swiss and Indian companies like Sulzer, Burckhardt, Syngenta Foundation, Cotecna, Fine Organics being prominent amongst others. ISCEP and the Swiss India Chamber of Commerce and Industry SICCI, have signed an MoU to jointly promote Swiss VET under the Centre’s auspices recently at Davos.

Swiss Ambassador Mr. Ralf Heckner said, “It is great to see Switzerland’s VET policies applied to future needs. We will also share our domain expertise within the curriculum We too can learn from this Centre in various areas.”

ISCEP has a stated mission and goal to “provide the skills of tomorrow to the youth of today” and has three vocational training verticals to achieve this mission:

1. Agriculture - where the goal is to at least double the income of small and marginal farmers by providing them training in modern agricultural techniques and also assisting them to become Agri-entrepreneurs. This vertical started its training activities in 2018 and more than 1100 boys and girls have been trained with a success rate of 85% whose incomes have reached over ₹ 200,000 - ₹ 250,000 per annum.
2. Modern Manufacturing Technologies - Futuristic manufacturing technologies critical for Industries 4.0, like Mechatronics, Smart Factory, Robotics and Automation, 3-D printing, EV mobility, IOT and ML, etc. are taught under this vertical with courses being run by the reputed NTTF. This wing was inaugurated in May 2023 and the first batch of the 3-year diploma students comprising a cohort of 30 students has begun training. Gradually a total of 360 students at any given time will be undergoing training. Apart from the formal Diploma courses, short term Up-skilling courses for currently employed factory workers will soon be taken up as per Industry requirements.
3. Underwater Domain Studies - India woefully lacks underwater domain knowledge in spite of having an exclusive economic zone of about 3 million sq kms around its coastline. To build up capacity in this field which is critical for the Nation to fully exploit its Blue Economy under the SAGAR vision project of the Govt of India, a team of specialists has been working at ISCEP since May ‘23, to write and create necessary curriculum on various aspects of underwater domain topics.  Formal training classes in this vertical will start around April/May 2024. About 80 to 100 students will be inducted per year for training in these subjects.

Says Mukesh Malhotra, Chairman, Weikfield Products Corporation LLP & Chief Functionary, Indo Swiss Centre of Excellence, “Skill building is the future of our youth and apart from the regular academic training, specific vocational training services always will be a growth driver and income generator for the youth. Our youth should be motivated to take up newer skills that not only make them future ready but also a global citizen.”

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