Skilling India

Skilling India
Dharavi boy, Anthony Selva Nadar (19), is all set to represent India at World Skills 2015 in São Paulo, Brazil, where he’ll compete against young skilled professionals from around the globe. Naressa Coutinho delves into global skill development and its need in India, especially for talented young people like Anthony

Backpedal to a year and it’s only been a few months since Anthony Selva Nadar started training at Jetking, a Computer IT vocational training institute in Mumbai. All of 19 years and raised in the slums of Dharavi, Anthony is as drawn to the programmable world of computers as any kid his age. All too soon, he finds himself slapjacking through rigorous rounds of a competition that seeks to find a purist in IT Network Administration. Fast forward one year and he has emerged as a clear victor amongst 200 plus contenders from Jetking to represent India at World Skills 2015 in São Paulo, Brazil where he will compete against young professionals from all over the world in the month of August.

The World Skills competition is considered to be the biggest vocational education and skills excellence event in the world, held every two years to test technical abilities in specific tasks and fields and to promote socio-economic transformation through the promotion of vocational training. Winners selected from national level competitions held in member countries are all under the age of 25 years.  In India, Jetking Infotrain Limited, in partnership with the National Skill Development Corporation(NSDC), launched the World Skills competition 2015 at Pragati Maidan in Delhi where Anthony won his seat in the international competition.

This is an important part of skill development initiatives undertaken by the government as India progressively moves towards becoming a knowledgeable economy. The continuous shift to urbanization has its drawbacks in terms of the increasing gap between the agricultural and manufacturing sectors.  Thus, the ‘Skilling India’ movement is a national and concentrated effort to train and directly absorb skilled professionals into every sector of the economy; be it primary, secondary, or tertiary. It is an effective distribution of labor towards the overall productive capacity of the economy.

Calling it his first national achievement, 19-year-old Anthony is all set to make his mark at this year’s World Skill event. “I feel confident and proud to be representing India,” he says “and I will definitely give it my best. My family is elated and I have their blessings.” Speaking about his preparation in this last year and the challenges he faced with each level of the competition, he said, “Each round had a different set of questions and problems to solve on the spot by the students. You could never be prepared for what would be asked in that round. Often, I wouldn’t get the answer in the first go and with the clock ticking one has to think quickly.” While most people are often interested in the software aspect, Anthony’s interest lies in the hardware or the physical product. A major area of focus for the competition was ‘Network security and Managing servers’, something he wishes to pursue in depth in the future. Anthony has also been a champion chess player in his school and time with the chessboard is one of his favourite hobbies.

How will World Skills benefit students like Anthony? In response to this, Mr. Siddarth Bharwani, Head of Brand and Marketing, Jetking Infotrain Ltd says, “World Skills provides unparalleled international exposure to students like Anthony where ideas and best practices from all over the world are exchanged. It is a platform to showcase your expertise on all levels and compete against arguably the best talents across the globe. Also, being internationally certified in a skill provides young students like Anthony the boost they need to start off in their careers and to be successful for a life-time.”

As part of the 12th Five Year Plan, the government of India has launched ‘Co-ordinated Action on Skill development’ through which it plans activities and programs across the country. In fact, in the previous year, the government allocated a sizeable amount of funding for skill development under the National Skill Development Fund (NSDF). Private institutions and companies like Jetking have collaborated with associations and the government to work towards a common vision for greater development of vocation skills. The government is also laying a large emphasis on entrepreneurship. This will automatically create jobs based on the existing talent pool. A trained professional like Anthony now owns a skill which will get him a job of choice in the field he is trained.  Skilling of this kind may even open windows for global placements.

To be part of a major confluence of skill and talent is definitely an experience in itself for young Anthony and we hope he makes India proud.

Courtsey: Afternoon 8th April, 2015

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