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India launches platform for digital upskilling

Image credit: National Association of Software and Services Companies

The National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM) recently launched the FutureSkills PRIME Beta Platform, as part of its efforts to foster an ecosystem that enhances digital talent in the country.  

The programme will be offered as an online platform to encourage remote and self-paced learning. Many awareness-building modules will be free to access, allowing maximum participation. Under the programme, 412,000 learners have subsidised access to certified courses in any of the ten identified emerging technologies. These include artificial intelligence (AI), the Internet of things (IoT), Big Data analytics, robotic process automation, additive manufacturing/3D printing, cloud computing, social and mobile, cybersecurity, augmented/virtual reality, and blockchain.

Debjani Ghosh, the President of NASSCOM, said, “FurutreSkillsPRIME is yet another milestone for building digital talent as a competitive advantage for the industry. Reskilling and automation emerging as the future drivers of the industry, we aim to craft a new wave of growth and innovation through a digitally skilled pool of professionals.”

FutureSkills PRIME is a part of the government’s commitment to make India the global hub of talent in emerging technologies. The initiative has funded the creation of a digital learning platform, where participants can be ‘digitally fluent’ and get certified in industry-validated and government-approved courses.

The programme also aims to benefit aspirants from tier-II and tier-III cities, including those from small and medium enterprises and women and youth who want to participate in the gig economy from their homes/remote locations.

According to a media report, some of the key features of the project are:

‘Aggregator of Aggregators’ Framework: An online aggregator platform with expanded catalogues and multiple skilling options, facilitating self-paced, and continuous learning.

Diagnostics: Registered candidates will get a diagnostic of their aptitude and capabilities to guide their choices of learning content on the portal.

Industry-Driven: Content will be created/curated directly by the industry, ensuring its relevance to the job market.

Micro-credentials: The programme framework is focused on creating a new skilling paradigm that creates value at every step.

Multiple Choice of Courses: Learners can go through courses that are online or blended, self-paced or instructor-led, paid or free, and formal or non-formal.

Government Officers Training (GOT) and Training of Trainers (ToT): The network of CDAC & NIELIT centres across India will be leveraged to train government officers and master trainers.

NSQF Alignment: Course content eligible for incentives are provided by expert training providers and will be aligned to the NSQF approved National Occupational Standards & Job Roles (level 5 and above), thus ensuring a level of standardisation and quality.

Skills Passport: A unique concept of ‘skills passport’ is an integral feature of the programme and any learning that an aspirant acquires during their re-skilling/up-skilling journey will be recorded and recognised.

Skill wallet and incentives: The skills wallet is an online digital wallet that keeps track of candidate registration and redemption of incentives. This will be introduced early next year.

Soft/professional skills: The platform will also provide learning content on professional skills. People must learn how to work with each other and with machines.

A phase-wise roll-out of additional modules on the platform will include a host of industry-aligned paid certification courses, SSC NASSCOM-validated assessments, virtual instructor-led modes of learning, government incentive scheme registration, diagnostic tools, virtual labs, among others.

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