IISc centre to create talent pool to bridge skill gaps

The premier Indian Institute of Science (IISc) will create a huge talent pool of trained personnel to bridge the skill development gaps for accelerating economic growth and making the country self-reliant.

“We have set up one of the largest skill development centres in the country at Challakere in Karnataka’s Chitradurga district for creating the huge talent pool required to spur economic growth and make India atmanirbhar (self-reliant),” IISc Director Govindan Rangarajan told IANS here.

‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ is the grand vision of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to make India a self-reliant nation and reduce dependency on imports from other countries.

Challakere is 225 km northwest of Bengaluru, where the premier science institute has 1,500 acres of land adjacent to the state-run Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) and Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), as part of a new science and technology hub being developed in the southern state.

“Aerospace major Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) is collaborating with us to hone skills of engineers in aerospace and allied fields for ready-to-absorb jobs in the manufacturing sector,” said Rangarajan.

Built at a cost of Rs 74 crore in partnership with the defence behemoth (HAL), the centre will impart high-end skills in the manufacturing sector.

“About 1,000 young engineers will be trained annually at the centre, which is equipped with modern labs, class rooms and an auditorium. The focus will be to develop skills in composite materials, sensors and the Internet of Things,” said the Director.

Engineers, supervisors and faculty of leading technical institutes will be groomed with the required skills. About 50 per cent of the training course will be devoted to hands-on-learning in the labs.

On a pilot basis, the centre has so far trained 13,500 teachers from science and engineering colleges in the country under the Pandit Madan Mohan Malviya National Mission on Teachers and Teaching.

“Our game plan is to ‘train the trainers’ who can, in turn, train more trainees, thus leveraging a multiplier effect,” asserted Rangarajan.

The institute has trained hundreds of rural science and mathematics teachers in the Challakere campus since 2011 to attract students towards science and technology. The centre also has accommodation to house about 230 trainees and faculty members at a time.

The city-based IISc and HAL forged an academia-industry association in the 1940s when the aerospace department was set up in 1942 by then HAL Managing Director V.M. Ghatage on deputation for six years till 1948.