New Delhi : Telecom Sector Skill Council (TSSC) and the University of Chicago Thursday entered into a bilateral agreement to create training programs on advanced telecom and digital skills to facilitate India’s economy.
“This is a small step to bring avalanche in the knowledge economy of India. Digitization is bringing new challenges as well as opportunities,” TSSC chief executive Lt Gen (retd) SP Kochhar said, adding that the disconnect between the academia and the industry is diminishing.
Under the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), the University of Chicago that has produced as many as 73 Nobel Laureates till date, will act as a knowledge partner for the skills group, and create short-term training programs with a focus on advanced telecom capabilities and digital skills.
The initiative by the University of Chicago is a part of its current skill-building efforts led by the Tata Centre for Development, and the alliance, according to the university would bring advanced roles such as in big data and blockchain.
The MoU was signed by the University of Chicago’s Harris School of Public Policy, Dr Kerwin Charles and TSSC’s Kochhar at the university’s New Delhi center. Given the extraordinary penetration of smartphones in the country, there is a massive opportunity for the delivery of public services through such devices, according to Kochhar.
Telecom industry offers direct employment to 28 lakh people and offers 70 lakh indirect jobs, and according to skills group, the sector would employ 86 lakh individuals in the next five years.
“The average revenue per user (ARPU) for telecom service providers is falling rapidly while investments are going up and they are getting into areas where they have never entered,” Kochhar said and added that the country has already marked its presence in the entrepreneurs developed Internet of Things (IoT) technology.
In November, TSSC entered into a partnership with spiritual leader Sri Sri Ravi Shankar’s Art of Living network of centers that include 150 knowledge centers as well as more than 500 free schools spread across the country.
India, despite becoming a new investment destination among multinationals and Centre’s ambitious programs such as Digital India and Make in India, has a mere 3% skilled workforce, much below the Korea (96%), Germany (75%), the UK (70%) and US (45%).
TSSC is a public-private initiative under the Ministry of Skill Development and maintains partnerships with telcos, network vendors and device makers such as Bharti Airtel, Idea Cellular, Vodafone India, Huawei, Ericsson and Samsung, and is supported by the Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI).
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