A seventh standard student, Harsh Mathur, was grinning from ear to ear as he maneuvered his model aircraft through the obstacles successfully. He has beaten 33 teams from premier institutes to be in the finals of the Boeing National Aero-modelling Competition.
Boeing wants to identify and support training of hundreds of talented youngsters like Harsh to fuel its growth in India. The American giant is organizing this competition in partnership with the Indian Institute of Technology (IITs) to promote interest in aviation design and technology. As aerospace becomes a sunrise sector in India, Boeing is looking to invest in developing skills and hence it is developing relationship with academic institutes and government’s skills training initiatives to develop talent supply chain.
“If you want to create a globally competitive aerospace industry in India, you need skilled workers. Since aviation is relatively a new industry in the country, there is deficiency of talent. We have to make front-line teams ready,” said Pratyush Kumar, president, Boeing India.
Recently, Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju had accepted there was a mismatch between the skills in demand and the talent available.
Kumar said that one step that the company is taking is to develop a strong partnership with IITs. He added “The best way is to energize young people. It is about getting them interested in aerospace. Even by flying such a small plane, they understand aerodynamics, fluid mechanics and programming. All this leads to skill building.”
Boeing will start hiring from campuses in near future as it looks to double its strength in India by 2020. Also, the manufacturer of jetliners is looking to expand its collaboration with the government’s Skill India scheme. “We have recently tied up with Tata Advanced Materials and Nettur Technical Training Foundation(NTTF) for a skill development programme. “The first batch that graduated has been working on F-18 and F-15 jets, as well as Chinook and Apache helicopters. Such things build credibility of Indian supply chain,” Kumar added.
According to P V M Rao, coordinator of IIT-Delhi’s innovation centre, this is win-win proposition for both industry and academia. “Earlier, IIT-Delhi had an aero-modelling club and it used to be a hobby. Now, credits are given to students for their performance. Such initiatives help in building relationships. In future, we will ask Boeing to partner with our projects,” he added.
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