Gone are the days when vocational courses offered by Industrial Training Institutes (ITI) were not perceived as good as colleges which offer general courses at plus 2 level. Time, however, has changed in last two years. Such is the craze for vocational education in Maharashtra that over three lakh candidates have applied this year for nearly 1.9 lakh seats available in 869 ITIs. The rise in demand is supposedly being driven by ‘Make in India’ campaign which has brought several home and foreign investors to set their foot in Maharashtra.
Now, the Devendra Fadnavis-led government has also woken up to do its bit to upgrade the quality of education in the these institutes which has been a cause of concern for quite sometime. From virtual-digital classrooms to simulators enabled laboratories, all government-run Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs) in Maharashtra are set for a grand makeover by end of this year.
The ambitious plan to modernize 417 state-run ITIs will help over one lakh students to get the best education from array of experts. This will also help bridging gap between urban and rural institutes. In the first phase, virtual and digital classrooms have been setup at 32 ITIs across the states, including 10 from tribal concentrated Palghar district which were inaugurated on World Youth Skills Day, by chief minister Fadnavis at Mumbai.
“Each virtual classroom is worth Rs 10 lakh fully funded by Tata trust. Our plan is to make virtual classroom available at all 417 ITIs in next few months,” says Deepak Kapoor, secretary at skill development department. “The main centre has been setup at Andheri office of the Tata Trust. From here the experts would hold lectures twice a week, as of now. The same will be relayed to all ITIs through satellite,” he added.
The lectures through digital mode would be interactive as well. That means students would be able to pose questions through microphone or text and lecturers would answer them accordingly. The government has also brought in Wadhvani foundation for the preparation of digital course content for industry experts and also getting them to deliver the lectures at Mumbai. If everything goes according to plan, simulators that are currently being used at premier engineering institutes like IITs will soon find their ways to ITIs in Maharashtra.
This will help in imparting better practical skills making the students industry-ready, feels government. Nearly 70,000 ITI students who completed apprenticeship last year had bagged job offers, claim officials. With the modernization of institutes, government hopes to better the placement statistics.
Note: News shared for public awareness with reference from the information provided at online news portals.