All theory can be taught digitally: Venguswamy Ramaswamy, Global Head, TCS iON

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Published: July 20, 2020 2:45 AM

The private sector will have to play a bigger role as efforts by the government or the private sector alone will not suffice.

Venguswamy Ramaswamy, Global Head, TCS iONVenguswamy Ramaswamy, Global Head, TCS iON

Venguswamy Ramaswamy, the global head of TCS iON, the digital learning solutions provider, is a veteran of over 25 years at Tata Consultancy Services. In an interview with FE’s Vikram Chaudhary, he says the private sector will have to play a bigger role as far as skilling India is concerned. Excerpts:

How important a role the private sector has played in skilling India?
With an almost equal share of private and government players providing school and college education, the private sector plays a key role in both education and skilling. The private sector has been helping to connect talent to market needs and organisations, and leveraging technology to better skill talent they absorb in function-specific, technical, vocational and soft skills for specific job roles. Many businesses are going beyond their human-capital limits to provide financial support for start-ups and non-financial support such as training, mentoring and networking.

As a partner to Skill India, do you think enough has been achieved by the Mission in the five years?
While a lot has been achieved, there are several challenges still surrounding skill development in India. These include declining levels of women’s participation in the workforce, limited industry and private sector contribution, and limited leverage of digital tools that is the key for large-scale execution on these initiatives. For India to be the skill capital of the world, all these challenges need to be addressed immediately.

The private sector will have to play a bigger role as efforts by the government or the private sector alone will not suffice.

What role has TCS iON played in the field of skilling in the past few years?
We have made significant, periodic investments in developing solutions that can help in upskilling India’s youth. We have partnered with the NSDC and have heavily invested in large-scale platforms, content, process and infrastructure to deliver value to the youth in a ‘phygital’ delivery model. Recently, the NSDC offered TCS iON Digital Glass Room to its training partners, enabling them to move classroom vocational skills training to a phygital (physical plus digital) mode for millions of students. This strengthens the NSDC’s online content aggregation platform, eSkill India.

Also, the Automotive Skills Development Council (ASDC) has deployed TCS iON solutions to ensure credibility, reliability and robustness to its skill development processes. With us, they are reimagining scale and speed of their initiatives in identifying potential candidates, equipping them with necessary skills, and matching them with appropriate job opportunities in the auto sector.

We have developed a digital learning hub, an online content marketplace that is being leveraged by the ASDC to deliver standardised content to learners. The TCS iON Digital Assessment platform has been instrumental in bringing in efficiency and transparency in the ASDC’s assessments.

While all theory can be taught digitally, are there ways to provide hands-on skills training digitally?
Almost all theory can now be taught digitally. As far as hands-on skills training is concerned, there needs to be a fine balance between practical/on-the-job training and digital training driven by role-specifications. Certain role profiles will need a full-blown physical training programme. For example, it is not feasible to learn to drive by reading a book. However, a driving simulator can reduce the number of hours spent and the cost to learn.

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