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Rajnath inaugurates HAL-IISc skill development centre

Defence Minister inaugurates HAL-IISc skill development centre

In an effort to address a gap in skill development, the Defence Minister inaugurated a new Skill Development Centre (SDC) established at the Indian Institute of Science’s (IISc) Challakere campus in Chitradurga district on Thursday.
 
The centre, which is a collaboration of the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) and IISc, is intended to address vital skill development gaps in India. Singh who carried out the inaugural on Thursday remotely, via video conferencing, described knowledge as power and that a skilled workforce is a basic necessity for innovation and creativity.
 
“The SDC is a sound example of synergistic collaboration between the country’s flagship aerospace giant and the best in class premier academia,” he added.
 
IISc described the SDC as an expansion of a 2011 training programme for teachers seeking to teach science and mathematics to rural students. IISc said that so far, 13,500 teachers have been trained under the aegis of the programme and that it has been expanded to also include college teachers under the Pandit Madan Mohan Malviya National Mission on Teachers and Teaching.
 
The centre, set in a 75,000 square feet building with labs, classrooms and an auditorium to seat 250 members has a capacity to train about 1,000 people annually.
 
According to a statement from IISc, the centre will focus on three areas for skill development: composite materials, sensors and Internet-of-Things (IoT). “The intended target audience for skill development at the centre includes engineers, supervisors and faculty members of technical institutes. Training will cover both skill up-gradation and also the acquisition of new skills. More than 50 per cent of the course duration will be devoted to hands-on learning in well-equipped laboratories. The faculty members for the courses will be selected from IISc and other leading organisations, including HAL,” IISc said.
 
R Madhavan, Chairman and Managing Director, HAL, expressed hope that the centre will help deepen “Make-in-India’ activities. “The centre will impart skills to various beneficiaries ranging from local community members to high-end engineering professionals,” he said.
 
HAL said that IISc had approached it in 2016 with a proposal to set up the centre, which HAL subsequently agreed to fund and support the initiative under its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programme.
 
The MoU for establishing the centre, with an outlay of Rs. 73.7 crores, was signed on March 28, 2016, and construction began on October 27 that same year.
 
The newly minted director of IISc Professor G Rangarajan said: “We eagerly look forward to working closely with HAL, to realise our shared vision of training hundreds of aspiring young workers and professionals from across the country”.
 
The SDC is located on 1,500 acres of land provided by the Government of Karnataka during IISc’s centenary year celebrations in 2008. The residential centre can accommodate 230 trainees and faculty members at any given time.