IBM and NSDC to offer free digital skills training

IBM’s Open P-TECH platform will provide access to digital learning in emerging technologies and workplace skills

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Information technology major, IBM, and the National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) have come together to offer a free digital education platform.

As per the arrangement between the two organisations, IBM will curate online courses from Open P-TECH platform and offer it to users via NSDC’s eSkill India portal.

IBM’s Open P-TECH, a free digital education platform, was launched in India in March 2020 and is focused on emerging technologies and professional development skills. On the other hand, eSkill India, is a digital skilling initiative from NSDC that aggregates digital learning resources through various Indian and global knowledge partnerships, to enable access to best-in-class learning resources for India’s youth.

These online courses will focus on emerging technologies, such as cyber security, blockchain, artificial intelligence, machine learning, cloud, internet of things, as well as professional- development skills such as design thinking. Offered free of cost, these courses are expected to give a boost to the career of youngsters in the 18 to 22 age range.

As a knowledge partner, IBM will offer 30+ Open P-TECH courses with 60+ hours of learning. Currently, over 16 lakh minutes of digital courses and content on transforming the digital world are available across various sectors in multiple languages, providing learners with the necessary technology and skills.

Open P-TECH platform will also offer courses to develop 11 key skills, such as soft skills, interpersonal skills, and problem solving, as these are not available in any regular college curriculum, but are high in demand and valued in the job market.

Although the courses are available only in English currently, the platform will soon be available in various other Indian languages, such as Hindi, Kannada, Telugu, Tamil, Punjabi, Gujarati, Sindhi, Urdu and Bengali.

The platform equips learners and educators with foundational technology competencies, along with workplace learning skills.

After the successful completion of these courses, students will be able to share these digital badges on their online resumes.

Manish Kumar, MD and CEO, NSDC, in an official communique, emphasised the importance of leveraging the power of technology to reach out to the youth with scale and quality. He believes that digital platforms such as Open P-TECH and eSkill India can help overcome all barriers, geographic or socio-economic, and make content available to the needy. Digital learning is the best way to ensure more participation of women in the labour force as these courses will make them more employable. It is also the ideal way to give the youth more opportunities of employment.

Sandip Patel, managing director, IBM India/South Asia, rightly points out that Open P-TECH will make it possible for the youth of the country to access foundational learning in emerging technologies and professional skills. Also, the initiative will only take forward the SkillIndia mission, to help the next generation of professionals become future ready.