- Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham’s AMMACHI Labs and Center for Women’s Empowerment & Gender Equality have provided skills development training, helping the unemployed youth find jobs
- The varsity has trained more than 800 rural youth across India. Many of them have won top prizes in international competitions and presented research papers in conferences worldwide
Bhubaneswar: More than 196 youth between 18-35 years of age from marginalized and remote communities in Odisha (Janla & Mendasala – Khurda District) have been trained by Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham under the Central Government’s Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY), the flagship scheme of the Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship implemented by National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC). Both these projects are being spearheaded by the varsity’s AMMACHI Labs which is working to empower Indian youth through vocational education.
Said Prema Pillai, Operational Lead for PMKVY – Special Projects, AMMACHI Labs: “Youth and school students in rural and remote villages suffer from marginalization, lack of resources, low levels of education and poor career prospects. If they migrate to cities, they get only unskilled jobs and are put under casual contracts, much to their disadvantage. Lack of certification from training institutes reduces their capacity to negotiate salaries. Rural schools are crippled by a lack of financial resources, antiquated technology infrastructure and inadequately trained teachers to impart technology education. With industry-relevant skills and vocational training taught by Amrita, rural youth are at an advantage economically and socially, helping them secure better livelihoods. Launch of Future skills training through STEM interventions in Odisha opens up new pathways for children and youth, building up their resilience for an unpredictable future.”
The Amrita PMKVY program, operational since November 2018, established 9 PMKVY training centres spanning six aspirational districts in Odisha, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Tamil Nadu and Kerala – training a total of 800 youth in these states. It offers short-term courses in the following areas: Plumbing General, Automotive Service Technician (2 & 3 Wheeler Repair), Self-Employed Tailor, General Duty Assistant and Domestic Data Entry Operator (DDEO). All the vocational courses offered at Amrita’s PMKVY centers are aligned with the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship’s prescribed National Occupational Standards (NOS), and delivered through a blended learning, ICT-integrated format called “Amrita Computerized Vocational Education and Training” (Amrita CVET). The Amrita CVET delivery model, first developed by Amrita in 2010, is now being used to provide vocational training to over 5,000 people in rural India.
Added Prema Pillai: “Amrita-PMKVY has enabled socially marginalized and economically disadvantaged youth to access skill development free of cost. Our trainees have gained the technical skills needed to earn a living. They have got jobs with several industries and micro-enterprises. Many have started their own business. Out of all the students trained by us, we are proud to say that more than half are women.”
Said Gayathri Manikutty, STEM Innovation Research Lead with Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham: “The Skills in Schools program is delivered to students through workshops lasting from 4 to 10 days on topics like computational thinking, robotics and maker-skills. Year-long programs are also conducted in vocational training using the MySangham platform which has now been merged with NSDC’s eSkill India Portal. Each year, about 800 to 1,000 school students get trained through this program. In 2021, despite the pandemic, we will be reaching out to over 1,000 children in 20 schools through teacher training programs.”
“Most of the students taught are from low-income families. They have won top prizes in international competitions in robotics such as the World Robotics Olympiad and Robocup, as well in competitions such as ATL Tinkering Marathon, UNESCO Water Wise Program for School Children, International Space Olympiad, etc. Students have written and presented research papers in international conferences including the Fablearn Asia 2020 Conference held in Thailand and Global Humanitarian Technology Conference held in USA. They have also filed for US and Indian patents,” Gayathri added.