ICT Training for the Masses
October 2010

ICT Training for the Masses

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ICT Training for the Masses


AISECT, a Bhopal-based organisation, which offers ICT education, training and services to semi-urban and rural India. Through a network of over 8,000 centres spread across 4069 cities of India, the company aims to empower people and generate sustained employment for youth across the country

The NSS 61st Round results show that among persons of age 15The NSS 61st Round results show 29 years, only about 2% have received formal vocational training and another 8% have received nonformal vocational training. This proportion of trained youth is one of the lowest in the world. The corresponding fi gures for industrialised countries are much higher, varying between 60% and 96% of the youth in the age group of 20–24 years. Although this gap was always present in our country, the rapid growth of services sector and more recently the renewed thrust on manufacturing sector has suddenly brought the shortage of skilled manpower and hence vocational education infrastructure in our country to the forefront. Realising that skills and knowledge are the driving forces of economic growth and social development for any country, the government has taken the initiative of launching skill development as a national mission. At present the capacity of skill development in India is around 3.1 million persons per year. It is heartening to see the sudden interest that the skill development and capacity building arena is receiving from all quarters. This only shows that the task that AISECT took up 25 years ago, despite the amount of skepticism that our business model received initially, was not in vain. Since 1985, we have been promoting ICT based training and services in semi-urban and rural India to empower people, generate employment for the youth and unfold entrepreneurship based initiatives thus bridging the digital divide
and creating an inclusive society. The journey began in the mid eighties at a time when Information Technology was becoming a powerful technological tool in urban India, having the potential to change people’s lives altogether. However, 80% of India’s population living in the rural areas was oblivious to this progress and advancement. Thus, AISECT took up the task of designing an appropriate model for rural ICT intervention; a model that would refl ect the demand side of communities rather than the supply push perspective of ICT providers; a model which does not depend too heavily on Government or donor support but can survive on its own. Initially, we started the mission of spreading IT awareness in schools of small towns and villages of Madhya Pradesh. However, when requests from the local community started pouring in, it was decided to take our initiative to the next level and therefore Computer and
IT classes for all, irrespective of age and gender, were instituted by AISECT. The organization was moved beyond schools and AISECT Centers were established at strategic locations in various towns and bigger villages of Madhya Pradesh. ually, the network started growing and today there are over 8000 AISECT Centers across 4069 cities of the country. What fuels our network is that we cater to the huge demand of informal employment in the organized sector  f IT and ITeS, something which National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) also points out as a huge gap area. In addition to the 2.3 million people who are directly employed in the ITeS sector (organised employment in an organised sector); there are scores of computer literates which are required in District Govt. offi ces, petrol pumps, bank branches in semi-urban areas, various showrooms and other retail establishments, a demand that AISECT has been addressing for many years now. Traditionally, we selected our target market segments in semi-urban and rural India, as this was a huge but largely fragmented segment still waiting to be tapped, owing to poor support conditions. With metros witnessing the proliferation of IT training organizations, the segment of youth living in Tier two and three cities, district and block level places still had no quality training provider, a gap which AISECT fi lled in successfully. Consequently, AISECT today is virtually the strongest national level player in this business of training across semi-urban and rural India, covering District, Block and Panchayat level places. We have till date trained over 1 million students across the country through a host of skill enhancement programs and generated over 10,000 entrepreneurs through AISECT’s widespread network. The AISECT model became a World Bank-IIM (A) Case Study in 1999 wherein  t was listed as the only sustainable and scalable model for ICT penetration across semi-urban and rural India. AISECT’s unique value proposition arises from the breadth of its offerings. Through GROWTH IN NUMBER OF CENTERS AND STUDENTS BETWEEN 2006-07AND 2008-09 100000 80000 60000 40000 20000  0 32,345 50,636 82,000 2006-07 2007-08 2008-09 Number of Students 8000 7000 6000  5000 4000 3000 2000 1000 0 2857 3609 7000 2006-07 2007-08 2008-09  Number of Centres various Academies, the organization provides a host of university certifi ed  ndergraduate, Post Graduate, Certifi cate and Diploma courses in the areas of IT & ITeS, Hardware and Networking, Banking, Finance, Insurance, Rural Management and much  ore.  ts various academies include AISECT Academy for IT and Management, AISECT Academy for  ardware and Networking, AISECT Academy for Livelihood and Vocational Training, AISECT  cademy for Arts, Science and Commerce, AISECT Academy for Insurance, Banking and  inance and AISECT Academy for Rural Management. The MoU that we signed last year with IGNOU is the fi rst of its kind and makes  AISECT’s range of programs unparalleled in the  country today. Now all the AISECT Courses are available with an added advantage of IGNOU  ertifi cation as well. Besides, ‘Multi-Purposeness of an IT Training Centre’ is a concept which  as been pioneered by AISECT in this country   and has been our core differentiator. We have  lways believed that the infrastructure created by an entrepreneur for training  of students  can also be leveraged for delivering services to an audience larger than just the student   ommunity. Hence, the AISECT Centers also deliver qualitative and timely services including  ata processing and data entry, exam form downloading and results viewing, selling of  nsurance policies and collection of premiums, selling of recharge vouchers for telecom and  TH, ticket booking for railways among others. AISECT’s mission is to reach out to the remotest  orner of India and promote ICT based training and services to empower people and generate  mployment for the youth. AISECT is now also looking forward to increase its presence in the Metros, with its unique bouquet of educational products. To further improve upon the   earning experience delivered through our centres, we have developed our own Learning  anagement System (LMS) called AISECT Online, which will be launched very soon. AISECT  nline is the latest in series of technology-enabled innovations which  AISECT has been  implementing in the fi eld of Education and Training for past 25 years. AISECT Online is a  ew-age LMS that will take full advantage of modern technology in further improving the  uality  f training for students and administrativeprocesses for our learning centres, thus delivering a rich learning experience to our students. AISECT Online will empower students   ith anywhere, anytime access and foster a collaborative and interactive approach to learning.  he biggest advantage of AISECT Online would be that it will bring all stakeholders   f the vast AISECT community on one platform and develop a sense of togetherness amongst  them. Over the next fi ve years we plan to take the number of centers to 15,000. Through a  arefully worked out plan, we have identifi ed the centre opening potentials of each of the 600  istricts of India and plan  to implement this over the next couple f years. Our research has  evealed that other developing countries like Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Vietnam Nepal   nd Myanmar also exhibit similar consumer needs and these markets would also become our   ocus in times to come

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