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IBM, NSDC offer free digital education platform; to focus on tech, professional development

As a part of the collaboration, IBM will curate online courses from Open P-TECH platform and offer it to users via NSDC's eSkill India portal to empower Indian youth on various skills to succeed in future careers

Sonal Khetarpal | August 21, 2020 | Updated 16:50 IST
IBM, NSDC offer free digital education platform; to focus on tech, professional development
IBM will catalogue its 30-plus Open P-TECH courses on eSkill India portal, with 60+ hours of learning

IBM on Friday announced its collaboration with National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) to offer 'Open P-TECH', a free digital education platform, focused on emerging technologies and professional development skills.  

As a part of the collaboration, IBM will curate online courses from Open P-TECH platform and offer it to users via NSDC's eSkill India portal to empower Indian youth on various skills to succeed in future careers.  

Under the partnership, IBM will catalogue its 30-plus Open P-TECH courses on eSkill India portal, with 60+ hours of learning.  

The programmes will be for learners between 18 to 22 years.  

The courses are currently available in English. The platform will soon be available in various Indian languages - starting with Hindi, followed by 10 Indian languages including Kannada, Telugu, Tamil, Punjabi, Gujarati, Sindhi, Urdu, Bengali.  

The P-Tech platform was launched in the US in 2011 in Brooklyn in the brick and mortar format to skill kids who dropped out of school and to bring them back into the workforce. Since then it has been extended to 22 countries where offline P-Tech training centres were set up. "To reach out to learners at scale IBM started the online Open P-Tech platform with 'new collar' skills that include foundational learning in emerging technology and professional skills," says Sandip Patel, Managing Director, IBM India/South Asia.

He says the new collar skills are the skills which make a candidate job-ready and are still not a part of educational curriculum, such as in emerging technologies like Cyber Security, Blockchain, AI and Machine Learning, Cloud, Internet of Things, along with professional skills, like Design Thinking.  

The company did a soft launch of the platform in India in March this year and has got 9,000 learners since then. Worldwide, almost 44,000 students have undertaken courses on the online portal.  

Upon completion, student will get "digital badges" which they can then add to their CVs and LinkedIn profiles.

Manish Kumar, MD and CEO, National Skill Development Corporation said, "Online trainings through digital platforms like Open P-Tech and eSkill India need to be accelerated to overcome geographical and socio-economic barriers. Digital learning will enable higher participation of women in the labour workforce as the scope for employability will increase. Overall, digital learning will boost prospects of employment and livelihood for the youth."

eSkill India is a digital skilling initiative from NSDC that aggregates digital learning resources through various Indian and global knowledge partnerships. Currently, over 16 lakh minutes of digital courses and content is available across various sectors in multiple languages.

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