Leverage Technology to scale up training volume

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  • ATI currently trains persons in various skill set disciplines.
  • The pace of such training is in the order of a few thousands per ATI per year.
  • The nation has a huge shortfall in skilled manpower that needs to be addressed quickly without compromising quality.

Here we analyse the current practices and pedagogic methods being used and see how to scale up leveraging technical resources available within and by using the National Knowledge Network (NKN).

Current Pedagogic Methodology

  • A slow and careful instructor led 1 on 1 training is imparted to small groups of persons using methods like
  • the classroom chalk and board lectures
  • Gadget based training - computers, Audio / Video projectors
  • Using Multimedia content taken from the web and in house generated PPTs
  • Domain knowledge experts providing contextual lectures
  • High degree of personally tutored and evaluated practical experience in labs / machine shops on site
  • Target based conventional paper evaluation

NKN Resources

The National Knowledge Network (NKN) is a

  • state-of-the-art
  • multi-gigabit
  • pan-India network
  • for providing a unified high speed network backbone
  • for all knowledge related institutions in the country.

The purpose of such a knowledge network goes to the very core of the country's quest for building quality institutions with requisite research facilities and creating a pool of highly trained professionals. The NKN will enable scientists, researchers and students from different backgrounds and diverse geographies to work closely for advancing human development in critical and emerging areas.

The country has spent huge resources - money, time and effort - to produce quality instructional audio / video presentations by eminent experts in diverse fields. Such content is stored in NKN servers and will be available to all users freely and can be accessed as long as the user gets connected to it.

Scaling up Volume

What this means and is

  • Quality instructors in short supply
  • Existing instructors are fast retiring
  • Rapidly changing technical requirements thanks to globalisation
  • Brain Drain getting harder to reverse thanks to runaway inflation
  • Maintaining equipment becoming harder due to lack of trained personnel
  • FDI and development work requires huge trained personnel - the demand-supply gap is widening exponentially
  • Realisation that current training practices are woefully inadequate to address the nations growing training needs
  • One to One and One to a few are only possible

Technology to the fore

  • ATIs to be connected to the NKN
  • Do not need to rely on the Internet for Intra-ATI connectivity
  • Can have gigabit speeds linking all ATIs together in a secure localised environment
  • No malicious global exposure and international hacking threats
  • Can ride some internet bandwidth through the same infrastructure scaling up as needed.
  • Partake of NKN resources when connected
  • Audio / Video chats possible and remote lectures and hand holding sessions can be initiated and partaken of
  • One to many (a huge many) is possible

Way forward - Hub and Spoke

  • Get the strongest unbridled connectivity from NKN vendors like RailTel, BSNL - NMEICT, etc. for each ATI
  • Obtain and ride adequate internet bandwidth on the NKN connection as required for each ATI
  • Have a local firewall at each ATI node (spoke) and provide VPN access to them to connect to the central hub (ATI Chennai)
  • Register each teaching resource from all spokes to the hub
  • Disseminate data and multimedia from the hub to the spokes in real time whilst the instructor can be from any spoke or external network but will appear to be emanating from the hub by relay broadcast possibly in multicast mode.
  • Redundant UPS backed redundant servers in the hub will assist in cacheing selected content from the NKN and will serve to stream content across the spokes.
  • Small servers at each spoke will assist in alleviating connection outages during courses.
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