Centre of Excellence for IT/ITeS Assessment and Training (CEIAT)

Initiative of Dept. of Information Technology, Govt. of West Bengal

                    

A C E T        Aptitude Competence and Employability Test

 

Text Box: Later, around August 2006, the Dept. of IT, Govt. of West Bengal, under the leadership of MIC of IT and Biotechnology Dr. Debesh Das, decided to spread the effort across West Bengal for benefit of employment of aspirants from across the districts and entrusted us to develop means to do so and perform. 
Summing it up, over the years our mission has evolved as follows:
To aid the industry in obtaining employable and performing workforce so that the industrial emergence and the corresponding growth prospect can be sustained and further flourished
To consciously deliver the benefits of the economic upturn to the youth with an intent to address the issue of unemployment

What do we do?
In working towards our mission, we spend our efforts in two modes:
First, by assessing, training and employing the final year students and those who have already graduated. This is what the CEIAT has been engaged in so far.
Second, by preparing the first and the second year students while in the college. These students are offered employment linkage immediately after the graduate.
Since March 2007, we have introduced a program called Career Development and Placement Cell (CDPC). In this program, respective colleges would set up their own CDPC as a student welfare/services program as per NACC guidelines, which we would help implement. Till June 2007, Five colleges namely, Mugberia College (Purba Medinipur), Bijoy Krishna Girls’ College (Howrah), Serampore Girls’ College (Hooghly), Rishi Bankim Chandra Evening College (Nihati) and Vivekananda College (Thakurpukur, Kolkata) have signed us up for implementation of CDPC at the respective colleges. Twenty other colleges are discussing it in their Governing Bodies. In 2007-08 we expect to implement CDPC at 50 colleges.
In executing our mission stated above, we follow a model framework recommended by the HRD Task Force, Dept. of IT, Govt. of India, for skilled human resources development and deployment for the IT/ITeS industries in India (illustrated further down in this same section). The execution is done in partnership with the educational institutions from where the workforce is conventionally delivered to the industry for absorption. 
The activities involve: (1) Industry requirements research throughout the year, (2) developing awareness about the industry and its requirements, (3) career counseling of students and job aspirants, (4) conducting training needs analysis through assessments, (5) training the students to make them industry ready and (6) providing students with employment linkage to hiring companies.










Why do we do that?
During his speech at NICT 2006 conference at Guwahati, Mr. Kiran Karnik, President of NASSCOM commented that, unlike the past, in the current day, jobs will follow where talents are. Validity of this interesting observation has been proved by the exodus of jobs to India from the developed world over the last few years. What he meant, however, was that today’s companies will be eager to set up shops beyond Bangalore, Delhi, Hyderabad, Chennai, Kolkata, etc., at Siliguri, Durgapur, Patna, Ranchi, Shillong, Darjeeling, Sambalpur and possibly beyond that at Bankura, Birbhum, Purulia, Berhampur, Shivsagar, etc. provided there were talents existing in abundance. This happens to be one of those catch 22 situations of whether the cart before the horse or the horse before the cart. We feel it only makes sense to create the talent base first, advertise it and attract investments. Meaning, talent development ought to start before investments occur. Initially, it means, the trained workforce would have to go where the jobs are till the time the flow reverses.
NASSCOM and Market Research Agencies such as McKenzie and KPMG are projecting that by 2012, requirement of skilled manpower in the ITeS industry alone will be around 27 lakhs. West Bengal Govt. aspires that the state will be the third largest exporter of BPO services by 2010 and hence will generate in excess of 3.5 lakhs jobs in that industry. We ought to note with caution that, such projections are based on Cumulative Average Growth Rate (CAGR) calculations. This means that, if the ITeS HR requirement in 2006 was 3.79 lakhs, such requirement in 2009, as projected, will be 10.04 Lakhs only if the 3.79 lakhs jobs could be filled in 2006. Our experience in trying to meet the hiring companies’ HR requirements, however, suggest that, not even half of such requirements are getting filled due to lack of availability of adequately skilled resources. This results in the hiring companies having to limit their acceptance of outsourced contracts. This has an effect that a huge number of employments that could have been generated are not getting generated. The ripple effect would be that generation of 27 lakhs jobs by 2012 will remain a far cry. The Government has been able to create an enviable atmosphere for growth of the economy; the Industry has performed well in attracting investment and generating jobs. Whether the growth will sustain and consequently we will be able to create somewhat of a better prospect for the next generations depend on how the Academia will participate by delivering employable manpower. An eco-system should have to evolve amongst the Govt., the Industry and the Academia.
The Ministry of Information Technology, Government of India, being concerned about the lack of skilled resources to fuel the economic growth, had set up a task force in 2003 to address the issue. An excerpt and a recommended framework from that report are quoted below:

“Strategy for meeting the human resources requirements: Interactions with the industry and academia suggest that the issue of the manpower gap is not as much about institutional seat availability as about the nature of skills and training provided in these institutions. The overall strategy to meet the human resource requirements thus rests on the ability to inculcate the right skill-sets, establishing a standard to certify the quality of skills provided and attracting people to get them certified and deployed in ITeS/IT.”


While substantial numbers of jobs are getting created and there are more numbers of graduates than there are jobs, the industry’s grievance is that they are not getting adequately skilled resources to fill their vacancies! This is a unique problem facing the country. It would be prudent, hence, to consider introducing generic employability skills (IT, communication and soft) development programs within the college curriculum for all students.
We work to hasten the bridging of this gap and aid development of academic curriculum by bringing in the industry expertise to academia. We help institutions implement some changes in this regard in campus before they are formulated as policy and inducted in regular curriculum. 

How have we done so far?
CEIAT completed its two years of existence in March 2007. During this period we have assessed 14027 candidates through the Aptitude, Competence and Employability Test (ACET) 1.51% got A grade, 10.59% B grade and 87.9% C grade. Grade A candidates were directly sent for placement without training, Grade B candidates were offered training of duration one month. Grade C candidates were offered training of durations 2 to 6 months based on their performance in ACET
Placements have been provided to 91.3% of grade A candidates, 72% of grade B candidates and 86.83% of grade C candidates. Total placement percentage during the last year was 82%. 70% of the placed candidates are male and 30% are female. 79% of the placed candidates are from vernacular medium of instruction.
171 companies have hired our students. Placements have been provided in the following industry segments: Aviation (0.6%), Banking (7.27%), BPO (48.23%), Consultancy (1.73%), Education and Training (2.73%), Engineering (0.81%), Financial (5.15%), Healthcare (0.31%), Insurance (3.63%), IT (2.12%), Media (1.41%), Real Estate (0.31%), Retail (3.13%), Telecom (17.36%), Other (5.15%). Placements have been in functional areas of Customer service, Telemarketing, Technical support, Sales and marketing, Administration, HR, Front office, Media correspondence, Data entry, Data management, Technical writing, Accounts and finance, other back office functions.
From 1 center in Kolkata in April 2005 the organization has expanded to 18 centers as off June 30, 2007. In August 2006 we made a conscious decision to spread out of Kolkata to reach out to relatively underprivileged areas in the context with support of the Dept. of IT, Govt. of West Bengal. As off March 31, 2007 we have set up centers at Kolkata (3), Howrah (3), Hooghly (2), North 24 Parganas (2), South 24 Parganas (2) West Midnapore (1), East Midnapore (1), Burdwan (1), Siliguri (1), Guwahati (1), Thimpu Bhutan (1). Assessment examination (ACET) is held at least once every month in each center.
From 5 members in April 2005, the organization now has in excess of 70 members. 75% of the workforce is women. 37% is our own students who were absorbed within the organization. 39% of the staff are Post-graduates and 61% graduates.
Revenue has grown 500% and 400% respectively during the last two years. 

What do we wish to do?
We are the missing link between the academia and the industry.
The industry offers the demand, given its specific requirements. The academia supplies. The supply has to be per industry’s requirements. 
Development and supply of resources for the industry is going to have to be from the institutions. In order to do that, the institutions have to package the deliveries as per industry’s requirements. Industry’s requirements change promptly, frequently and dynamically. The Institutions have to adapt quickly to such changes in requirements and integrate programs in its offerings promptly, quickly and dynamically. For that, the institutions have to understand the requirements, develop programs and deliver them in a dynamic manner. Even the UGC requires that. Consider us as consultants, executers, implementers, whatever suits your current situation, needs and resources. CDPC as explained above is an interface to that end which you may wish to use suiting it to your benefit.
We wish to be an enabler and a catalyst from the industry to the institutions in the process of India consolidating on its economic advantage. 
Text Box: Who are we?
TECHNABLE CORPORATION, situated in the Telecom Corridor at Richardson (north of Dallas), Texas in the USA, specializes in the domain of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) and management. It is a consultancy firm promoted and managed by personnel with extensive knowledge and experience in various aspects of software development, hardware manufacturing, systems integration, network planning, and servicing. 
TECHNABLE SOLUTIONS, the Indian counterpart of Technable Corporation, started in November 2000, is an Employability Skills Training providing organization with its corporate office in Kolkata.
Text Box: It has been ages since India ceased to be a leading economy in the world for various historical reasons. We ended up being developer and exporter of talents to the developed world at no perceived gain for the country because; we could not offer adequate opportunity to our talents. Possibly, by rule of nature we seem to be faced with an opportunity to reverse the history. Most of the developed world, constituting about 80 percent of the world economy, is an ageing and retiring lot. The economic activities, amongst other things, need youthful talent capable of performing. India happens to be the youngest country in the world in terms of median age. 
Hence, off late, India has started experiencing import of economic activities from the developed world. This phenomenon has provided for an impetus for economic upturn which, if used judiciously, could end up in developing a domestic market economy, eventually resulting in India being an economic powerhouse. One key ingredient for such transformation is availability of adequately trained talents in the country. Taking it one step at a time; first, we have to deliver talents to meet the current demand to strengthen the economy and then to help develop the domestic economy for sustenance ending up, eventually, in economic leadership of the world. The industry develops the economy by use of talents which is to be delivered by the academia. 
From the academia’s point of view, its objective is to develop talent so that they can engage in gainful professions. Which serves right for the situation as long as there is close understanding of the requirements of the industry. Academia must know what exactly to deliver in addition to conventional delivery and how to do that. The worlds of the academia and the industry happen to be very different for good reasons. But, for a collective effort, to the end, the academia is to offer industry ready talents. Whether we wish to agree or not, there is a gap which is hurting both the graduating students in obtaining gainful engagement and the industry not getting its talents demand fulfilled. 
Text Box: Technable was formed to try and bridge this gap by offering the industry perspective to the academia and by helping in development of the necessary talents. The concept was first heard, recognized and adapted by the St. Xavier’s College, Kolkata. 
Rev. Father P. C. Mathew, Principal, St. Xavier’s College with help of Mr. Arindam Dutta, Director, Entrepreneurship Development Cell at the college (an organization of the Dept. of Science and Technology, Govt. of India) along with Santanu Bhattacharjee, Director of Technable, decided to incubate the concept by forming the “St. Xavier’s Technable ITeS Academy”, in March 2004. 
As a result of a good job done, In April 2005, Technable was inducted as an implementation partner in the “Center of Excellence for IT/ITeS Assessment and Training”, pioneered by then MIC, Dept. of IT, Govt. of West Bengal, Sri Manabendra Mukherjee and Prof. (Dr.) Suranjan Das, then Pro-Vice Chancellor (Academics), University of Calcutta.
Text Box: ©  2009 - 2010 Technable Solutions Pvt. Ltd.

Since 2005

Highlights

ACET TAKEN:     24,620

TRAINED:              4,982

PLACED:   3,852 (77.3%)

 

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