EU Projects to Bridge Digital Divide

Published: 18th February 2015 06:05 AM  |   Last Updated: 18th February 2015 06:05 AM   |  A+A-

CHENNAI: After providing technical skills to 3,021 youths from backward districts of Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra and West Bengal, the New Emerging Technology (NET) Skills Project supported by the European Union (EU) and the Department of Science and Technology is set to be replicated across India.

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H K Mittal, head, National Science and Technology Entrepreneurship Development Board, Department of Science and Technology, said that Tiruchirappalli Regional Engineering College and Science and Technology Entrepreneur’s Park (TREC-STEP), Tamil Nadu — the lead implementing agency and the two project partners — Vivekananda Institute of Biotechnology, West Bengal, and Science and Technology Park, Maharashtra, developed a comprehensive training curriculum increase of technology such as maintenance of modern appliances, biotechnology, energy and environment.

These knowledge resources including the curriculum and field experiences will be shared with 200 institutions from across the country for replication and leverage in order to benefit other backward districts of the country. Talking about the project he said that a total of 1,800 youths from Tamil Nadu and 600 from West Bengal and Maharashtra benefited from the `8.25 crore project, which is funded by EU. “The plan is to bridge the gap in the development front by focusing on bringing ashore NET skills for the benefit of the youth and adolescents of the backward regions of India,” said Johann Hesse, counsellor and head of cooperation, delegation of EU to India.

“We have nine models and any student who is a matriculate or has completed his higher secondary can enrol in the courses, which are not taught in polytechnics and IITs. Some of those courses include new methods of soil testing, bio-fertilisers, tissue culture and how to maintain solar appliances,” he said. Answering a query on what the department was doing to keep pace with change in technology, Mittal said, “The challenge is before the government to overcome. There has been partnerships with industries to facilitate required changes,” he said.

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