SURYAMITRA PROGRAMME: A LIFE CHANGING JOURNEY FROM UNSKILLED TO SKILLED SOLAR TECHNICIAN
L&T Construction, India’s largest professionally managed construction organization, is fully committed to fulfil social and environmental responsibilities for sustainable development. L&T is successfully running the construction skill training programme, since late 1993, to bridge the gap of skilled workforce required for the development of India. India has a vision of 100 GW of solar energy by 2022 and in order to fulfil this commitment, L&T Construction, under the guidance of MNRE, has developed a Solar PV Technician Training Programme. Aimed at providing skilled solar technicians, this programme began in January 2014 at L&T CSTI Pilkhuwa near Hapur. Since then, a lot of students have completed their training and changed their path of life from daily labour to technician/ supervisor at various solar power plants. To uplift the economically deprived class, the whole programme, which includes boarding and lodging, is free for the student.
Brief Description of the First Solar Training Facility at Pilkhuwa
L&T CSTI Pilkhuwa provide state-ofthe-art facility for training of a solar PV technician. It is a three-month programme with 75 hours of theory classes and 525 hours of practical classes. The theory and practical classes were given by experienced persons of solar industry. A well-furnished accommodation, complemented with hygienic food and water is provided to all trainees. Daily assessment was conducted by the faculty during classes and practicals. Periodic assessment is done with the help of monthly test and final assessment is done by a government accredited body as a third party assessment for final NCVT certificate. Hundred per cent attendance is ensured through the biometric system and a record of every trainee is kept in e-format. Every trainee is provided with a safety accessory and uniform. Recreation activities are also organized from time to time.
Training Procedure at CSTI Pilkhuwa
Sourcing of trainees is done through the following four methods:
1. Job Fairs: Job fairs are organized at various places. At the same time, invitation is extended to various ITI colleges. Therefore, students from the ITI colleges visit the job fairs. Details of the training programme and interested students is collected following which interested students are called for the selection process, based on the requirement.
2. Reference of Alumni: The respective alumni refer the programme and its respective details to their relatives, siblings, batchmates, and juniors. Thereafter, interested students are called for the selection process.
3. Direct Reference of Faculty: Students known to the faculty and those who are interested in the training are also called for the selection process.
4. Candidates Referred from ITI Institutes: At times, ITI institutes also refer certain candidates for training; these are then called for the selection process.
The interested student has to write a written test followed by a practical and an interview. The performance of student is analysed and the merit list is prepared. The student is selected based on the number of available seats. However, special emphasis is given to the economically and socially-deprived students.
The selected student has to go through the admission process enumerated as follows:
1. Document Verification: The student has to provide his original education certificate for verification with one set of photocopy. Each document is verified and minimum qualification (10 + ITI passed) is ensured.
2. Application Form: After document verification, a simple application form which contains the information of education, family, and address, is filled up.
3. Accommodation Allotment: Accommodation is allotted to the trainee on the same date of admission.
4. Safety Accessories and Allotment of Uniform: Safety accessories ,such as safety helmet, shoes, etc., and uniforms are allotted to every trainee prior to any practical class.
5. Biometric Registration: Biometric registration of each trainee is done to ensure 100 per cent attendance of every trainee during the class and practical.
Daily Routine & Training
1. Breakfast: Breakfast and tea is provided to every trainee in the morning. The menu of breakfast changes from time to time.
2. Physical Training Session: After breakfast, every trainee is called for physical training (PT) to strengthen their physical fitness. The PT session takes around half an hour.
3. Yoga Session: Mental training is as important as physical training, hence yoga classes are organized, for trainees, twice a week on Saturday and Sunday.
4. Practical Session: After the PT session, trainees have to perform the practical. Groups comprising three to five students, in each group, are made. Required tools, equipments, and safety accessories are given to each group. The instruction manual, containing the directions on safety, required tools, time management, and group dynamics, was given by the faculty to each group. The process of practical is very similar to the actual process. Practical class of four hours before lunch and three hours post lunch was also conducted. Assessment of each trainee during the practical was done by the faculty. Records of assessment are maintained for future reference and final assessment.
5. Lunch: From 1:00 to 2:00 pm, lunch is arranged in the trainee’s accommodation. Lunch contains 1 dal (legumes), 1 subzi (vegetable), roti (bread), and chawal (Rice). The menu of lunch changes from time to time.
6. Theory Session: After the practical session, a one hour theory class is conducted in a well-furnished classroom, equipped with modern classroom facilities, such as projector. The first lecture in each batch is about safety as we consider safety of each trainee to be the first priority. In each class, a demo with the help of exact tools and instruments is shown, which are used in the industry to perform the task. Most part of the lecture contains videos and PowerPoint presentations of the actual process which is performed in the industry. The schedule of training is provided in Table 1.
Assessment of Trainee
Assessment of each trainee is done by the process described as follows:
1. Daily Assessment: Daily assessment of each trainee is done by the faculty during the practical. In daily assessment, the knowledge of trainees, regarding safety and the respective process is checked. Moreover, his contribution to the group is also checked.
2. Periodic Test: Periodic tests of theory and practical in the interval of one month are taken up to assess the performance of the trainee.
3. Final Assessment: Final assessment of the trainee is carried out by the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MSDE), Government of India, through an external agency. Before completion of the training, intimation to the MSDE is given through their online portal. Registration of each student is done on the online portal to generate the profile ID. Subsequently, MSDE appoints an external agency to conduct the final test. The profile ID is shared with the external agency. The external agency comes to the campus to takes the test. The test paper is designed by them. The trainees have to write their responses within a limited time of one hour. Following the test, a viva and practical is performed by the trainee that is examined by the external agency. After the final assessment, results are declared by the external agency. The successful student is awarded a certificate under National Council for Vocation Training and is blessed with the vast opportunities of employment in Solar Power Project in India and abroad.
To rejuvenate the trainees, a volleyball ground is built near the accommodation and a cricket ground is located inside the training campus. Moreover, various tournaments are organized in the training campus from time to time.
Based on the requirements from the site, the alumni are called for placement and interested students are placed at the site. Preference is given based on the merit. After placement, the performance of trainees is analysed with the help of a special feedback process.
Some highlights of the of the Suryamitra training programme are provided in Table 2.
Mr Rajiv Kumar, Deputy General Manager, Solar Business Unit, PT&D-IC, Larsen & Toubro Limited, New Delhi, India. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org