New Delhi. 19 February 2016. A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was exchanged between the Ministry of Defence (MoD) and the Skill Development Network (SDN) Trust for Collaboration on Technical and Program Management Support for the Skill Development programmes of the MoD.

The SDN Trust is an initiative of Wadhwani Foundation and is engaged in Skills Development related activities and aims to drive economic growth in India through large-scale initiatives in job creation and skill development. The MoU was exchanged between the Defence Minister Shri Manohar Parrikar and Dr. Romesh Wadhwani, Chairman of the Wadhwani Foundation. Speaking on the occasion the Defence Minister said “skill development is an important aspect of the overall policy of the Government of India”.

Approximately 60,000 service personnel retire or are released every year at a comparatively young age. Directorate General Resettlement (DGR) assists service personnel (due for retirement/release in one to two years) and Ex- Servicemen (ESM) to acquire additional skills and facilitate their resettlement through a financially viable career serving the civil society. Skill Development would go a long way towards supporting gainful employment of these ESM.

SDN Trust will provide the programme management support to MOD in its Skill Development initiatives like successful roll out of National Skill Qualification Framework (NSQF) based skill training to ESM, supporting NSQF compliant training programmes through Ordinance Factory Boards (OFBs), Defence Public Sector Units (DPSUs) and introduction of vocational education in schools run by defence forces.

The goals of this MoU are as follows:

  • Overall program management support to the MoD Skill Development for achieving the objectives of the Ministry.
  • Integrate e-content in the curriculum of the various training programs to improve the employability of the trainees.
  • Train the faculty members in NSQF aligned program, using the e-content, etc.
  • Training and development of the key officials or institutional heads within MoD and its affiliates for knowledge and capacity enhancement for skill development and entrepreneurship training.
  • Monitoring and evaluation of the overall program implementation to bring quality assurance and impact analysis.
  • Promote skill development and job fulfilment in any other areas identified by the parties during the term of this MoU.

The SDN will help in the programme management of the MoD Skill Development initiative. These are:-

  • Coordinate with program stakeholders –MSDE, NSDC, SSCs and other agencies for effective design and implementation of NSQF aligned program.
  • Support in industry connect, identifying job-role demand and curriculum alignment.
  • Provide required professional advice and inputs for effective implementation of the program.
  • Support the State Rajya Sainik Board and Zilla Sainik Boards in the skill development initiatives.

This collaboration aims to train and provide gainful employment to approximately 3, 00,000 ESM and their families, school students and youth in five years starting from Financial Year 2015-16.The SDN commits to spend on Program Management activities including the Teacher training, e-content, training of ESM, training of other officials, technology platform etc. for leveraging the MoD funding towards Skill and Entrepreneurship Development initiatives and schemes. SDN will provide over 1000 hours of online and e-learning modules.The MoU shall remain in force for a period of five years.