‘Committed to Address Skill Gap’ Ninad Desai, BICSI India

BICSI is a professional association supporting the information and communications technology (ICT) community. BICSI is working closely with the Educational Institutions and the government to fulfill the need for qualified and industry ready network installers. Also, BICSI is working towards bringing the RCDD qualification to Indian Installers at affordable costs. In an exclusive interview with Ninad Desai, District Secretary, BICSI India District, educationtechnology tries to find out more on it’srecently started RCDD programme and insights on skill development in India –

Kindly elaborate on BICSI RCDD programme in India? What is the key objective of such programme?

The RCDD is one of the highest design credentials in the information and communications technology (ICT) industry, recognized worldwide. The program is created to develop individuals whose skills have made them authorities in the design of cabling infrastructure.

BICSI RCDD programme now available in India is an intensive hands-on course, focused on the design of structured cabling systems. The training includes; design of telecommunications spaces as well as horizontal and backbone distribution systems. Effective learning strategies include case study review and structured application exercises, using modernized blueprints with solutions based on real-world conditions.

The key objective of this programme is to offer the highest quality education and training to of ICT industry professionals and empower them to provide unbiased generic technical information, relevant to the user application needs.

How is BICSI planning to educate the Installers and Systems Integrators about Intelligent / smart infrastructure?

At BICSI INDIA, we provide participants with an extended theoretical and practical knowledge of very basics of ICT cabling infrastructure & technologies, through a realistic environment and understanding, by encouraging knowledge transfer and by learning through doing.

The education programmes are completely prescriptive, so that no prior in-depth knowledge or expertise is required. BICSI ICT training programmes educate participants in all aspects of the ICT design methodologies, including its practical applications. They cover the basic core requirements of ICT design and integration at a very detailed level, including all sub-systems and techniques which include intelligent ICT infrastructure. Exercises are based on real life case studies to ensure that participants learn the practical application of ICT design and integration.

BICSI INDIA’s aim therefore is to empower ICT experts, adopt global standards, best practices and methodologies and address key challenges in all the areas of ICT Infrastructure.

What kind of initiatives BICSI is taking to address the skill gap in ICT industry and shortage of networking professionals.

A significant and complex challenge the ICT industry faces today, is lack of appropriately skilled labour and less access to specialized education and framework around it, suited for a well-designed ICT system and educational institutions are not fully equipped to churn out skilled industry-ready candidates.

More than 80% of the network quality in terms of throughput and performance is dictated by the quality of installation, which in turn is determined by the skill-sets possessed by the field installers & technicians and the quality of training they have undergone. Getting all this up- and-ready takes less than 20% of the organisations time and resources. The growth of industry also is very dependent on the skillsets its professionals possess and practice actively.

BICSI, being a leader in providing quality education and access to generic industry resources to the industry, understands this primary yet important need and therefore looks forward to address it in the right perspective providing industry participants with the tools of skillsets empowerment to their integrating resources (employees, contractors & sub-contractors).

Through strategic programs and collaborations, BICSI is working closely with government bodies, educational institutions worldwide and the ICT Industry, to create partnerships between the industry and academia. To fill the global demand of high quality networking professionals, BICSI is committed to address the skill gap with high eminence education and training that would accelerate productivity, opportunity and growth.

What will be your advice to ministry of skill development and entrepreneurship in reference to networking domain?

There is an imperative need for skill development and skilling should be integrated with formal education. Skills need to be an integral part of employment and economic growth strategies.

Rather than covering all the aspects associated with ICT installations (cables, terminations, installation, testing, etc.) as a single program and making it long and boring especially to the installer community that’s at the bottom of education and skills pyramid, industry specific skills  training should cover only topics specific to pertinent aspect of the subject areas, that impact the installation quality which would make it direct and useful in the least possible time and make them work-ready quickly.

The skills training programs must be used to train not only techs, but also non-technical personnel, such as customer service representatives, who need to understand specific ICT areas in more detail to deal with today’s tech-savvy homebuilders and consumers and drive home the need and importance of quality installation procedures which impact 80 % of the service quality.

The ministry of skill development and entrepreneurship can help forge strategic partnerships with large enterprises and key industry associations as well as multiple stakeholders, in catalysing and evolving the skilling ecosystem. Through policies and programs, vocationalisation of education must be made an integral part of the education system. The recently announced Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana is a step forward in driving this initiative and must be driven with the prime focus of delivering skilled personnel who believe and practice quality installation procedures on a regular basis.

M2M is the new buzzword. What is your view of its utility in Indian ICT space?

M2M turns objects into intelligent assets. Essentially, M2M networks are very similar to LAN or WAN networks, a domain we are a part of as an industry participant; however M2M technologies currently are exclusively used to allow machines, sensors, and controls to communicate. These devices feed information they collect back to other devices in the network. This process allows a human (or an intelligent control unit) to assess what is going on across the whole network and issue appropriate instructions to member devices.

Growth in the M2M and IoT markets has been growing rapidly, and according to many reports, growth will continue. Strategy Analytics believes that low power, wide-area network (LPWAN) connections will grow from 11 million in 2014 to 5 billion in 2022. And IDC says the market for worldwide IoT solutions will go from $1.9 trillion in 2013 to $7.1 trillion in 2020.

Quite a sizeable number of Indian tech companies are marketing heavily in M2M and working towards it to take advantage of this major industry growth spurt. But, there is still a great opportunity for new technology companies to engage in highly automated solutions to help streamline processes in nearly any type of industry. We will see a huge influx of companies who begin to innovate in this area in the next five years.

We strongly believe that the utility of M2M in the Indian ICT space lies in the application side of things and the growth in this industry will be driven by smart applications. The ICT passive infrastructure is already in place to support areas of responsiveness and resilience, which the upcoming applications would demand in the times to come.

What threats do you see coming in as a result of this ubiquitous connectivity?

Ubiquitous connectivity is transforming, how security threats are viewed in our lives and in business. Today, it may seem more like a curiosity than a valid business concern. IoT will represent 30 billion connecting “things” by 2020, growing from 9.9 billion in 2013. These connected “things” are largely driven by intelligent systems, collecting and transmitting data.

Allow me to share an analogy. When we get in our car and drive to work, the first thing we do is put on our seatbelt. We always wear our seatbelt, not just when we are driving to work or at leisure. We wear it anywhere we drive, that’s because we understand that whenever there’s risk, it’s important to add safeguards. So why internet security isn’t treated the same way?

Building a secure ICT infrastructure design and development practice, performing regular security testing on products and maintaining our integrated systems and finally, but not the least, following industry guidance’s will help address this upcoming challenge.

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