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Revealing Vision for India’s Automotive Skill Ecosystem: An interview with Arindam Lahiri

Arindam Lahiri CEO of ASDC in an interview with Education Post shares his cutting-edge initiatives transforming India’s automotive sector. He shared about how ASDC’s innovative skill ecosystem is equipping professionals with expertise in electric vehicles, AI, and data analytics, in sync with the industry’s rapid evolution

Education Post03 October 2023 04:46

Revealing Vision for India’s Automotive Skill Ecosystem: An interview with Arindam Lahiri

In an exclusive interview with the CEO of Automotive Skills Development Council (ASDC), delve into the cutting-edge initiatives transforming India’s automotive sector. Discover how ASDC’s innovative skill ecosystem is equipping professionals with expertise in electric vehicles, AI, and data analytics, in sync with the industry’s rapid evolution. Gain insights into their collaborative efforts with industry giants, from Hero, VECE, and Toyota to Maruti Suzuki, to meet the burgeoning demand for specialised training. Uncover ASDC’s role in fostering a globally competitive workforce and shaping the future of automotive technology.

The automotive sector is experiencing swift changes driven by the emergence of electric vehicles, autonomous driving, and interconnected technologies. How can the evolved automotive skill landscape empower stakeholders in the industry to effectively navigate these transformative trends and capitalise on emerging prospects?

ASDC, the only Sector Skill Council for the automotive realm, is actively engaged in crafting an advanced skill ecosystem tailored to the sector’s needs. Our efforts have led to the creation of specialised job roles focused on Electric Vehicles (EVs), encompassing all facets of this dynamic field. We strongly advocate for industry practitioners to enhance their competencies through these courses, ensuring their competitiveness in the ever-evolving automotive domain.

The newly established job roles provide a comprehensive understanding and hands-on practice in vital areas such as electric powertrains, battery technology, sensor integration, software development, and data analytics. Concurrently, we champion apprenticeship initiatives, furnishing workers with invaluable experiential learning opportunities. These programs empower them with the essential proficiencies required to excel in the burgeoning automotive landscape.

To facilitate seamless upskilling and reskilling, ASDC has collaborated with prominent industries to curate online learning resources. This convenient access empowers workers to acquire fresh skills, positioning them ahead of the curve in the rapidly shifting automotive sector. By equipping individuals with indispensable abilities, the automotive skill ecosystem enhances the industry’s allure to prospective talents while effectively attracting and retaining exceptional professionals. In the context of the new automotive terrain, wherein adept talent is a linchpin, this endeavour proves crucial for achieving success.

As artificial intelligence and data analytics become more intertwined with automotive systems, how can the advanced automotive skill ecosystem equip professionals to effectively utilise these technologies and spearhead data-centric innovation within the industry?

As AI and data analytics become increasingly integrated into automotive systems, the automotive industry is undergoing rapid transformation, giving rise to novel features like self-driving vehicles, advanced driver assistance systems, and personalised marketing strategies. To leverage the potential of these technologies and foster data-driven innovation within the industry, the advanced automotive skill ecosystem must equip professionals with the requisite capabilities and insights.

This entails imparting a robust foundation in both AI and data analytics, coupled with a profound comprehension of the automotive domain. Our offerings encompass comprehensive courses tailored explicitly for the automotive sector, spanning AI, digitalisation, and Industry 4.0. Moreover, we extend upskilling initiatives that cover fundamental technologies such as machining and welding technology.

Through strategic collaborations with esteemed entities like Hero, Royal Enfield, VECV, Toyota, MG Motor, and Maruti Suzuki, we deliver specialised training catered to technicians, workshop managers, and shop floor mechanics. Our training endeavours remain attuned to the latest advancements and industry demands, equipping professionals with the aptitudes required to thrive in the dynamic automotive landscape.

What initiatives is ASDC currently undertaking to enhance its curriculum and equip its students with the skills needed to effectively compete on a global scale?

Our foundation is built upon the National Occupation Standards (NOS), which serve as the cornerstone for the development of various qualifications and curricula. These curricula are formally endorsed by the National Skill Qualifications Committee under NCVET. The unexpected pause brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic allowed us to reevaluate and revamp our operations. Between 2020 and 2022, we meticulously revised all our curricula, subjecting them to rigorous examination, refinement, and expert input. A notable achievement was the engagement of over 300 industry experts across diverse domains to review and approve these revisions. Every qualification is sanctioned by industry stakeholders, a process that ensures our curricula align with industry demands.

As part of this comprehensive overhaul, we identified emerging domains such as electric vehicles, Industry 4.0, and sustainability, as well as safety and diagnostics. Our efforts extend beyond introductory curricula, encompassing provisions for upskilling and reskilling the existing industry workforce. We are committed to crafting curricula that remain pertinent in a rapidly evolving landscape. The ongoing process of enhancing our curricula will remain integral, given the ever-changing nature of technology.

What do you foresee as the upcoming sought-after job positions and career prospects within India’s advanced automotive skill ecosystem? How can the workforce be readied for these roles?

Within the advanced automotive skill ecosystem in India, a multitude of emerging job roles and career avenues are projected to be in high demand. The surging adoption of electric vehicles (EVs) will create a substantial need for adept technicians and engineers capable of effectively managing EV installation, maintenance, and repair. Workforce training should emphasize proficiencies in battery technology, EV diagnostics, charging infrastructure, electric powertrain systems, and overall vehicle electrification.

Given the pivotal role of batteries in EVs, there will be an elevated demand for professionals specializing in battery technology. Workforce training must encompass battery chemistry, cell manufacturing, battery pack assembly, testing, and comprehensive management. Furthermore, with the expansion of charging infrastructure, the industry will necessitate experts proficient in the installation, maintenance, and management of charging systems.

ASDC (Automotive Skills Development Council) has proactively identified burgeoning fields such as EVs, sustainability, safety, and diagnostics. It offers comprehensive opportunities for both entry-level candidates and upskilling/reskilling for existing industry professionals.

ASDC’s initiatives include the Electric Mobility Nanodegree Programme, a six-month collaboration with DIYguru catering to individuals with an engineering or diploma background. Additionally, the Dakshata training program, in partnership with Autobot India and MG Motor, focuses on artificial intelligence and EVs. Through these innovative efforts, ASDC is actively contributing to the skill development required for the future of the advanced automotive sector in India.

In your opinion, what are the technological trends you are anticipating in the automotive sector for the year 2024?

In the present day, automobiles have transformed into mobile computers, brimming with extensive electronics. This holds true for all types of vehicles, from two-wheelers to four-wheelers and commercial vehicles, all featuring substantially increased electronic components. The automotive domain is also witnessing significant progress in software advancements, computing speeds, communication rates, and the introduction of 5G connectivity. Manufacturers possess the capability to track each sold car’s location, condition, and potential service needs within a mere 24 hours, all managed remotely from a control center.

This technological advancement has also revolutionized the transportation industry, with logistics experiencing rapid growth in India. Road transportation forms the bedrock of this system, and technology is empowering drivers, fleet owners, and coordinators. They now have command over the movement of goods and can efficiently manage unforeseen emergencies.

The surge in electric vehicle adoption is undeniable, accompanied by both challenges and advantages. While the incorporation of hydrogen fuel cells and solar technologies might not fully mature in 2023, ongoing research holds the promise of breakthroughs that could eventually shape mobility solutions. This trajectory bodes well for aspiring individuals seeking a career in the automotive sector.

The movement of people and goods remains a constant, accentuating the demand for skilled Indian professionals on the global stage, spanning various sectors, including automotive. Traditionally, IT engineers have been the primary global contributors, but opportunities are expanding to encompass the automotive industry. Skilled workers, both technical and blue-collar, are venturing far beyond the Middle East and finding placements worldwide.

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