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TCS iON to launch 'phygital' to offer vocational training across country

iON which started as a cloud service unit of TCS in 2011 has since grown to become one of the largest digital assessments

Romita Majumdar 

TCS, Tata consultancy services
TCS training center in Trivandrum

TCS, India’s biggest Information Technology (IT) services company, is betting big on harnessing the strength of iON, the company’s digital training unit.

Starting from the third-week of February, iON has announced the launch of “phygital” project, an ambitious initiative which intends to leverage both the physical and digital infrastructure to offer vocational courses in far flung areas across the country.

This initiative closely follows the Central government’s focus on digitalizing the classroom which was outlined in the Union Budget presented earlier this month.

“Our batches have started in mid-Feb and as of now we are imparting training for two job roles — business development executive and stewards in hospitality sector. While we are looking at integrating with government schemes, we will continue to expand the portfolio of courses through the year,” said Venguswamy Ramaswamy, Global Head – iON.

As per this model, the digital infrastructure will be provided by iON while for physical set up, it will partner with corporates and training & content providers.

iON which started as a unit of in 2011 has since grown to become one of the largest digital assessments and examination platforms with most of the premier entrance examinations being managed and hosted on the iON infrastructure today.

Ramaswamy also said that iON’s recently launched for universities will soon see partnerships from foreign universities. “In the next few months, you will see Academic Hub integrating courses from foreign universities who want to offer learning here. We are currently working towards making these courses more affordable,” he said.

Academic Hub connects universities in need of speciality courses with faculties located in different locations who can teach the courses using cloud infrastructure.

In the Union Budget 2018, the Central government has announced an initiative called “Revitalising Infrastructure and Systems in Education by 2022” with a total investment of Rs 1000 billion. A major focus of this programme would be on digitising education. Ramswamy says apart from the budgetary provision to strengthen the education infrastructure, the government is also promoting educational programs like Shiksha and Eklavya which give enough scope to harness the power of digital solutions in education.

“The adoption of analytics is reasonably low in the education sector here and will catch up in another couple of years. Also, usage of augmented reality and virtual reality in content creation for learning to create 3D animated lessons will be of particular interest here," he said.

He added that the digital push in education has also resulted in higher demand for ERP solutions to streamline the financial aspect of educational services. iON has seen increasing requests for ERP solutions in the education covering the entire spectrum starting from admissions to even alumni management.

iON is currently focused on improving their B2C offerings in education and allied services. Ramaswamy said, is currently giving the final shape to its marketplace model called App Hub. “The intent is to give opportunities to startups with specific applications to meet needs of the education sector whose biggest challenge is the lack of opportunities to showcase their offerings,” he said.

iON conducts over 80 per cent of high scale examinations in the country through its digital infrastructure and has 5,742 examination centers across 607 cities in India. Its digital assessment centre is Kolkata is said to be the largest of its kind across the world.

First Published: Wed, February 28 2018. 14:58 IST