Bengaluru: Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Thursday (August 13) inaugurated the HAL-IISc Skill Development Centre (SDC) established at IISc’s Challakere campus in Chitradurga district, 225 km from Bengaluru through a video conference.
Speaking on the occasion, Rajnath Singh said knowledge is power and skilled workforce is a basic necessity for innovation and creativity, adding that the SDC is a sound example of synergistic collaboration between the country’s flagship aerospace giant and the best in class premier academia.
Top officials present on the occasion included General Bipin Rawat, Chief of Defence Staff, Dr Ajay Kumar, Defence Secretary, Raj Kumar, Secretary (Defence Production), R Madhavan, CMD, HAL, Alok Verma, Director (HR), HAL, Prof G Rangarajan, Director, IISc.
The centre will impart skills to various beneficiaries ranging from local community members to high-end engineering professionals to usher true ‘Make-in-India’, said Madhavan.
“We are grateful to HAL for supporting us and partnering with us on this critical national initiative,” said Prof Rangarajan, adding “We eagerly look forward to working closely with HAL, to realize our shared vision of training hundreds of aspiring young workers and professionals from across the country”.
The goal of the SDC is to create a large pool of trained personnel to address vital skill development gaps in India, crucial for economic growth and self-sufficiency. It is a natural outgrowth of a successful training programme for rural science and mathematics teachers that IISc initiated in 2011 at the Challakere campus.
The IISc approached HAL in 2016 with its proposal and HAL agreed to fund and support the initiative under its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programme.
The MoU for establishing the centre, with an outlay of Rs 73.7 crores, was signed on March 28, 2016, and construction began on October 27 the same year.
The SDC is located on 1,500 acres of land provided by the Government of Karnataka during IISc’s centenary year celebrations in 2008