From Vision to Action, AAF leads the way
Jun 5, 2024 . Read 5 min

Building a tech-savvy workforce: Digital skill training at AAF

Team Vedanta

Not only is India the most populous country in the world, but we also have one of the youngest populations globally. India has more than 50% of its population below the age of 25 and more than 65% below the age of 35, as per the National Family Health Survey-5 (2019-21). Why is this critical? Because we now have the opportunity of a potential economic windfall driven by a youthful workforce. However, India's demographic dividend hinges upon our ability to empower the next generation with the skills needed to thrive in an increasingly digital world. Understanding this fact, the Anil Agarwal Foundation (AAF), the social impact arm of Vedanta, has been working towards offering skill development opportunities with a special focus on digital learning, through various educational initiatives across the country.

Starting young: Taking digital literacy to schools

AAF has zeroed in on the urgent need to bridge the industry-academia gap to equip students with the necessary skills to enter the workforce. The Vedanta Foundation’s, Vedanta Shiksha initiative, does this by familiarising students with digital technologies in an educational environment. This project runs 3 colleges in Rajasthan, Maharashtra and West Bengal, and 2 schools in Rajasthan, all equipped with state-of-the-art infrastructure and digital classrooms.
Similarly, Sesa Goa, a Vedanta Group company, has been running the Sesa Technical School and has also operationalised computer labs in schools.
AAF’s community development programmes have also found unique ways to contribute to the mission of promoting digital learning. E-Kaksha, a flagship initiative of Vedanta’s Cairn Oil & Gas in association with the Department of Education, and an NGO, Mission Gyan, is a shining example of how digital platforms can effectively provide free and quality education to Hindi medium students (Class 6 to 12) in Rajasthan. The program is available through digital platforms—YouTube, mobile app, and website—to deliver quality videos of various subjects, giving access to over 1.7 crore students across Rajasthan.

Preparing a future-ready workforce

The efforts of AAF extend beyond promoting digital literacy in schools. To truly influence students' educational and career paths, it's crucial to provide them with the necessary qualifications and training, through college education and career counselling. Sesa Goa’s computer literacy centres offer specific computer literacy programmes such as Diploma in Computer Applications (DCA) and Post Graduate Diploma in Computer Applications (PGDCA), thereby helping students find their career path in IT.
Vedanta Group’s Hindustan Zinc’s Unchi Udaan programme extends support to children pursuing higher education by offering digital education resources. It also identifies and nurtures promising talented students who then receive four years of in-house coaching for engineering through IIT-JEE preparation. The result? The students have found the confidence to appear for JEE Mains; several have secured admissions in reputed government colleges, including IIT Guwahati and NIT Kurukshetra. And in a clear sign of the success of these endeavours, five students from one of the batches have got job placements.

Empowering women as future leaders

Despite constituting nearly half of the population, women in India contribute to only 18 percent of the GDP—a fact that can be changed by empowering women through digitisation. Unfortunately, gender and rural-urban gaps persist in mobile phone ownership and internet usage in states across the country. To address this, AAF partnered with Nehru Yuva Kendra, Sikar, Rajasthan to impart digital literacy training to women and youngsters who were a part of Nand Ghars, AAF’s flagship social impact project that aims to modernise Anganwadis. The beneficiaries were provided comprehensive digital skills training on the usage of internet, payment portals, internet banking, etc. The Nand Ghar Project in Sikar also launched a transformative Data Operator Training program for women.

By providing skill training, digital knowledge and access to technology to women and students in schools and colleges, AAF is not only transforming individual lives but also driving positive change at a societal level.