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SEDA Group, Australia ties up with Centurion University, India

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Centurion University of Technology and Management and SEDA have signed an International Cooperation Agreement for Training & Capacity Building, supported by the Australian Government.

The partnership between the Centurion University of Technology and Management and SEDA will see the development of sports and fitness vocational courses in India. The course will be the first in India to utilise training in sports, fitness, wellness and lifestyle that focus on applied learning and vocational skills.

The partnership will include professional development that will see SEDA staff regularly travelling to the university to train staff, build partnerships and shape applied courses.

The courses will include a vocational skills program and include literacy, numeracy, personal development, work skills and industry specific learning in India. The link between SEDA’s extensive vocational and sport partners in Australia and industry in India will ensure currency in the sports industry.

An agreement was presented by the President of Centurion University of Technology and Management, Professor Mukti Mishra to the Director of SEDA Brad Green in Melbourne, Australia on March 7th this year.

The project, provided with a funding grant from the Australian Sports Commission, will focus on vocational education and training in India. The project under the Australian Sports Outreach Program will work to support the institutional capacity building for sport in India. SEDA will provide consulting services through the delivery of structured education and training in sports and sports services to Centurion University of Technology and Management. The project will deliver sport and recreation curriculum at the University and across India through schools, colleges and other institutions.

Martin Roberts, who manages the Australian Sports Commission’s Outreach Program, India expressed his support for the project. “As India experiences exponential growth in the physical activity and sport domain there will be a growing need for professionals in fitness training, gym management, sports event management, sports media and management to name a few. These are specialist skills that do not translate into the existing educational framework,” he said.

Martin views the project as crucial in the development of sport in India. “Employment in the Indian sport industry has previously been perceived as not being an aspirational or lucrative career pathway”, Martin said. “In the current climate, with a rising middle class, there has been a realization that sport has an important role in education and health”.

The project has the capacity to impact in a range of areas. “Sport also connects the community at a local, national, regional and international level when India has successful athletes and teams. The sport industry stretches from grassroots participation at the community level to sport entertainment at a national and international level, all of which require employees with specialized skills to deliver quality programs”.

Martin went on to explain the strength and SEDA’s contribution in India. “SEDA’s experience in applied vocational education programs will assist Indian educational institutions to develop courses to provide students with the skills and hands on experience to gain employment in the sports industry and/ or provide a pathway to further education. Given the large manpower requirement in the sports sector in India in the next decade there is clearly a gap in the demand-supply that can be addressed by SEDA’s unique vocational programs and applied targeting around the business of sport”.

Brad Green, a Director at SEDA explained the role SEDA as an organisation could play in India. “A self-supporting and propagating sport industry is dependent on quality service which means highly trained employees with relevant skills education and training. Indian Colleges and universities have been delivering physical education and sport science programs at graduate, post graduate, diploma and certificate level. However, there are few programs that specifically targeting sport business and even less that connect to current industry informed requirements. The industry partnerships and applied learning approach is the strength of SEDA and something that attracted universities to the project”

Brad Green further acknowledged the Australian Sports Commission for its support and the role it has played in promoting Australian and Indian partnerships in the vocational sector. He was also glowing in his comments regarding the role of Austrade in the project. “Tom Calder and his team at Austrade have provided the knowledge, connections and business plans to support SEDA as an Australian business in India. Without the work done by Austrade, many Australian businesses like SEDA would not be working through mutually beneficial relationships and contributing to the growth of both countries”.

Centurion University has four constituent campuses and four satellite centres in Odisha mostly located in remote, tribal dominated & extremist affected districts like Gajapati, Rayagada, Koraput, Keonjhar & Bolangir. The main campuses offer a range of Diploma, Bachelor, Masters and PhD programs in addition to Skill and Vocational Training. Social Entrepreneurship initiatives and the satellite centres are focused primarily on skill development. Centurion University (through its social outreach entity, Gram Tarang) is one of the first partners of the National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) to set up over 50 Skill Training and Capacity Building Centres across the country and aims to train 100,000 youth per annum by 2022.

Professor Mishra stated that the University is proud to have entered into partnership with the Government of Odisha, Government of India, corporates and non-government agencies to provide vocational training with job assurance for BPL, SC & ST youth, who would otherwise be unemployed and unemployable due to lack of adequate education and/or skills.”

He also explained the role the university plays in the region. “Centurion University’s training programmes have also been nationally recognised. In August 2010, Gram Tarang Employability Training Services received the “Best Skills Project in Rural Communities” award at the UK-India Skills Forum Award” organized by FICCI and went on to win a Roll of Honour as well as the Skills Champion awards in the subsequent Global Skill Summit in 2012 & 2013 conducted by FICCI. Gram Tarang was also recognized for its contribution in skill development in the most disadvantaged regions of the country and was awarded “Best Overall Performer” for FY 12-13 by National Skill Development Corporation.

“The SEDA program will help CUTM build a centre of excellence for sports, wellness, and fitness related skills at University level a first of its kind in East, North East & South East India with the help of state of the art infrastructure & equipment, experienced & well trained faculty and SEDA’s curriculum & training content. East India is fast emerging as a hub for sports with excellent facilities like astro-turf hockey stadia (Ranchi, Bhubaneswar), cricket stadia (Raipur, Ranchi & Cuttack) as well as track & field stadia. This centre will help develop skills in the sports sector in India by layering sports education on top of the curriculum of existing schools & colleges and help identify talent who can go on and represent India at a global level. Further, this partnership will navigate and implement sports teachers’ training which will be concurrently holistic and applied.

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