IAF equips trainees with e-learning tablets at Training Command
Bengaluru: The Indian Air Force (IAF) took its ab-initio training to the next level by embedding ICT (Information and Communications Technology) tools to its syllabus. Launched on a pilot basis, the ‘e-Training Project’, aims at targeting over 9000 trainees across India in future.
Launching the unique initiative at the Electrical and Instrument Training Institute here in Bengaluru, Air Marshal S R K Nair, Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Training Command, termed the move as a giant leap. “It’s a giant leap in the concept of training in the IAF and a major shift from IAF’s conventional mode of training. Any fighter force depends on human resources and innovative approach in teaching is the key,” Air Marshal Nair said.
The top IAF official said the e-training concept is first of its kind to be ever launched by armed forces in India. “There are many new assets being inducted into the IAF, be it the C-130J, Rafale etc. The Tejas too will come in the future. It is important that we catch up with the changing times and upgrade our training aids,” says Air Marshal Nair, hailing from Thiruvananthapuram.
Focus on English language
He said with most of the modern fighter manuals in English greater focus is now given on improving language as well.
“We get trainees from all parts of India and English is bit of a concern with their rural background. Through the e-learning platform, we are now addressing this concern by unique teaching methods. The new concept will bring a sea of change to IAF’s training pattern,” says Air Marshal Nair.
He said the pilot project is in line with the vision of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘Digital India’ initiative. Being implemented as part of IAF’s ambitious modernisation plan, the project gives tablet access to the trainees 24x7. “In the first phase in six months, around 420 trainees would benefit and another batch would come in the next phase. Based on the assessment we would expand this training module to other units as well,” says Air Marshal Nair.
To a specific query from Mathrubhumi, Air Marshal Nair said that one Pilatus Basic Trainer Aircraft from Air Force Academy (Hyderabad) and four Hawks Advanced Jet Trainers from Bidar would participate during the Iron Fist exercise from March 18.
Air Marshal Nair has the unique distinction of being selected to lead the first Indian contingent for airborne exercises to three different countries. He was also instrumental in commencing operations both by AN-32 and C-130 Hercules to 'Daulat Beg Olde (the highest airstrip in the world on the Indo-China border). He has himself landed on the AN-32.
560-minute teaching module
Earlier giving details about the e-training project, an IAF official said that the idea was first mooted at the Air Force Commanders’ Conference in 2013. “A study group was set up under the leadership of AOC, Air Force Station Jalahalli to come out with a road map. The proposal was approved by the Air HQ in 2014. The supply order for the ICT tools for the Rs 2.2. crore project was issued in July 2015,” the official said.
According to him, the 560-minute teaching module in two levels would expose the trainees to a variety of learning tools. “It’s our philosophy of ‘training first, training always’ and the new e-project fits in perfectly into it. In future, all courses will be e-enabled and we are developing an exhaustive content. This would change the dimension of training in the IAF,” the official said.
Air Marshal Raghunath Nambiar, Senior Air Staff Officer, Air Force Training Command, too was present during the occasion.