2 June : The fourth Capability Enhancement Training Programme (CETP), a Corporate Social Responsibility initiative of the Vardhman Group, began on 6 May 2010 at the Vardhman Training and Development Center. Training is being imparted to the graduate students who belong to the Scheduled Castes and Other Backward Classes of the society. The Prime Minister of India had asked for an affirmative action by the Business Houses to help the disadvantaged section of the society. It was accepted by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and it suggested some constructive measures. Out of the many initiatives suggested by CII, the Chairman of Vardhman Group Of Companies chose to undertake a training programme which is known as Capability Enhancement Training Programme. The objective of this programme is to enable students to compete on merit and to make them employable.
50 students from different colleges of Punjab are participants to the programme this year. The participant colleges are S.C.D. Govt. College and Arya College for Boys, of Ludhiana; Govt. Mohindra College and Govt. Bikram College of Commerce, Patiala; D.A.V. College, Jalandhar and Govt. College, Hoshiarpur. The trainees have different educational backgrounds- B.Com, B.B.A., B.C.A. and B.A.
The students are provided food and lodging facilities free of cost. Besides that, they get a daily allowance of Rs. 55.
Taking into account the needs of industry, the programme was designed by Col. (Retd.) P.S. Choudhry, GM, Education and Administration, Vardhman Group. Students are trained in the areas of Quantitative Aptitude, General English, General Knowledge and Public Speaking. These are the main areas that a candidate is tested on, for any kind of job. Besides these, they are trained in personality development and communication skills.
Apart from the above, sessions on Career Awareness are taken by Dr. Ashwani Bhalla of S.C.D. Govt. College, Ludhiana. The students got acquainted with the opportunities in Insurance, Banking and Retail sectors; Financial services and Manufacturing concerns. A separate session on opportunities in the Indian Army was held by Director, Recruitment, Indian Army (North Zone).
Implementation of this program is different from that of the traditional education system. It is an effective tool of learning. Teachers from some of the best colleges in Ludhiana as well as professional trainers train the students in English, Quantitative Aptitude, General Knowledge, Communication skills, Stress Management etc. Tests are conducted to assess the progress of the students. Two summer trainees (MBA HR) from University Business School, Chandigarh, appraise the performance of the students on a regular basis. They try to identify gaps, if any, in the required level of competencies of the students and give them personal attention.
To enable the students to face an interview, whether for job or for higher studies, exercises on interview tips, public speaking and awareness of economic terms are held. Students also underwent Psychological testing to judge their personality and were counseled by Dr. Anuradha, a renowned psychologist. To keep themselves fit, students do Yoga regularly and play sports such as Volleyball, Badminton and Table Tennis, in the evening.
Besides academic training, the students are also motivated to succeed in life. Mr. S.P. Oswal, Chairman, Mr. Sachit Jain, Executive Director and other senior managers of the Vardhman Group addressed the students on the importance of being work-oriented.
Students are also exposed to some aspects of Management, through Lectures and team exercises. Thus, overall development of personality is being emphasized. The students get opportunity to appear for interviews for Campus Recruitment.
After four weeks of this 35 day training programme, the students themselves feel a positive change in their personality. They have incorporated discipline in their routine. The day starts with an hour of Yoga. Lectures continue through the day and in the evening, the students do their assignments in small groups. As a result of this rigorous academic training as well as training on communication skills, the students have started thinking seriously about their careers. The programme, they say, has provided them the direction in their life. They are willing to start their career with confidence and energy.
*They feel that there is a huge difference between the college education and the course that is followed at this programme. According to most of the students, discipline, punctuality and work culture were missing at college and that the emphasis was on theoretical aspects of education. Extra-curricular activities and personal attention were lacking in the system. Hardly anything was done to make them job-ready. A trainee Baljinder said that he learnt in 32 days, what he could not learn in last three years.
In the words of a trainee, Pankaj, the programme has made him aware of his own self and has been able to bring out inner thoughts and capabilities. Students have learnt the importance of time-management.
Willingness to work hard has been instilled in the students. A trainee, Sukhdev Singh, has seen difficult days. He lost his mother in his childhood and now, his father is unable to work due to prolonged illness. His eldest brother, who is married and has three kids, is the sole earner in the family. It is difficult to make ends meet with a monthly family income of mere Rs. 4000. Now being graduate himself, it has become the responsibility of Sukhdev to support his family. Through the training at the CETP, he has realized the importance of setting a goal in life and striving to achieve it.
The students feel lucky that they got the opportunity to attend the valuable programme, the lessons of which will remain with them throughout their life.