The Ministry of Education, All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) CyberPeace Foundation (CPF) have jointly launched Project eSaksham. It is a digital training programme focusing on developing skills in the cybersecurity domain, exclusively for college students and teachers.
The eSaksham training will be conducted at four levels. A total of 5 lakh students and educators will be trained through the online sessions. As many as 25000 CyberPeace Corps volunteers and 500 CyberPeace fellows will also be created through various levels of training, and 50 CyberPeace Clubs will be set up across the country.
Level 1 will be a two-hour online workshop on the basic concepts of navigating cyberspace, including cybersecurity, netiquette, and introduction to new technologies. A total of five lakh participants will be trained in level 1. Level 2 of the training will be a four-day workshop for 25,000 participants, who will be shortlisted through an assessment test at the end of level 1. The participants will also be enrolled in the CyberPeace Corps volunteer programme and will work on ongoing as well as independent projects, focusing on the interest areas of the participants.
For Level 3, a total of 5000 participants will be shortlisted, who will undergo week-long training sessions customized to suit their interests and skills. This level of training will include IoT security, cloud security, blockchain, and infrastructure security.
The final level, level 4 will be for 500 CyberPeace Fellows, who will be shortlisted through a series of assessments. An intense 30-day intensive training session will be conducted in collaboration with the government, academia, and the industry. They will also be connected to mentors and will have access to laboratories and cyber ranges, to further develop their skills. Successful completion of training shall make the participants eligible for a certificate by AICTE and CyberPeace Foundation.
The initiative was kicked off by Prof Anil D. Sahasrabudhe, chairperson of AICTE in virtual mode on May 17 which is marked as Telecommunication Day and Information Society Day.
“The aim of the programme is to build a community where the internet strengthens instead of becoming a weakness, while making the youth industry ready and to also create a secure ecosystem where research work can be transformed into market-ready products,” the CPF said in an official statement. This capacity-building project was undertaken owing to the lack of manpower in the domain. According to NASSCOM, India had a shortage of one million cyber security professionals in 2020. The labour crunch is expected to hit approximately 3.5 million unfilled jobs by 2021, it added.
Launching Project eSaksham Chairman, AICTE, Ministry of Education, Prof. Anil D. Sahasrabudhe said, “The eSaksham project will teach the participants how to identify and mitigate those challenges. Indian students are already very tech and IT savvy, participating in the eSaksham training will be a way to contribute to society.”