The Indian lighting industry recognises the need of skilled workforce, when SLNP reported 30% failure in its initial stage of LED streetlight installation. This gave birth to the genesis of streetlight training program with EESL. To know more about the training program, its progress, and future course of action, we met Krishan Sujan, COO, MLS, who is also the Training Program Coordinator, Elcoma. Edited excerpts of the conversation are here to follow:
Where did the idea come from?
The art of instilling the skills started a couple of years back when the Central government flagged off its quite ambitious Streetlight National Programme (SLNP) in 2016. The target set was to install/replace more than 30 million streetlights by the year 2019 across the length and breadth of the country. Following which, some very successful pilot programmes were carried out.
How many technicians have been trained?
We have trained over 700 technician/field personnel for EESL in Street Light National Program (SLNP) across India during the past one year. And to train these many technicians, till date around 30 such programs have been conducted in various cities across country. All these technicians are equipped with the special skills needed to install the high-tech LED streetlights. We have also conducted health and safety programs for EESL and industry personnel.
When did the industry recognise the need of training?
In a survey conducted by Elcoma members, it was found out that during the retrofitting/installation of the LED streetlights under the SLNP, proper and recommended installation & maintenance processes were not necessarily followed in line with the guidelines issued. This led to some field level failures and in some cases even replacement of the newly deployed streetlights.
Why did this failure happen?
This could happen because most of the streetlight installations were carried out by technicians / field workers / electricians who were experienced in traditional streetlights. They weren’t properly trained for this special project. It was also marked that quite a few technicians employed/hired for the job were not even aware of the proper procedures involved in deployment of LED streetlights. As a result, failures were inevitable. “Moreover, workers’ safety was also an issue as some mishaps were reported in the meantime.”
What made you people to impart training?
In order to ensure fail-proof installation and maintenance of the LED streetlights, it was finally decided to impart formal training to the streetlight technicians. EESL then requested ELCOMA as an industry body to enable, execute and manage a training and assessment program to produce well-equipped and properly trained, certified Streetlight Technicians. However, the responsibility was not at all easy as this is a massive exercise covering the entire length and breadth of the country where hundreds of technicians, project workers, supervisors and other personnel are required to be trained & skilled.
What all comes under the Training Programme?
ELCOMA and EESL jointly created a training program for Streetlight Technicians covering Installation, Operations and Maintenance of the LED Streetlights in addition to Safety Practices during field work. The programme has been designed to provide classroom and practical hands-on training to streetlight technicians, who after the successful completion of the course in due time, are issued Certificates jointly by ELCOMA and EESL.
Who provide the training? What about the program?
While the training is provided by ELCOMA certified trainers, the training programme is based on Qualifications Packs of National Occupational Standards (NOS), wherein the curriculum/course has been approved by EESL, ELCOMA and Power Sector Skills Council. To execute the programme and impart training, ELCOMA has appointed National Institute for Technical Skills (NITS), which is a PSSC-certified training partner. NITS has been the authorised training partner to offer various training programs designed by ELCOMA. Under the supervision of ELCOMA, NITS is being mentored by Industry to nourish the skill of people working in lighting industry
Apart from this, which all programs are there?
Besides LED Streetlights, ELCOMA has been offering various other technical skill development training programs for government and industry for products and services in lighting and electrical appliances domains. Currently, it offers technical training programs for LED Streetlights, Solar Streetlights, Domestic Electrician, Health & Safety and Refrigeration & Air Conditioning. All these programs have been developed along with Power Sector Skills Council (PSSC) and Electronic Sector Skills Council (ESSCI), of course, based on National Occupation Standards (NOS) of National Skills Development Council (NSDC).
What would be the next in the training portfolio?
The next push for growth in the Industry is going to focus on solar based installations and intelligent lighting for which ELCOMA has already progressed towards design and development of training programs specifically targeted at imparting training on solar streetlight installation and maintenance along with smart lighting & CCMS, and intelligent lighting design. ELCOMA/NITS have already published three training guides for candidates attending these programs. In case, anyone is interested in any of these courses, can get in touch with the concerned person by writing to firstname.lastname@example.org.