The three day EduSpark Summit’s first panel discussion was called re-writing curriculum for new-age learning. The eminent speakers were: Atlas SkillTech University dean – Atlas School of Film and Animation Jitendra Arora, NID Andhra Pradesh director prof Sekhar Mukherjee, Jagran Lakecity University dean of journalism and creative studies Diwakar Shukla, Vishwakarma University vice-chancellor Siddharth Jabade, and phantomFX CEO, MD and VFX supervisor Bejoy Arputharaj. The session was moderated by business partner- Arena Animation, Geeta bhawan, Indore, Asifa India Core Committee Member, and Horizon Institute of Design founder Sanjay Khimesara.
The session shared insights on how new institutes are setting up with the rising demand of AVGC content; as well as how it has opened opportunities for students to pursue as a career option. Kickstarting the discussion, Arora shared his thoughts about the National Education Policy. He said, “NEP is a welcome change. One of the biggest contributions of NEP is that it stresses on multi-disciplinarity. Multi-disciplinarity is something that has been encouraged by premier institutions like the NIDs and the IITs. When the government stresses on it, it almost becomes a mandate.” Well, the introduction of such mandates has definitely been a boon for the AVGC and the education sector!
The session also discussed that since the AVGC niche is comparatively new and slightly offbeat when compared to the conventional career options, there is a shortage of well-trained teachers. Mukherjee added, “The crisis of good educators and trainers is quite evident. What makes a teacher good is that they first have to practice and then be participatory with the students. Working together to produce something good is important.” Surely, there is a growing demand for skilled professionals in the sector.
Jabade’s Vishwakarma University is setting the right example of how to lead the way. Ensuring that the students get holistic training instead of only aiming to get a job after the course completion is wrong on multiple fronts. He asserted, “We prepare students for life and livelihood and ‘placement’ is a part of it. If you ask me how a candidate is selected for a job, I would say the most important thing to have is the right mindset and the right attitude.” They focus on strengthening academic practices in terms of curriculum, pedagogy, assessment and faculty competence.
The incredible growth of the AVGC sector in the last few years has thrown up massive opportunities as new sources of value have been unlocked in the AVGC Industry. But, it also poses a major challenge in terms of the existing skill-gap in this sector that could potentially blunt its growth over the next five years. The solution to this looming skill-gap crisis is to provide students with focused short-term creative technology courses of an international standard. This will ensure world-class training can be imparted quickly to fresh students and existing manpower can be upskilled to tackle the new challenges faced by the AVGC industry like the advent of virtual production or the development of the metaverse. Commenting on this, Arputharaj added, “We are running out of skilled talents and the talent availability in India is very low. The reason behind this is lack of awareness among students. Awareness about the AVGC industry should start from the school stage itself and go on to the colleges.”
Considering the present day situation, it is crucial for media professionals to be all-rounders or atleast have an interest in fields beyond their niche. Reinstating the thought, Shukla added, “It is very important for any media professional to be connected to different disciplines; not just for their career but also for intellectual perspective. Media professionals require all kinds of skills in either teaching, practising, or learning.”
Lack of quality education being imparted to professionals is leading to lack of trained manpower for outsourcing work. Lack of standardised and quality curriculum also poses a big challenge to this industry. There are only a handful of institutes which are known for quality teaching. Thus, the curriculum needs to be of international standard to ensure that world-class training is being imparted and well-trained manpower is being produced.
Keeping in view this analysis, industry experts have been setting up Centre of Excellence, which will augment the supply of graduates in the AVGC sector.