Shri Dharmendra Pradhan launches Project ODISERV

New Delhi, March 2024.

Union Minister of Education and Skill Development & Entrepreneurship, Shri Dharmendra Pradhan, launched Project ODISERV today in Sambalpur to prepare young graduates of Odisha for employment opportunities in the financial services sector.

While speaking at the event, Shri Pradhan said that the Project ODISERV will empower the youth of the country, make them more employable and fulfil their aspirations. He also mentioned how NEP 2020 is bridging the gap between education and skilling, creating more synergies and allowing students to acquire job-ready skills along with academic knowledge.

He informed that 1100 students in Odisha have already been trained under Project ODISERV and a few of them have also received job offers today. He congratulated all the candidates who have been placed today. Shri Pradhan expressed his gratitude to Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, for envisioning of making India’s youth future and industry ready. Project ODISERV is a perfect example of industry-academia collaboration, he added.

Shri Pradhan also mentioned that the 100-hour training program will equip Odisha’s youth with crucial skills required in the banking, finance and insurance industries. The training program will boost competencies, increase the employability of Yuva Shakti of Odisha and prepare a future-ready workforce, he said.

Shri Sanjiv Bajaj, Chairman & Managing Director, Bajaj Finserv, said that skilling and employment of youth will power the demographic dividend and is key to achieving India’s goal of becoming the world’s third largest economy. Skilling is thus integral to Bajaj Finserv’s social impact initiatives, he said. He mentioned how the CPBFI programme was started to fill the talent gap in the financial services sector and how the family incomes of beneficiaries increase significantly when participants secure employment after their certification. He also said that their partnership with NSDC will help scale up CPBFI in colleges across India. The launch of Project Odiserv is significant as Odisha gears to emerge as a hub for entrepreneurship and start-ups through the recently announced 100 cube initiative, Shri Bajaj said.

National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) under the aegis of the Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship (MSDE) and Bajaj Finserv Ltd. today unveiled their first skill development initiative – Project Odiserv at Gangadhar Meher University (GMU) in Sambalpur, Odisha. Project Odiserv is the inaugural skill development initiative, following the partnership announced by NSDC and Bajaj Finserv in December 2023 in the presence of Shri Dharmendra Pradhan.

The project will impart knowledge and skills to graduates, especially first-generation graduates, through Bajaj Finserv’s Certificate Programme for Banking Finance & Insurance (CPBFI) programme, a 100-hour comprehensive training programme that prepares youth from tier-II and tier-III cities for employment in the financial services sector. The launch of Project Odiserv is expected to transform the landscape of skill development in Odisha.

Project Odiserv envisages launching the CPBFI programme in 60 colleges of Odisha across 11 cities and 10 districts including Sambalpur, Dhenkanal, Angul, Cuttack, Khordha, Balasore and Puri. Some of the colleges covered include Bhuban Women’s Degree College, Mathakaragola Degree College, Sambalpur University and SCS College. Of this, CPBFI has already been launched in 30 colleges, enrolling 1100 students and delivering 25,000 hours of training in a short span of two months.

Under the partnership with NSDC & Bajaj Finserv will introduce the CPBFI programme in 22 states across India, covering over 400 colleges. The partnership aims to initially build the capabilities of 20,000 candidates through the CPBFI programme. The 100-hour programme is developed in collaboration with industry experts, training partners, educational institutions, and psychological health institutes. The programme’s curriculum adapts to the ever-evolving landscape of finance, banking, and insurance and incorporates the latest industry trends, technological advancements, and best practices. The partnership with NSDC will be elevated on Skill India Digital Hub (SIDH)— a comprehensive information gateway for all government-led skilling and entrepreneurship initiatives to ensure students are not just academically equipped but also excel in the financial sector.

Additionally, the programme will collaborate with banks and other financial stakeholders, financial institutions, and insurance companies to foster new growth opportunities for students and provide access to internships, on-the-job training, and a first-hand glimpse into best industry practices.