Bringing in the laurels

What started as a discussion between friends, soon became a learning experience for Shubham Jain

WorldSkills is an organisation that has built a movement, and is changing the lives of young people by promoting different skills. Every two years, it organises world championships of vocational skills, which is held in different parts of the world. It brings together youngsters, industries, governments, and educational institutions, to promote the benefits of and need for skilled trade professionals.

This year, the competition was held in Kazan, Russia, wherein more than 1,500 competitors from 60 countries competed in 55 skill competitions at this mega event. This year, India participated in 44 skills including mobile robotics, prototype modelling, hairdressing, baking, confectionery and patisserie, car painting and floristry, among others.

Start of the journey

Among the 48 participants who represented India, Shubham Singh bagged the ‘Medal of Excellence in Cyber Security’. Shubham is pursuing his final year of Bachelor’s of Computer Applications (BCA) from Lovely Professional University, Phagwara, Punjab. He first got to know about the India Skills competition (the first level of WordSkills) through a friend. The first phase of the competition was held in September 2018, which was an online test of different challenges consisting of topics such as web testing, forensics, malware analysis, reverse engineering and so on.

After scoring third place in this round, he headed to Delhi for the finals in which he was awarded first place. Shubham was then invited by the National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) India to participate in the WorldSkills International Competition, where he took part in cyber security skills competition along with Swapnil, his teammate from Delhi.

To prepare for the competition, he had to first polish his skills in areas such as cryptography and encryption, which he was able to do with the help of his professor, Gurupreet Kaur, who guided him whenever he faced any challenges, especially in cryptography. Afterwards, Shubham and Swapnil both trained with Infosys for a month which enhanced their skillsets. In August 2019, they both went to Kazan, Russia, along with the other participants. The main part of the WordSkills competition was held over four days in which the participants were given specific tasks and challenges. They were evaluated and scored by experts in the field on their ability to ‘attack’ the opposing system, as well as defend their own system from being ‘attacked’.

“Initially, I did not know that the competition would be this big,” says Shubham. “However, this competition helped me in more ways than I expected and I was able to learn a lot from it.” He goes on to say how his professors were a big support during the entire process of the competition, from helping in clearing doubts to helping him catch up in the classes he had to miss during the training period.

Future funding

Talking more about his experience at Kazan, Shubham adds, “I interacted with many participants from various skill backgrounds, as well as from those in my own skills set from other countries. There was a lot for me to take away from this opportunity and this experience will help me in the future.” Shubham will be felicitated by the Government of India and National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM), later this month.

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