The National Institute of Communication Finance (NICF) is an apex level training institute, operating under the aegis of the Department of Telecommunications, Ministry of Communications, which caters to the training needs of Indian Posts and Telecom Accounts and Finance Service (IP&TAFS) officers. The Posts and Telecom (P&T) Accounts Cadre has a long and illustrious history dating back to the British colonial era in India, when the Posts and Telegraph Department was established in the latter half of the 19th century. The P&T accounts unit continued to operate under the jurisdiction of the Controller and Auditor General of India (CAG) until 1972, when a separate Indian Posts and Telecom Accounts and Finance Service (IP&TAFS) cadre was created as an organized accounts cadre of the Government of India and the first direct recruitment to the cadre started in 1974 through the prestigious Civil Services Examination. The newly-recruited IP&TAFS officers were initially trained at the Postal Staff College, but subsequently the Advanced Level Telecom Training Centre (ALTTC) in Ghaziabad was designated for their training. However, in order to provide up-to-date training in a rapidly evolving telecom sector, the need for a dedicated training centre for IP&TAFS officers was keenly felt. Hence, the National Institute of Communication Finance (NICF) was established in 2007 with the vision to provide the requisite training in a state-of-the-art campus.
The NICF caters to the training needs of officers in the Department of Telecom at varying levels of seniority and at different stages of their career. Whereas fresh recruits are imparted rigorous training for almost two years in order to equip them with thorough professional knowledge of the workings of the department, officers at both middle and senior management level are also given mid-career trainings to acquaint them with latest developments in the ever-changing telecom sector. Apart from conventional classroom training, the officers are also deputed for on-the-job training for practical hands-on experience which helps them to further hone their skills. Moreover, the officers are trained not only in the areas of their core competencies such as Spectrum Management, License Fee, Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF), National Optical Fibre Network (NOFN), Technology Familiarization, etc., but also in soft skills such as Stress Management, Communication Skills, Leadership, Team Building, Interpersonal Skills, etc. in order to further enhance their effectiveness and efficiency.
As a training institute, the NICF strives to transcend the limitations of classroom training by organizing various workshops, conferences, symposia etc. to encourage participants to exchange best practices and ideas and learn about new trends in the telecom sector in a congenial environment. Of late, the NICF has also ventured into the newer areas in the telecom sector in which the need for human capacity building has been most acutely felt. Therefore, a plethora of training activities have been organized ranging from Digital Payments to Digital Financial Services and Digital Inclusion. Moreover, the NICF has also emerged as a key Training and Research Centre for Telecom Policies, Spectrum Management, Planning & Licensing, USO Regulation, and so on. Furthermore, to provide greater fillip to the goal of human capacity development in the field of Information and Communications Technology (ICT), the NICF regularly undertakes training of trainers which creates a ripple effect in terms of human capacity building in the field units of the Department of Telecom located across different regions of the country.
Overall, the NICF seeks to stay abreast of new trends regarding the role of training institutes in a rapidly evolving and changing ICT environment. As the NICF plays a crucial role in the field of Human Resource Training, Training of Policymakers and Trainers’ Training, it has emerged as a nodal institute that is central to human capacity development in the field of ICT in India.