Nidhidyasan the path to sustainable learning

Vedic approach to education

Pilot training is undergoing a paradigm shift from competency Based Training (CBT) to Competency based Training and Assessment (CBTA).

What is CBTA?

CBTA is an holistic approach to pilot training that provides the progressive and continuous development and assessment of pilot competencies.

ICAO Definition – Training and assessment that are characterised by performance orientation, with emphasis on the standard of performance and their measurement, and the development of training to the specified performance standards

Traditional training v CBTA training

Separated theoretical and practical training
All training phases develop the pilot competencies and TEM
Each training phase ends in known test profile/ rote learn exam hurdle with pass/fail standard
Progressive and continuous training and assessment with grades + summative assessments at milestones
Prescriptive hours based courses
Output directed, iterative, ISD driven course design
Devices defined
Training need can determine the required device characteristics- enabling
more effective and efficient training and encouragement of device innovation
Prescriptive regulation and oversight
Performance based oversight with focus on course quality and effective

Loosing the plot

CBTA was developed with the intent to provide continuous development and assessment of pilot competencies. One size fits all training is detrimental to the learning experience and the biggest cause of loss of motivation. What is in it for me? Unless the curriculum addresses this issue actively, the initial training may be of some value but continuous training looses the purpose.

Vedic solution to sustainable learning

The three-step education process, namely: 

Shravan, Manan, and Nidhidhyasan. (Click to view my presentation at the European Airline Training Symposium)

  • SHRAVAN: essentially translates to but not plain listening; it implies listening attentively without interruption and with an absolute focus to any data, information, knowledge or wisdom.
  • MANAN: is the process of memorizing everything you’ve listened or learned without manipulation or distort emotions.
  • NIDHIDYASAN: To ensure that your mind remains unswayed by people with ulterior motives, Rishis suggested the process of Nidhidhyasan – a continuous pursuit of questioning, challenging, re-learning, rejecting or re-affirming everything which you have learned. In this life where change is the only constant, it is vital to keep a watch on your mind and all that it holds. If you do not change – you perish. Refusal to change stems from ignorance. Such ignorance also stems from holding on to irrelevant data, information or knowledge. The only way to check your ignorance is through Nidhidhyasan. 

Your old habits, thought patterns, values, relationships, activities, and ways of relating to others and the world must be re-evaluated in the light of Truth.

Anything that no longer serves you or which is incongruous with your identity as the Self—including adharmic habits that cause unnecessary agitation to your mind, body, or senses—should be weeded out.

The way that you live should be as close a reflection of who you truly are as possible. 


The duration of the first two steps is limited but the third step of Nidhidyasan is life long and a continuous process.

Performance= Resources X Ability X MOTIVATION

In order to maintain standards and continuously evaluate the present, the individual needs to be highly motivated. CBTA does not include motivation as a competency therefore the absence of this important aspect goes unnoticed.

Psychological weakness can be more debilitating than physical exhaustion. When people feel lack of motivation and inspiration, they feel difficult to carry on with the normal chores of life leave alone aim for perfection and competence at work.

Motivation is what drives or inspires people to perform specific actions or indulge in specific behaviors and attitudes to achieve or gain something. It may arise either from an inherent condition or an external situation.

Motivated behavior gives you a sense of purpose and direction in life. It keeps you engaged in tasks that seem to enhance your value, status, esteem, or self-worth. Motivation also makes life purposeful and fulfilling.

Swami Vivekananda alluded the idea of intrinsic motivation through empowerment and reasonable degree of autonomy. An organisational vision that allows the member to experience a sense of calling, accompanied by a sense of conviction that they make a positive difference, and, a culture where the member gets a feeling of belonging will motivate them intrinsically.

mindFly analysis

Knowledge will be eroded with time. Skills won’t remain as sharp and attitudes change with experiences. Therefore the vedic methodology of listening without past experience & bias, internalising and questioning to ensure relevance will ensure that learning levels are sustained with passage of time.

A motivated learner will yearn for more and ensure that the curriculum need analysis updates accordingly. CBTA may be a good beginning but to ensure that the system stays relevant, there is a need to challenge the system continously.

About Capt. Amit Singh

I think therefore I am Airlines Operations and Safety balance expert. A former head of operations/training and safety of successful LCC's in India. An experienced member of the startup teams of these airlines has hands-on experience in establishing airlines systems and processes.

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