How a Vedic solution can make all the difference in pilot training

One-size-fits-all training is detrimental to the learning experience and the biggest cause of loss of motivation

How a Vedic solution can make all the difference in pilot training
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Pilot training is undergoing a paradigm shift from Competency-based Training (CBT) to Competency-based Training and Assessment (CBTA).

What is CBTA?

CBTA is a holistic approach to pilot training that provides for 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 its measurement, and the development of training to the specified performance standards.


Traditional training vs CBTA training

Separated theoretical and practical training.

All training phases develop pilot competencies and TEM.

Each training phase ends in known test profile/rote-learning of exam hurdles with pass/fail standards.

Progressive and continuous training and assessment with grades + summative assessment at milestones.

Prescriptive hour-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 a focus on course quality and effective processes.

Losing 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 there in it for me? Unless the curriculum addresses this issue actively, the initial training may be of some value but continuous training loses the purpose.

Vedic solution to sustainable learning

A three-step education process, namely Shravan, Manan and Nidhidhyasan.

Shravan: essentially translates to but not plain listening; it implies listening attentively without interruption and with an absolute focus on any data, information, knowledge or wisdom.

Manan: is the process of memorising everything you’ve listened to or learned without manipulation or distorted emotions.

Nidhidhyasan: 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 Nidhidhyasan is a life-long and 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 a 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 behaviours and attitudes to achieve or gain something. It may arise either from an inherent condition or an external situation.

Motivated behaviour 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 to the idea of intrinsic motivation through empowerment and a 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 experience and bias, internalising and questioning to ensure relevance will ensure that learning levels are sustained with the passage of time.

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

Captain Amit Singh is a training and safety expert with over 30 years of experience in the commercial air transport industry. He has been associated with two startup low-cost carriers and has hands-on experience with their needs and challenges. He has been a part of the senior management at IndiGo and Air Asia India. Captain Singh has been speaking at international fora on training and safety. He is also the author of mindFly the Human Factors blog.

(This article first appeared in