The “Skill India” theme at the G20 – S20 meeting held at Indian Institute of Technology Mandi on 25th June 2023 provided a platform to bring together delegates from the public and private sectors to emphasize skill-based education, enhancing entrepreneurship and service skills among Indian youth. This event sought to cultivate practical industry skills in alignment with the vision of making India self-reliant (Atma Nirbhar).
Speaking during his inaugural address, Prof. Laxmidhar Behera, Director, IIT Mandi, said, “Skill India is an essential catalyst for Atmanirbhar Bharat. In this regard, we must focus on sustainable development. UN has underlined 17 parameters for sustainable development and IIT Mandi is working on multiple initiatives related to these goals. Verticals such as Bioenergy, Climate control agriculture, Biomedicine, along with the Centre for Sustainable Development at the Institute are a few examples of it with a goal to create skilled workforce. With these initiatives, we also aim to promote entrepreneurial opportunities for the youth of our country.”
Speaking about Skill India, Chief Guest, Hon’ble Deputy Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh, Shri Mukesh Agnihotri said, “The state government and IIT Mandi will work hand-in-hand to work towards skilling the youth. The government has established multiple Skill Development Centres in the state. Collectively we must make sure the projects are implemented on the ground level for the youth of our state and the country, Electric Vehicles are the future. We must work on indigenizing the technologies to make sure sustainable, affordable solutions are created in this field. In this spirit, I would like to announce the handover of Skill Development Centre, Una, to IIT Mandi as a satellite centre for skill development of the public at large. On this occasion, IIT Mandi feels empowered by partnering with the state government in developing a skill development center at Una.”
Speaking during the event, Shri Kaul Singh Thakur ji, Former Member of the Himachal Pradesh Legislative Assembly, mentioned, “We are happy to witness the activities and initiatives taken by IIT Mandi. The Institute has progressed rapidly in a very short period. I am confident this institute will help the state government in making multifold all-round development.”
The One-day conclave on Skill India included multiple guest talks from the public and private bodies on the importance of skill India. Some glimpse of it includes
While speaking at the event on Changing Landscape of Vocational Education & Training, Dr. Vinita Aggarwal, Executive Member, National Council for Vocational Education and Training (NCVET), said, “The Indian government has recognized the importance of skill development in driving economic growth, reducing unemployment, and addressing the skills gap in various industries. Given the favorable demographic structure, huge workforce and gigantic unorganized sector, the scope of vocational training and skilling in India is immense and holds great potential for addressing the country’s employment and economic development challenges.”
Dr. Neeta Pradhan Das, GM, Strategy and Future of Work, National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC), mentioned, “The future of work presents a new world of opportunities, however, the debate on how well we can manage the transition steered by technology enhancement and the changing work contexts to ensure no one is left behind is open ended. This rapidly changing world of work has brought the themes of “skilling”, “future of work” and “inclusive growth” back on the global agenda.”
Dr. Rita Sharma, Director, State Council of Educational Research and Training (SCERT), highlighted, “the importance of skilled teachers in the successful implementation of National Education Policy 2020, which emphasizes holistic development and vocational education.”
Other key sessions included:
Ø From Dropouts to College Students: Making School Education Meaningful for All by Prof. Manish Jain, Centre for Creative Learning, Indian Institute of Technology Gandhinagar
Ø Empowering Teachers: Unlocking India’s Potential by Dr. Rita Sharma, Director, State Council of Educational Research and Training (SCERT)
Ø Product Design Skills: Way to Success by Prof. Inderdeep Singh, Head Department of Design, Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee
Ø Skilling Education & Entrepreneur Initiatives for Inclusive Growth at the Dayalbagh Education Institutes by Dr. Akbar Ali, Dayalbagh Educational Institute (DEI)
IIT Mandi has established the Center for Continuing Education (CCE), to focus on skill development, and collaborative efforts to empower the underprivileged. In collaboration with HPKVN scheme, the Institute launched five different courses to help Himachali Youth to enhance their abilities from industrial, academic, and research perspectives making them ready for the job market and will be launching three new-age skill courses next month. In addition to this, the Institute is also launching certificate and advanced certificate courses on Data Science, AI, and Machine learning in collaboration with NSDC.
IIT Mandi is dedicated to nurturing skilled professionals in various fields, such as sustainable development, climate-controlled agriculture, Al and robotics, drone technology, cloud computing, cyber-physical systems, manufacturing, and automation. This contributes to national initiatives like Make-in-India and fulfils the vision of our esteemed Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, to establish India as the Skill Capital of the world.