Sahay ‘17, the annual social summit organized by Vikasana, the social impact club at IIM Bangalore, brought together eminent personalities such as Ms. Pritha Dutt (Empower Pragati), Mr. KG Mohan (RuralShores Business Services Pvt. Ltd), Ms. Poonam Sinha (NIESBUD), Ms. Anupama Gowda (Workbench Projects), and Mr. Dipesh Sutariya (Enable India), to shed light on the theme of “Upskill and Upscale – Employment Generation and Skill Development in India.”
Prof. Vasanthi Srinivasan set the context for the event by stating that skilling people for India meant skilling people for the world. She stated the importance of recognizing that there is going to emerge a strange situation where there will be a demand in the global labor market rather than in the local labor market, for local skills. She raised the pressing question of how one had to bring forth the informal path dependencies to public and social sector interventions. “Scale comes from scale structures and not efficiency based structures”, she echoed.
Ms. Pritha Dutt from Empower Pragati, delivered the keynote address. She brought attention to the stark reality that if we do not skill the growing labour force, the demographic dividend will turn into a demographic disaster. She explained that the reason channelization and formal recognition of a skillset mattered was because, without it, one would stick to a narrow geography and prospects would depend on just the contacts and not the skillset itself.
Mr. KG Mohan (RuralShores Business Services Pvt. Ltd) spoke about people based out of rural India delivering telecom, industry services to some of the biggest telecom providers in the country. Taking the participants through an inspiring journey of the organization, he elaborated on the nuances of teaching for skill building and the challenges faced during that process.
Taking the event forward, Mr. Amit Gupta, gave an interesting insight into the need for bridging the existing “business-society” gap. He emphasized that demographic dividend does not mean people, it meant productive people, and productive people were to fulfill the three ‘e’s – education, employment and employability. The unholy trinity of cost, scale, quality and technological disruptions outpacing capacity of individuals & organizations to evolve were also covered by him.
The second half of the talk series began with a panel discussion that was organized to discuss the reach of skill development in our society (Sudha Srinivasan, B S Raghupathy, Nataraj A S, Dipesh Sutariya). It highlighted the critical need for scaling up concerted efforts to enhance skill development in India. The context of the discussion was the country’s transition to a knowledge based economy, through the creation of a professional skilled workforce. Also discussed were governmental efforts, especially in the recent past, in the arena of skill development through various schemes and programmes, management structures and processes. The challenges encountered within these initiatives were discussed as well. Further, pathways were identified for countering these challenges and effective implementation of these programmes.
The panel discussion was followed by a talk by Ms. Poonam Sinha on how NIESBUD is helping the marginalized sections of society and other backward classes by promoting self-employment.
The day concluded with a crisp and informative session on skilling through digital DIY by Ms. Anupama Gowda where she talked about how innovative industries and high-growth jobs require more skilled & empowered workers with the ability to respond flexibly to complex problems, communicate effectively, manage information, work in teams and produce new knowledge. She emphasized on how Digital DIY is envisaged as a creative practice, which may engage a wider audience in the development of these skills, thereby increasing their self-confidence and empowerment.
With pressing questions raised and value-adding experiences of the speakers shared, the entire event was a great platform for the participants to interact with the speakers and gain an insight into the opportunities and challenges in training individuals and creating new jobs in India.
Team Vikasana – Organisers of Sahay ’17