Private sector must be ‘early warning system’ on future skills requirement of India: MoS IT Rajeev Chandrasekhar

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October 29, 2021 9:11 PM

Industry must forecast the skills that would be required in the country over the next 1-3 years, said Chandrasekhar, who is also minister of state for skill development and entrepreneurship.

Private sector must be 'early warning system' on future skills requirement of India: MoS IT Rajeev Chandrasekhar"In the context of government's commitment, for example, in the digital future skills (it) is amply evident. We have committed about Rs 450 crore of capital to it. That is not a small amount of contribution...a large part of that is remaining unspent," he said. (File photo)

The private sector needs to be an “early warning system” to forecast future skills requirement of the Indian economy, with a deeper involvement not only as a training partner but as a financial and employment stakeholder, Minister of State for IT Rajeev Chandrasekhar said on Friday.

Industry must forecast the skills that would be required in the country over the next 1-3 years, said Chandrasekhar, who is also minister of state for skill development and entrepreneurship.

The industry must work closely with skilling partners and government agencies to ensure that leading courses are developed, designed, accredited, certified and available in those areas, he added.

Speaking at the launch of FutureSkills Prime — a MeitY-Nasscom initiative to reskill and upskill professionals in emerging technologies, the minister noted that India has a large training network that delivers programs all the way from entry-level skills to specialised skills.

“…we have to have the private sector be the early warning system of what skills are required by our economy…I think this is an important area to characterise the partnership between government and the industry,” Chandrasekhar pointed out.

Calling for a deeper institutional involvement of the industry, a model that has worked well in many areas, the minister hoped that the private sector involvement would be significant in areas of skilling and upskilling too.

The government is firmly-committed to skill development agenda, ensuring supply of skilled manpower, strengthening training framework, skill upgradation, and building new skill capabilities.

“In the context of government’s commitment, for example, in the digital future skills (it) is amply evident. We have committed about Rs 450 crore of capital to it. That is not a small amount of contribution…a large part of that is remaining unspent,” he said.

Industry body Nasscom has contributed some amount of capital and is contributing, through private sector partners, with regards to courseware.

“…but we need to get private sector much more deeper involved and I mean as not just as training stakeholders but as financial and employment stakeholders,” the minister said.

The skilling ecosystem and its ‘reimagined framework’ is not only about entry-level skilling but rather about “dynamic ladder of skilling, reskilling and upskilling”.

While ‘ab initio’ skilling is easy to measure in terms of employment, reskilling and upskilling should focus on career progression as well as employment, he emphasised.

The universe is coming together to give the tech ecosystem a huge opportunity for growth, Chandrasekhar said, observing that the new education policy, skilling paradigm, government partnership, and rapid pace of technology adoption and digitalisation globally all represent a ‘Y2K’ like moment.

“This is really an inflection point for us. We have to seize the moment as an inflection point. The next two to three years, we’ve got to get our act together very smartly,” he said.

As India moves up the value chain and gets into new areas of artificial intelligence and emerging technologies, the competition landscape would become “much more intense”, he cautioned.

“The competition intensity and therefore the skilling intensity is really part of the formula for success that we should be focusing on,” Chandrasekhar said.

FutureSkills Prime aims to create an up-skilling and re-skilling ecosystem in 10 emerging technologies, including artificial intelligence, Internet of Things, blockchain, 3D printing, augmented reality/virtual reality, cyber security and cloud computing to facilitate enhancement of skills of IT professionals in tune with their aspirations and aptitude, an official release said.

The pan-India network of C-DAC and NIELIT centres are also being leveraged to extend the reach of this programme to smaller towns and remote locations through blended-learning programmes.

FutureSkills Prime is also providing an opportunity for training of government officials, specially the technical/ scientific cadres, and making them familiar with the nuances of emerging technologies through industry-curated courses.

Nasscom President Debjani Ghosh, said the digital skilling platform backed by the government and Nasscom provides the perfect recipe towards positioning India as the global hub for emerging technologies and talent.

FutureSkills Prime is generating new entrants for the world of technology, Ghosh added.

Speaking on the occasion, Rishad Premji, chairman of Wipro, noted that India has become one of the biggest IT destinations for enterprises globally with its pricing competitiveness and quality talent.

FutureSkills Prime is ushering a robust paradigm to develop core competencies in emerging technologies, he said.

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