“Framework for digital skills needs to be strengthened for meeting the industry demands, creating a strong industry-skill linkage”: PM Modi

New Delhi, February, 2022.

“It is imperative to prepare the ‘demographic dividend’ of the country as per the demands of the changing job roles”, said Hon’ble Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi at a Post Budget seminar held today. During the webinar, to encourage participation in the skill ecosystem by enabling digital skills, a session was held on the theme — Towards Fostering Strong Industry-Skill Linkage by the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MSDE) with participation from Department of promotion for Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) and Ministry of Tourism. The discussion was a part of a series of seminars inaugurated by Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi. He addressed the first session themed — Digital University: Making World Class Higher Education Accessible for All. The webinar was attended by the government officials, industry experts and representatives of key associations.

During his address, the Prime Minister spoke about the five priority areas — universalization of quality education; skill development; inclusion of India’s ancient experience and knowledge of urban planning and designing into education; internationalization and focus on Animation, Visual-Effects, Gaming and Comic (AVGC). He further stated that DESH Stack e-portal (Digital Ecosystem for Skilling and Livelihood) aims to bring together academic, industry demands and linkages, improves employment prospects and enable the start-up ecosystem.

The webinar led by MSDE was co-chaired by Shri Rajesh Aggarwal, Secretary, MSDE, Shri Anurag Jain, Secretary, DPIIT and Shri G. Kamala Vardhna Rao, Director General, Ministry of Tourism. The panellists for the session were Shri N.S Kalsi, Chairman, National Council for Vocational Education & Training (NCVET); Shri Amber Dubey, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Civil Aviation and Shri Manish Sabharwal, Vice Chairman, Teamlease Services. The session was moderated by Mr. Ved Mani Tiwari, COO, National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC).

Shri Rajesh Aggarwal, Secretary, MSDE shared his thoughts on the latest initiatives announced in the Budget 2022 and expressed his views on how partnerships can be reorientated with the current demands of the industry, he stated, “In the current environment, from agriculture to service sector, the dynamics have completely changed. While the basic human needs remain the same, there is a rapid change in production, distribution, and consumption patterns. Therefore, it is pertinent that we promote soft skills, imbibe the culture of learning, and focus on multiskilling, as these initiatives will empower our youth and promote nation building. Further, DESH will remove information loss between stakeholders and resolve existing asymmetries. It is also critical that academia and industry work hand in hand as the pandemic has taught us that how existing skills can vanish overnight, and new job roles can evolve swiftly. Therefore, a culture of skills should be developed that builds the capabilities of our workforce and prepares them for the World of Work.”

Making his observations, Shri Rajeev Chandrasekhar, Minister of State for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship shared, “We need to build on what we have achieved in skilling in the last five years. The endeavours under Skill India need to be integrated with education, ensuring students can easily access the skill ecosystem. Stronger employment and entrepreneurship outcomes need to be the by-product of our skill initiatives synergising with the dynamic demands of the rapidly changing industries- local and global. We should be able to boost the skill development framework with the launch of DESH Stack e-portal, ensuring India becomes a leader in word-class technology”

Mr. Ved Mani Tiwari, COO, National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) summarised the session and said, “This session has highlighted a clear cohesion among ministries and departments by showcasing their zeal to collaborate and work together. The discussion and suggestions from today’s session are indeed a true reflection of Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi’s vision of Sabka Prayaas, Sabka Vikas. A detailed report incorporating all the suggestions shared by the speakers today will be sent to the PMO on February 24, 2022.”

During the session, Shri Anurag Jain, Secretary, DPIIT, stated, “In her Budget speech, finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman launched PM Gati Shakti National Master Plan for multi-modal connectivity. The initiative is a GIS-based spatial planning and analytical tool with 200+ layers, enabling better visibility to the executing agency. Under this, every department will now have the visibility of each other’s activities providing critical data, bringing about more comprehensive planning and execution of projects. The data exchange among all mode operators will also be brought on the Unified Logistics Interface Platform (ULIP), designed for application programming interface (API), improving international competitiveness. This will bring about a sustainable development driven by seven engines – roads, railways, airports, ports, mass transport, waterways and logistics infrastructure.”

He further emphasized on the need for dynamic skilling environment, exposure to industry requirements (reskilling, upskilling) and NSQF alignment with industry needs

Shri G. Kamala Vardhna Rao, Director General, Ministry of Tourism expressed his views during the seminar and said, “Tourism sector was one of worst hit sectors during the pandemic but today, it is witnessing new opportunities in the form of wellness, adventure and medical tourism, homestays and more. Currently, more than 8.5% of the total employed are in the tourism and allied sectors. This data highlights the importance of manpower in the sector and emphasises on the need for continuously engaging with other sectors while imparting new skills in the workforce. In addition, Drone Shakti will open new avenues for India’s youth as far as digital empowerment

and digital technology for modern generation are concerned. Also, Gati Shakti will give us the opportunity for the placement of skilled labour.”

In the session, broader aspects on strengthening the skill ecosystem by enhancing digital skills were discussed. The panellists shared their views on the recent announcements made by our finance minister in the Budget 2022 including deliberations on DESH stack e-portal that aims to empower citizens to skill, reskill or upskill themselves through digital training. Further, the session covered aspects for the successful implementation of National Skill Qualification Framework (NSQF) targeted to fulfil the dynamic industry needs, expansion of emerging technologies and training through Drone Shakti scheme, helping increase domestic manufacturing and creating employment capabilities. The facets related to PM Gati Shakti programme were also discussed along with the discussions around emerging sunrise sectors, tourism and logistics.

The panellists shared their views on multiple initiatives, elaborated on creating better synergies between skill ecosystem and the industry, and expressed their thoughts on how India can surge towards a future of technology-powered growth with digital skilling. In this regard, Shri N.S Kalsi, Chairman, National Council for Vocational Education & Training (NCVET), stated, “The pandemic has accelerated the usage of technology in our day-to-day life. Unprecedented interruptions which the industry and businesses have taught us the mantra of digital first. In addition, NCVET is closely collaborating with industry in identifying the competences and skills required, including future skills to guide the development of qualifications and skill training for the existing and entry level workforce.” Shri Manish Sabharwal, Vice Chairman, Teamlease Services expressed, “As we transition to a technology-powered future, we slowly realised that it is not only possible to separate employment, employability and education, but also there is a need to innovate at the intersection of education and skilling. To strengthen the skill ecosystem, we need to break down traditional barriers and be open to learning while earning, learning with flexible delivery and align it with qualification modularity.” Shri Amber Dubey, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Civil Aviation envisions that Drone Shakti will turn out to be a game changer in India’s economic and social progress, drones will see similar expansion as India’s mobile users.

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