"If India is to exploit the demographic dividend it enjoys, the country has to speed up the process of developing various skills in its huge young population, said JP Rai, director general, National Skill Development Agency, on Saturday.
Rai was addressing the participants at a one-day workshop on skill development at National Institute of Technology (NIT) here.
Rai said that India has a certain population advantage as majority its population is young and in the productive age. "If this advantage is to be utilised for the development of the country, the young population will have to be made productive by equipping them with the necessary skills".
Rai emphasised the fact that skill development is an important initiative of the central government and is being taken up on a war-footing.
Prof Anand Mohan, the director of the NIT, in his presidential remarks highlighted the skills that should be developed in an engineering student. He identified three skills -- professional skills, core skills and soft skills. He added that development of these skills among students should be made an integral part of their training.
Prof Mukti Mishra, president, Centurion University, Odisha and member of the National Skill Development Corporation, narrated his experience of imparting skills to the underprivileged and tribals in his state. He also cited examples of how left-wing extremists were being provided some basic skills and being encouraged to join the mainstream.
Vishwesh Kulkarni, president, Yashaswi Group, Pune, spoke of what various institutions and organisations in the group were doing in promoting skill development.
He specifically mentioned the 'Learn and Earn' scheme being successfully implemented by the Yashaswi Institute for Skill Development in collaboration with the Engineering and Automobile industries. He also highlighted the fact that the Yashaswi group is a partner of National Skill Development Corporation and a skill training partner of National Skill Development Agency.
KS Jamestin, former Director (HR), ONGC, dwelt on the skill set the industry was looking for among job seekers. "We need to have a close connect between the trainees and the industry so that those who join the industry after training are ready for the job and related responsibilities," said Jamestin. He called upon students to give special attention to developing their soft skills along with the technical skills.
Prof PJ Philip, the chief coordinator of the workshop, welcomed the resource persons and the participants and Prof KS Sandhu, the convener, proposed a vote of thanks. All deans and heads of departments and selected students from every department attended the workshop.