Sustainable development through upskilling: India's engineering renaissance - Hindustan Times

Sustainable development through upskilling: India's engineering renaissance

ByHindustan Times
Sep 15, 2023 12:45 PM IST

This article is authored by Ankush Singla, CEO & co-founder, Coding Ninjas.

The world we live in is a carnival of change, now more than ever. Every now and then the world witnesses frequent new waves of innovation which becomes the talk of the town. To drive this innovation the participation of the engineering force is imperative. Engineers are like the unsung heroes behind a nation's tech evolution. They're not just important; they're the folks who bring innovation to life, solve the trickiest puzzles, and build the world we live in, which is undergoing continuous changes. Think of engineers as the creators of cutting-edge tech; the ones that turn cool ideas into real-world solutions contributing to the economy. Engineers are the Midas touch for a nation. In a sense, engineers are the driving force that takes innovation from the drawing board to the market, making sure it's not just a dream but a reality. In India’s shift to an entrepreneurial revolution, and ultimately to a tech-advanced country, it is the engineers that bring in an aura of change and sustainability. Take a look at India making headlines globally for its tech feat of being the first country to reach the lunar south polar region in one piece or India’s IT industry leading India’s ascent as a financial power with an estimated value of $350 billion by 2026.

Innovation (Getty Images/iStockphoto)
Innovation (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

So, what renders the role of an engineer truly paramount within society? To provide a comprehensive answer, it is the engineer's unwavering commitment to fostering a more resilient world. India, in this context, has made significant strides, exemplified by endeavors like the Chandrayaan-3 mission's soft landing and the Aditya L1 mission. These remarkable feats of engineering, within the broader societal framework, serve as unifying forces within the diverse tapestry of the nation. On a micro level, these technological advancements have a catalytic effect on the nation's economy.

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India's technology sector is currently experiencing substantial growth, positioning itself as the world's third-largest startup ecosystem, following in the footsteps of the United States and China. Cities such as Bangalore, Delhi, and Mumbai are now among the top 40 startup ecosystems globally. This dynamic sector is advancing at an accelerated pace and is poised to evolve into a $500 billion industry by 2030. Notably, the tech industry has burgeoned over the past decade, nearly tripling its workforce, currently employing 5.4 million individuals. In a way, we are witnessing the ‘technological renaissance’ era of India.

There is no doubt that India has emerged as a hotbed for deep-tech startups, with the number reaching over 3,000 in thefinancial year (FY) 2023. The Indian tech industry is projected to grow to $500 billion by 2030. As tech jobs in new-age tech companies continue to rise exponentially, so do the skillsets required to stay competitive. Although compared to 2009, the number of people working in the tech industry has almost tripled in size, there still exists a rising need to fill the pool with more talent. In order to fulfill its aspirations of becoming a global giant in the technology and startup world - India needs to aim towards adding almost 3 lakh software developers every year to the pool. Only then can India thrive in its tech renaissance era.

However, one of the biggest challenges hindering this tech renaissance is the shortage of resources with adequate knowledge and skills to meet the evolving demands of technology.

With disruptive technologies like artificial intelligence, blockchain, and the Internet of Things rising, the demand for professionals with specialised skills has surged. Hence, to remain relevant and competitive, professionals need to constantly upgrade their skills and knowledge. Upskilling in these areas, where a skills gap exists, can help individuals seize new opportunities. There have been many instances where India has proved itself to stand out from the rest of the world through upskilling- from being a manufacturing-driven nation to becoming the front-runner in the information technology sector, India has witnessed it all. Upskilling is the key to addressing the upcoming entrepreneurial revolution in India. To become the hub of technology, India has to shift from a service-driven country to a product-driven nation, that can compete with global powers like the United States and China. With more than 100+ existing unicorns, catering to the Indian economy, the role of an engineer has become all the more imperative to the tech development of the nation.

On an individual scale, upskilling ensures better pay and future-proofs one's job while also opening up new job revenues in the tech sector. On a broader scale, it contributes to achieving India's aspirations of reaching $5 trillion and eventually a $10 trillion economy by 2030. To achieve this, fostering large tech companies built in India, and producing technology for the global stage, is essential. According to a NASSCOM report on India's tech industry talent demand-supply analysis, India is actively working to reskill its core tech workforce across industries. In FY2021, 65-70% of digital talent acquired by India was through reskilling. However, there is a need to accelerate the pace to bridge the digital skills gap and secure a prominent position in the global tech market. Upskilling is the only solid answer through which the nation will no longer be the backend of the tech workforce but become a torchbearer nation producing sustainable and impactful tech for good.

This article is authored by Ankush Singla, CEO & co-founder, Coding Ninjas.

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