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Odisha discusses roadmap to become India’s skilling capital

Published: April 22, 2023

The Odisha Skill Conclave today focussed on chalking out a roadmap for Odisha to become a leading skilling hub in the world. The day two of the event saw sessions on narrowing the gender gap, apprenticeship and internship and importance of diversification of workforce.

Ms. Usha Padhee, Principal Secretary, Skill Development & Technical Education Department, Government of Odisha with dignitaries at Odisha Skill Conclave 2023

The day started with the session titled, ‘Making India the Skill Capital of the World’ that deliberated upon the role of international facilitators and partners in supporting the creation of an internationally benchmarked Indian workforce and international internships and the role of international Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) providers.

Mr Sanjay Kumar Singh, Principal Secretary, Rural Development Department, Government of Odisha said, “Odisha is the rising land of skilling in India, the skill capital of India and the aspiring skill capital of the world. We take pride in the skilling ecosystem we have in the state and the way it has been globally benchmarked. Through strategic planning, we have been able to develop the same as it is a life transforming initiative for both individuals and society. Diversification will play a crucial role in the future and we seek to ensure that Odisha offers the opportunity to the youth.”

The session saw participation from Dr Sunjeh Raja, CEO- Director, International Centre for Culinary Arts – ICCA Dubai, Mr Anurag Srivastava, Lead- India and South Asia Corporate Affairs, CISCO, Ms Anita Rajan, Chief Executive Officer & Vice President, Tata STRIVE and Tata Community Initiatives Trust, Mr. Bruce Poh, CEO, ITE Education Services, Singapore and Dr Sureshkumar Madhusudhanan, Chairman & Managing Director, Seagull Group of Companies.

The next session, ‘Narrowing the Gender Gap: Empowering Women through Skills’ focussed on Odisha’s role in supporting young girls of the state through learning pathways, employability enhancement initiatives and sustainable livelihoods.

Ms Sujata R. Karthikeyan, Commissioner-cum-Secretary, Department of Mission Shakti, Government of Odisha said, “Every woman or a girl has the right to be empowered to aspire and achieve those aspirations. Gender and skilling, gender and empowerment are important for the government agenda. Our efforts will be to ensure that through Mission Shakti we are able to empower the women of the state.”

Panelists for this session included Ms Sohini Sinha, Head – Learning, Leadership Development & Talent Management, Tata Electronics, Prof. Neharika Vohra, Professor, IIM – Ahmedabad, Ms. Sangita Jindal, Chairperson, JSW Foundation, Ms. Guha Poonam Tapas Kumar, IAS, Chief Executive Officer, ORMAS, Dr Monika Aggarwal, Dean Faculty of Design, MGM University and Ms Poonam Mohapatra, Chairperson – Bhubaneswar Chapter, FICCI Ladies Organisation.

The session on ‘Linking Apprenticeship and Internship to Skilling for the New World’ saw experts deliberate upon roadmap for a coherent execution of apprenticeship policies that will expedite and scale up the process.

Mr Sanjay Kumar Mishra, CMD, Odisha Power Transmission Corporation Limited said, “The key components of skill development include apprenticeship and internships that provide on-the-job training to individuals. These are important for the individuals to acquire essentials skills for the jobs as they provide industry exposure, comprehensive understanding of the industry, networking opportunities and certification which enhances employability. As new sectors such as Hydrogen fuels, Green Energy and new technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, Internet of Things emerge in the country, upskilling and reskilling the youth will be crucial to enable them with opportunities and contribute to the society.”

The panel for this session included Mr Narayanan Ramaswamy, Partner, KPMG India, Ms Alka Mittal, Former CMD & Human Resources Director, ONGC Group, Mr Shenbagam Manthiram, CEO, TP Central Odisha Distribution Limited, Mr Pawan Yadav, DGM – HR, Subros Limited, Mr Gabriel H. Bordado, Skills & Employment Specialist, ILO and Mr Sanjay Shivnani, Head Technical Training and Hindalco Technical University, Hindalco Industries Limited, Aditya Birla Group.

The final session of the day, ‘Skilling beyond shackles-Inclusivity in Skilling’ focussed on provisions to ensure that skilling opportunities are available for marginalised communities including differently abled persons and role of TVET system in building inclusive workplaces.

Mr Bhaskar Sarma, Commissioner-Cum-Secretary Social Security & Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities Department, Government of Odisha said, “Inclusivity in skilling includes women, transgenders, tribals and disabled individuals, among other groups. The inclusion of these groups is extremely important to the state and country. Through the Skilled in Odisha initiative, our endeavour is to make skilling accessible, affordable and aspirational for these marginalised groups and ensure development of the state.”

Panelists for the session were Dr. Achyuta Samanta, Founder, Kalinga Institute of Industrial Technology (KIIT) and Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences (KISS), Ms Sruti Mohapatra, Inclusion Expert, TEDx Speaker & Disability Rights Activist, Mr P. Arthanari, IFS, Programme Director, Odisha PVTG Empowerment and Livelihoods Improvement Programme, Government of Odisha, Mr Manoj Chhabra, IPS, DG Prisons and Mr Ashwin D Gowda, MD, Karnataka Skill Development Corporation.

Ms Usha Padhee, Principal Secretary, Skill Development & Technical Education Department, Government of Odisha in her valedictory address said, “The insights and discussions from today’s sessions have set forward the roadmap to enhance the skilling ecosystem in the state. The industry partners and policy makers have charted out the areas and policy interventions required to equip the youth with skills that will not only help them build sustainable livelihoods but also strengthen the position of Odisha on a national and global map. Today we have discussed varied themes such as diversity and inclusion of marginalised groups and key areas such as certifications, upskilling and reskilling of the workforce which will help take the mission forward in an effective way.”

Mr. Subroto Bagchi, Chairman, Odisha Skill Development Authority, Government of Odisha, Mr. Reghu G, CEO, Odisha Skill Development Authority (OSDA) and Dr. Santrupt Misra, Group Director, Birla Carbon; Director, Chemicals; and Director, Group Human Resources – Aditya Birla Group were also present at the valedictory session.

Earlier in the day, Patha Pranta Utsav was held near Exhibition Ground, Bhubaneswar with great vigour and enthusiasm. The occasion was graced by Mr Pritiranjan Gharai, Minister of State (Independent Charge), Skill Development & Technical Education Department, Government of Odisha, Mr Subroto Bagchi, Chairman, Odisha Skill Development Authority (OSDA), Government of Odisha and Ms Usha Padhi, Principal Secretary, Skill Development & Technical Education Department, Government of Odisha. The Utsav witnessed splendid dramatic, cultural and musical performances by ITI and Polytechnic students from different parts of the state. There were around 50 stalls of different organisations and institutions like Mission Shakti, Government ITIs among others for various services. Public also participated in the Utsav with great fervour and zeal.

The day-two of the conclave concluded with cultural programmes from the state.

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