Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - - INDIAINSPOTLIGHT -

In the early 1980s on the streets of Delhi, a lit­tle-known com­pany with an in­sti­tute-sound­ing name, NIIT, ad­ver­tised for stu­dents, talk­ing about the fu­ture po­ten­tial of an in­dus­try called soft­ware. Com­put­ers were then hardly in vogue in In­dia, with IBM hav­ing been un­cer­e­mo­ni­ously thrown out by the govern­ment in 1977. HCL, one of those com­pa­nies that tried to re­place IBM as a com­puter maker, par­ented NIIT. Yet, it was only a decade later that most of In­dia woke up to the in­dus­try. Ten­ta­tive be­gin­nings were such that soft­ware ex­perts at HCL and NIIT were then do­ing stuff that fu­ture giants such as Or­a­cle and SAP were do­ing at the same time.

What In­dia lacked then was two things: fore­sight and am­bi­tion. Typewrit­ers gave way to com­put­ers, with old jobs fad­ing and new ca­reers spring­ing up. The chal­lenge for In­dia now is to spot the fu­ture sun­rise in­dus­tries while shed­ding bag­gage of the past.

To a good ex­tent, the dra­matic in­for­mal­i­sa­tion of skilling ini­tia­tives un­der the Skill In­dia mis­sion does re­flect a pos­i­tive change from the mori­bund sys­tem of for­mal ed­u­ca­tion, but the world has changed so much, that it may be de­sir­able to find even newer grounds.

Schemes such as Make In In­dia smell of the same old dreams: Build in­fra­struc­ture, cre­ate fac­tory jobs, and be like the China of the 1990s or US of the mid-20th cen­tury.

Things, how­ever, seem to have moved on in the larger world. That is where fu­turegaz­ing and fu­ture-readi­ness may be key per­for­mance ar­eas for pol­icy-mak­ers, cor­po­rate strate­gists and en­trepreneurs,

In­creas­ingly, there is fo­cus on cre­ativ­ity across a set of in­dus­tries. This would re­quire a mind­set that goes be­yond the nar­row “skill” ap­proach. There is no doubt that skills will gen­er­ate higher Ra­jat Chauhan on how to make In­dia a fit­ter and health­ier na­tion

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from India

© PressReader. All rights reserved.