Pune, the global city

India Today - - MY CITY BY - My City by Shobha Dhan­watay Shobha Dhan­watay, ed­u­ca­tion­ist and Di­rec­tor, Work­skills Train­ing Academy

In­sti­tu­tions, na­tion­wide, fo­cus pri­mar­ily on ad­mis­sions these days, while stu­dents look for heavy pay pack­ages and the in­dus­try stresses on em­ploy­a­bil­ity. What is em­ploy­a­bil­ity? Is it about fa­cil­i­tat­ing stu­dents to get aca­demic recog­ni­tion for em­ploy­ment or is it about trans­fer­able skills? Or is it about the stu­dent’s per­sonal at­tributes and per­son­al­ity traits? If it is about aca­demic recog­ni­tion then shouldn’t we in­clude the stan­dard of In­sti­tu­tions from where they choose to grad­u­ate and the qual­ity of teach­ing? And should we not in­clude the board of stud­ies and its mem­bers who draft and eval­u­ate the cur­ricu­lum?

Let us take the ex­am­ple of Pune, where I have worked in the ed­u­ca­tion sec­tor. Poona as it was orig­i­nally spelt, is sit­u­ated on the con­flu­ence of Mula and Mutha rivers, called Punya, from which it de­rived its name. Sub­se­quently, the name was changed to Pune. The city is also re­ferred to as Pu­nayana­gari, or the blessed city. In the present era, we can still claim that it is truly blessed; for its his­toric cul­ture, ed­u­ca­tional growth, in­dus­trial de­vel­op­ment, tourism, weather, theatre, fairs and fes­ti­vals. You name it, the city has it. And this is what we call it as “De­vel­op­ment”. The city has de­vel­oped from all cor­ners, in all fields and has let its people progress in their re­spec­tive ar­eas. Not only did the lo­cals en­joy these ben­e­fits but cre­ated ad­van­tages and op­por­tu­ni­ties for people from oth­ers cor­ners of the coun­try to mi­grate. The city is a rare ex­am­ple of sus­tain­abil­ity of hu­man re­sourses. There will never be a deficit in this area. The Univer­sity of Pune, is one of the old­est Uni­ver­si­ties of the coun­try, en­com­pass­ing around 400 acres of land, with 45-50 de­part­ments and In­ter­na­tional Aca­demic Col­lab­o­ra­tions with nearly 20 odd coun­tries. The city has FTII along with 15 more deemed uni­ver­si­ties and world class pri­vate In­sti­tu­tions.

And with the mas­sive in­dus­trial set­ting, Pune’s ed­u­ca­tion sys­tem has turned the op­por­tu­nity to its ad­van­tage by cre­at­ing a syn­ergy that is stu­dent cen­tric to give them the re­quired prac­ti­cal ex­po­sure in terms of on field projects, in­tern­ships, ap­pren­tice­ships, as­sign­ments and so on. The city has in all re­de­fined ed­u­ca­tion, keep­ing its tra­di­tional cul­ture in­tact, it has em­braced the mod­ern trends that have vis­i­bly seen pro­gres­sion and growth, giv­ing its in­hab­i­tants an in­sight into mar­ket de­mands and glob­al­iza­tion. Ev­ery 16-year-old wants to study in Pune and ev­ery 25 year old wants to work in Pune. Now, should we now talk about em­ploy­ment and em­ploy­a­bil­ity skills? It only needs people’s will to de­cide, con­verge and open new av­enues.

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