Making India Self –Reliant through education for Skill Development at the local level: Aftermath of Pandemic

In this lockdown period of about 2 months, we have explored many talents within ourselves as all of us created online content which was found to be very useful by our students. Similarly writing a blog is also one of the talents unexplored by me. I was imbibing this idea of creative writing when our Prime Minister’s speech on ‘Self Reliant India’ drove my inner self to share some of my thoughts related to the concept.

Since the government has always supported the initiatives involving the learning of new skills at various structural levels or courses offered by educational institutes or industries, the lockdown phase has seen the shutting down of all sorts of working environment except the essentials. And also we have witnessed the emerging trend of products in Indian markets which are preferably ‘Made in India’ to cater to the urgent requirements at this time and also complying to the standards set by the authorities including quality assurance bodies in the public sector. 

In order to address “Aatm Nirbhar Bharat” what we need is to transform the skill development ecosystem which accommodates the industry demands. The adoption of efficient, scalable and sustainable employee training programs by the organizations is the need of the moment.

We have been instilling the talents of skill development at SMS Institute of Management & Technology amongst our students, be it in the stream of technology with graduate courses, diploma courses or management courses. Our Institute has been the forerunner of PMKVY (Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojna) which is the flagship scheme of the Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship to enable a large number of Indian youth to take up an industry-relevant skill training programme that will help them in securing a better livelihood. 

Taking this vision in mind, this institute is moving towards giving a helping hand to the youth who has been deprived off rather a good education. At School of Management Sciences, Lucknow PMKVY Training Centres, the candidates who are either school/college dropouts or unemployed are being benefitted by this scheme by being trained in Soft Skills, Entrepreneurship, Financial and Digital Literacy. This is a certification programme where placement assistance is also provided. 

Skilled workers are vital and indispensable for the smooth-running of a free-market and capitalist society. This training programme can create opportunities for them globally if explored. Amidst pandemic, India’s ecosystem is leaning more not only towards skill development but also towards online education.

The pandemic phase has given us a far-insight towards certain other upcoming challenges towards developing India as a Self-Reliant country in the education sector. Although India has a range of skill development programs at the government level with global technology making its remarkable presence across India, the country’s corporate sector is being significantly influenced by global Learning & Development practices. Leading organizations across the country like our Institute are now leveraging modern e-Learning platforms and innovative learn-tech tools. Now it is high time to imbibe a culture of incorporating Learning Management Systems (LMS) in the traditional teaching-learning platforms during the post COVID phase. A country as economically, geographically and culturally diverse as India will benefit from the wide-ranging learn-tech solutions, including Mobile Learning (anytime-anywhere learning, on-the-go learning etc.), virtual classroomsblended learning and social learning, digital libraries to name a few. Learning technology solutions and e-Learning programs can bring key advantages to India’s corporate sector.

As per Government directives in work culture during post-COVID phase involving the norm of social distancing to be a new normal in the society, the classroom learning and teaching will be hampered markedly. Thus, learning skills, technology and e-Learning certainly have a key role to play in tackling the skill development challenges towards ‘Self-Reliant India’, if done in a responsible manner and not only in 2020 (COVID-19 Phase) but also in the foreseeable future. In this context, I see my institution to cope up with the current situation and emerge out as a winner as per their vision of being centre of excellence.