Bridging the skills gap by creating a vibrant tech ecosystem that is self-reliant.
Rapid technology innovations over the past decades have introduced new business models and exceptional global connectivity. The current global economic setting is fast-changing with technology disrupting the status quo and creating a future that is highly volatile. As technologies evolve, governments are rising to the occasion by embracing innovation to build a better future for the people.
While some governments mandate technology adoption through policy change, others work extensively towards creating an ecosystem where innovative technologies reach the right stakeholders; and support the third age of enterprise where “purpose” is integral to whatever we do.
We have moved beyond the phase of enhancing products and product efficiency to reach a stage that calls for a break.
As India looks set to become the fifth-largest economy in the world by 2025, there is a continuous thrust by the government to not only expand the infrastructure but also maintain the cost, quality and timelines for the completion of the targeted projects. With this anticipated pace of infrastructure development in the country, the growth of skilled manpower will be the key. We will need skilled manpower for building virtual cities centered on sustainability, especially for large-scale projects.
Skills such as data modeling and data visualization will be in-demand as we leverage technology for addressing the environmental, infrastructural, social and cultural needs of society. Today, as the focus is shifting towards sustainable innovation, the government has the opportunity to strategize and introduce a skilling ecosystem in the form of specialized centers for learning to empower the workforce of the future.
According to a recent study, India is estimated to have the largest working-age population by 2100.
India’s capability to leverage the opportunity depends on efficient policy decisions and the synergy amongst leading tech players and the government. One such policy investment is technology upskilling initiatives for students that are built on the foundation of digital technology such as cloud, AI, ML, big data, and IIoT.
Research suggests that around 50% of the 27 million manufacturing workforce will need to be reskilled over the next 3 years. Digitalizing manufacturing is a crucial step for businesses for increasing productivity and real time decision making. The major roadblock towards taking this step is the digital divide of skills gap which is a complex issue requiring all stakeholders to work together to make India more resilient, capable, and self-reliant. Several government initiatives like Skill India (under the Ministry of Skills Development and Entrepreneurship) cater to the upskilling and reskilling needs of the workforce through a B2C model. Today, when India is moving towards self-reliance, there is a greater need for the government to partner with leading technology players to implement strategic upskilling programs that leverage new-age technologies like Virtual Twin technology, 3D simulation, augmented reality, etc., as they are highly scalable, sustainable and cost-effective in the long run.
With this intent to overcome skill demand-supply mismatch in niche sectors, the government has set up world-class centers of learning in India, such as the specialized IIT (ISM) Dhanbad 3DEXPERIENCE Center to prepare the workforce of the future for responsible mining practices and conservation of natural resources. The comprehensive approach to these collaborations is reflected in the wide-spectrum of industries these centers cover. A few more examples include Tamil Nadu Industrial
Development Corporation’s 3DEXPERIENCE Center dedicated to Aerospace, Andhra Pradesh State Skill Development Corp’s 3DEXPERIENCE Center dedicated to Transportation and Mobility and Shipbuilding, K-tech Center of Excellence in Aerospace & amp; Defense in Bengaluru, Karnataka, for strengthening the relevant ecosystems through innovation and skilling, etc. Similarly, for building a vibrant tech ecosystem in India, NITI Aayog has partnered with several leading tech players to implement AI-based projects in core areas such as agriculture and personalized healthcare and medical devices. As India emerges as a global innovation hub, boasting the world’s third largest start-up ecosystem, the government’s “Make In India” and Digital India visions serve as a powerful call to action for innovators and tech leaders. By promoting entrepreneurship and start-up culture in India, the government can ensure unmatched growth essential for building a new self-reliant India.
Currently, since India has a low median age of 27 and produces 1.5 million new engineers each year, it can reap the rewards of this demographic advantage. All that said, it is even more crucial now for the young workforce to find relevant work to be able to make a positive impact in society. Therefore, cloud-powered 3D experiential learning is integral to the “Make In India” vision because it ignites a drive for continued learning that further improves graduate employability.
Since its launch, Make In India’s progress has been phenomenal as companies in every sector look forward to innovating. The majority of them often leverage a single platform that captures data and transforms it into actionable insights that helps them make informed decisions. Envisioning an India of job-creators and not job-seekers is imperative for sustainable growth in the long run. And to achieve all this, there is a need for extensive collaboration between tech leaders, government, academia, and other stakeholders. Aligning with the government’s initiative of self-reliance, Indian tech companies such as LUCID Implants are developing disruptive Made in India products that positively impact people and society.
Building a new India requires the collective efforts of over 1.2 billion Indians in transforming the country. Enabling the adoption of the latest technology at the grassroots level requires continued efforts of the government. In India, several efficiency and sustainability challenges like sanitation, air pollution, affordable healthcare, smart city planning, etc., are being thoughtfully addressed by new-age tech firms such as PadCare Labs, BrainSight AI, Inali, Off Grid Energy and more. India has never had the dearth of innovators, scientists, mathematicians, and entrepreneurs. However, what we need at the moment is an all-inclusive innovation and entrepreneurial ecosystem that can support, inspire and stimulate innovation in schools, colleges, and industries across the country. With a fast-growing economy, it is imperative for the government and technology providers to come together to offer world-class innovation and an entrepreneurial ecosystem, opening up a world of opportunities for innovation and new job creation.
Views expressed above are the author’s own.
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