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Focus on vocational skills

The need for skilled workers and promotion of handicrafts were some of the topics in focus at the Knowledge Exchange Series presented by Calcutta Management Association (CMA) and Eastern Institute for Integrated Learning in Management (EIILM), in association with The Telegraph, at EIILM on December 7.

Gouri Gupta, the head of strategy and program development at National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC), a public-private partnership that works to promote skill development and finance vocational training, described India as “a pleasant challenge for many because of its huge demographic dividend”.

“By 2022, 60 per cent of India’s population will be between the age of 16 and 60, which means India will have that many working hands. It will present a huge opportunity but it will also be a challenge,” Gupta said. “Today when I go to any industry, I hear there aren’t enough people. By 2022, India will need 50 crore skilled workers for sustaining its growth.”

Gupta also talked about how artisans were reluctant to let the next generation pursue the profession. “There is no pride in vocation in India. Many old art forms are dying because of this,” she said, adding that NSDC has been in talks with banks to provide loans for vocational training.

Asked about plans to train teachers, Gupta said: “Training the trainers is one of the biggest challenges our partners face and it is a huge opportunity as well.”

Gupta was welcomed to the campus by the director of EIILM, R.P. Mukherjee.

The institute also shared information on its upcoming Sonar Bangla University, which will offer degree courses in science, humanities, professional studies, biosciences and natural sciences in Baruipur.

YMCA meet

Calcutta YMCA college branch held its 119th Annual Public Meeting and first Annual Day Celebration on Sunday.

The event started with a prayer after which children danced to Tagore’s Anandadhara bohichhe bhubone. This was followed by a Ganesh Vandana. Children from Sneha Deep Street Children Project of All Vision of India danced to Bollywood hits.

Actress June attended the event and encouraged the students to work hard and become responsible citizens.