India’s Prime Minister, Mr Narendra Modi, announced the
launch of the ‘Future Skills’ platform while addressing the World Congress on
Information Technology, jointly organised by NASSCOM, World Information
Technology and Services Alliance (WITSA) and the State Government of Telnagana
through a video link on February 19. The aim of the platform is to upskill Information
Technology professionals in emerging technology areas.
NASSCOM, a not-for-profit industry association, is the apex
body for the 154 billion dollar IT BPM industry in India. NASSCOM has signed an
agreement with the Ministry of Electronics and IT (MeitY) for strengthening
re-skilling initiatives and identified eight important technologies it will focus
on to prepare people for jobs of the future: Artificial Intelligence, Virtual
Reality, Robotic Process Automation, Internet of Things, Big Data Analytics, 3D
Printing, Cloud Computing, Social and Mobile. It has also identified 55 job
roles that are expected to be in high demand globally.
According to a report
in Livemint, NASSCOM president R. Chandrashekhar said that the platform aims
to skill and up-skill about two million technology professionals and skill
another two million potential employees and students over the next few years.
Previously, in 2015, the Indian Government launched the National
Skill Development Mission to ensure adequate availability of skilled workers
and enable the country’s existing workforce to be able to re-skill and adapt to
the emergence of disruptive technologies.
PM Modi said, “I am sure, the "Skills of Future"
platform will greatly help India maintain its competitive edge.”
“Digital technology is now at the heart of every business. New
technologies must be embedded in various operations and processes of a business
entity. How can we prepare our millions of small and medium businesses for this
transformation, in a short time? Keeping in mind the importance of innovation, in
the future of economy and business, the Government of India has launched the Start-up India initiative. We believe
our startups are the key to finding viable and economical solutions across
sectors and verticals,” he added.
He also highlighted the Government’s Atal Innovation
Mission, which seeks to promote a culture of innovation and
entrepreneurship and talked about the Atal Tinkering Labs being set up in
schools across India. The objective of this scheme is to foster curiosity, creativity
and imagination in young minds. They provide dedicated works spaces, with state-of-the-art
equipment such as 3D printers, robotics & electronics development tools,
IoT & sensors, where students can learn innovation skills and develop ideas.
In the 2018-19 budget, the Indian Government revealed
a number of initiatives for the development of emerging technologies in the
country. The NITI Aayog (National
Institution for Transforming India), the premier policy thinktank of the
Government of India, will initiate a national programme to direct efforts in
the area of artificial intelligence, including research and development of its
The Department of Telecom will support establishment of an
indigenous 5G Test Bed at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Chennai,
while the Department of Science & Technology will launch a Mission on
Cyber-Physical Systems to support establishment of centres of excellence and to
invest in research, training and skilling in robotics, artificial intelligence,
digital manufacturing, big data analysis, quantum communication and IoT. The
Government also plans to explore the use of distributed ledger or blockchain
technology proactively for ushering in the digital economy.
Subsequently, the Government announced
the establishment of 7 Centres of Excellence (CoE) in new technologies: FinTech
(Chennai), IoT (Guwahati and Patna), Virtual Reality (Bhubhaneshwar),
Blockchain (Gurugram), Medical Technology (Lucknow) and Electronics Products
Building a skilled workforce would play a critical role in
the success of these initiatives and this new initiative could play an
important role in the area.