How far will the skilling programme go?

Venkatesh Ganesh Hyderabad | Updated on February 19, 2018 Published on February 19, 2018

Ambitious plan Nasscom President R Chandrasekharan (left) and Secretary to Union Ministry of Electronics and IT AP Sawhney exchange MoU documents for the Future Skills platform programme, in Hyderabd on Monday. Behind them are Union IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad (right), and SVP-Global Leader of Genpact, Mohit Thukral   -  Nagara Gopal

Target big but achievable, say industry leaders

Nasscom’s effort to reskill and upskill 4 million professionals certainly reflects good intentions. But some questions do remain on whether it can take this to the grassroots (schools and colleges), as the country looks to maintain its lead in IT.

A crosssection of the industry that BusinessLine spoke to at the Nasscom India Leadership Forum (NILF) and World Congress on IT (WCIT) were of the opinion that while the target is rather big, it is achievable. Already, large companies such as TCS, Infosys and Wipro have begun the process of reskilling large portions of their employees in their own way.

So, whom is the effort aimed at? While large companies can afford to reskill, the initiative by Nasscom enables companies across the board to understand what kind of skills in AI or machine learning will help an individual to be skills-ready, according to Keshav Murugesh, Group CEO and BPO firm WNS.

Akhilesh Tuteja, Co-Global Leader, KPMG India, said this is the largest — and most ambitious — IT skilling project that has been undertaken till date. However, it is inevitable, considering the changing job profile requirements needed in the $155-billion domestic IT industry.

“Upskilling the existing workforce and reskilling the new talent is vital for India to keep its leadership position,” said Sumit Sood, MD, GlobaLogic.

India, which has an inherent advantage of churning out in excess of a million engineers every year, faces competition from the Chinese in emerging tech areas such as data science and AI.

Reaching grassroots

“The people who are already in the system over the last several years need to understand that if they do not reskill, they will no longer be relevant,” said Anand Baranwal, co-founder and COO of Skillate, a start-up that helps in recruitment with AI and machine learning.

However, some in the industry believe that Nasscom, along with the government, should have made more efforts to take these programmes to colleges as these things have to be tackled at the grassroots level.

Published on February 19, 2018
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