Two-Days National Conference ‘SKILLCON’ held at SMS-Varanasi

Inaugurating the National Conference on the topic “Management and Technology for Skill Development: Innovative approaches” at the Varanasi Campus of School of Management Sciences (SMS) on Saturday, the 22nd February, 2014, the Chief Guest Dr. David Oakley Faulkner, Professor Emeritus, University of London (and formerly a management consultant – McKinsey) said that the notion of putting the Learner first and focusing on ways to empower the learner through improved skills, which should be the crux of the National Policy on Skills is something quite elusive till date.

Further he said that Skill Development is an important area of concern for the different stakeholders such as government, the youth, big and large entities existing in different sectors of economic activity. Many experts are of the opinion that the development of skills has to be as per the requirements of the market. Another point to be seriously considered is that the perspective of the learner regarding skills and vocational training is little known; at the same time the judgment of learners is clouded by the challenges of survival.

There could be lot of opportunities for skilled people, but there is much resistance when it comes to carving a career path outside of conventional education. A situation has to be created where opportunities are generated in terms of jobs and training, but, the end users and clients are often unaware of them, or not motivated because the choices offered are not the traditionally accepted ones, he added. He also congratulated the organizers of the Conference for taking an initiative towards this noble cause.

The Guest of Honour, Prof. S. K. Singh, Former Head & Dean, FMS, BHU, Varanasi and ICCR Chair Professor, Ministry of External Affairs, Govt. of India in the Faculty of Management, Pokhara University, Nepal said that the shortage of appropriate skilled labour force is a challenge to overall growth and future of our country. There is a disconnect between demand and supply of skilled labour which may be due to the perceptual differences existing in the industry academia interface.

The other Guest of Honour Prof. A. K. Mishra, Head, Department of Business Management, Mizoram University in his deliberation said that skill is the starting unit of performance. Conferences like this must help us to analyze the skill gap and find ways to bridge them. The outcomes should be useful for the corporations, governance of the country and also to the family.

Earlier welcoming the dignitaries to the Conference, Prof. P. N. Jha, Director, SMS, Varanasi said that the aim of the Conference is to understand the requirement of the skill set that enhances employability globally. Skill is nothing but general wisdom and wisdom is regarded as a prelude to innovation and productivity. The Conference theme was presented by Associate Professor, Dr. R. K. Singh (Conference Convenor) while the Vote of Thanks was given by the Dean, Computer Sciences, Mr. Kamal Sheel Mishra. The inaugural session was conducted by Ms. Pallavi Pathak (Senior Lecturer, SMS Varanasi).

The two day Conference is being attended by more than 200 delegates from not only India but also from abroad. Representatives from countries like the USA, the UK, Mexico and our neighbouring Nepal are joining this event besides academia from places like New Delhi, NOIDA, Kolkata, Bangalore, Allahabad, Lucknow, Bareilly, Vellore, Guwahati, Dhanbad, Phagwara, Hyderabad and Muzaffarpur, to name a few.

The other prominent speakers included Prof. B. P. Singh (Chairman-DSPSR-Delhi and former Professor Delhi School of Economics); Vice-President, British Paints India Ltd., Mr. Mohd. Abdul Mateen; Prof. A. K. Tripathi, Department of Computer Engineering, IIT-BHU; Prof. A. K. Singh, Faculty of Commerce and Business, Delhi School of Economics; Prof. D. B. Bhandari, Associate Dean, Faculty of Management, Pokhara University (Nepal); Prof P. K. Mishra, Department of Chemical Engineering, IIT-BHU; Mr. Mahesh Venkateshwaran, Head-Innovations, NSDC, New Delhi and Mr. Vivek Jha, DGM-PNB.

The Vice-Chancellor of MG Kashi Vidyapeeth, Prof. P. Nag was present during the valedictory function as the Chief Guest whereas Prof. B. P. Singh, Prof P. K. Mishra & Prof. S. K. Singh were present as Guest of Honour. Major sponsor of the event is Punjab National Bank. The Associate Partners of the Conference are the PHD Chamber and EUPEA.

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