Posted on December 23, 2008 by Aishwarya
[News Source: Business Standard]
Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) alumni plan to create a social fund aimed at supporting various projects that will create job opportunities for rural youth and transform India’s Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs). PanIIT Alumni, which conducted the PanIIT 2008 Global Conference from 19-21 December, is working on three important projects in India – Indo-US collaboration for Engineering Education (IUCEE), IITians for ITIs, and Reach 4 India.
Quoting from the article about IITians for ITIs:
Ranjan Kumar, coordinator (India), IITians for ITIs project said the project was initiated by IIT alumni in association with Confederation of Indian Industry (CII’s) Southern Region and academia to push for sustainable excellence in technical/vocational training in India by creating institutions similar to the IITs, but focused on vocational education and highly-skilled workers.
As part of the phase I, over the next two years, around 40,000 students will be trained from around 300 government ITI institutes. It has also decided to set up a 24X7 call centre in one of the southern states to connect the workers with the experts and the industry.
This piece of news comes at a time when I have come across two interesting articles. One article published in Businessworld carried the byline “As IITians bring global glory, bright engineers from lesser-known institutes build the country.” Though the article was more about how engineers from “second-rung” colleges were the ones actually contributing to India’s infrastructure, it does bring questions related to contribution of IITians towards their nation’s growth. The second article is about a survey conducted by IIT alumni.
The brain drain has stemmed to a great extent, even leading to claims of reverse brain drain. I feel that the social entrepreneurship sector in India has just started gaining momentum and could benefit a lot by the entry of experienced IIT alumni and also of socially concious new passouts. In this context, I find initiatives like E4SI (Engineers For Social Impact) and MADD (Making A Difference Differently) trying to ensure that social development space gets the top talent it requires.
Filed under: Employment, Government | Tagged: brain drain, Business Standard, BusinessWorld, E4SI, Employment, engineering, IIT, IITians for ITIs, Indo-US collaboration for Engineering Education, ITI, MADD, PanIIT 2008 Global Conference, Reach 4 India, vocational training | 3 Comments »
Posted on December 22, 2008 by Shital
Many people dream, but some people dream big. Dr. Ashok Khosla is one of those that dream big – but also puts the dream into action. As founder of Development Alternatives, Khosla plans to bring wide-scale employment to India’s rural areas. IndiaWest reports:
“Poor people are seeing more products, but have little access to them. The poor do not have purchasing power,” said Khosla, the 2002 winner of the United Nations’ Sasakawa Environmental Prize, and the Schwab Foundation’s outstanding social entrepreneur award in 2004.
The Technology and Action for Rural Advancement (TARA), a partner of Development Alternatives, is a social enterprise focusing on standardizing “technology packages, which offer training, technical support, financing and marketing assistance to small enterprises.” TARA’s products range from paper to textiles to cyber-kiosks. Khosla aims to create 100 million jobs by 2018 through these micro-factories – no easy feat, considering that the organization claims to have created 3 million jobs in the last 15 years.
More importantly, the initiatives are created in a way that the villagers benefit above all.
In a typical model, the village will form a cooperative to purchase the equipment needed for the project, and determine wages for the workers, typically slightly above the area’s minimum wage. Development Alternatives’ social enterprise arm, Technology and Action for Rural Advancement, markets the products created by the villagers.
Tracking TARA’s progress in the next decade will be interesting and may provide further evidence of the impact of social enterprises and employment generating activities.
Filed under: Employment, NGOs and Non-profits, Technology | Tagged: Ashok Khosla, Development Alternatives, Employment, IndiaWest, micro-factory, rural India, Technology, Technology and Action for Rural Advancement | Leave a comment »
Posted on June 4, 2008 by thinkchangeindia
Your daily dose of headlines:
- Energy: Four ultra mega (super duper?) power projects have been greenlit by the Indian government across the country.
- Education: Microsoft is investing $20 million in education initiatives in India over the next five years. Along with their current programs which focus on resources and training, the company will partner with state governments to implement national programs.
- Employment: For technology graduates, according to a study completed by Accenture, India is the place with the most job opportunities this year (with the US coming in second place).
- Technology: Airtel and Nokia are working together to develop a regional language fonts keyboard. This will allow greater linkages with rural areas.
- Environment: Concern India Foundation, a non-profit public charitable trust, plans to introduce cloth shopping bags in Bangalore’s major retail stores and shopping destinations. This is just one of the initiatives from the NGO, along with a “Kachra Kumar” competition for children to capture litterers on camera. [Source: Business Standard]
Filed under: CSR, Education, Employment, Energy, Environment, Government, NGOs and Non-profits, Research, Technology, Uncategorized | Tagged: Accenture, Airtel, Cloth Shopping Bags, Concern India Foundation, Education, Employment, Energy, Environment, Keyboard, Microsoft, Nokia, Technology | Leave a comment »
Posted on May 14, 2008 by Shital
Your daily dose of headlines:
- Health: The pharmaceutical industry in India fears that one in five drugs sold in the country are fake. A study undertaken by the by the drug controller general will focus on this.
- Transportation: India and France on Wednesday signed a Memorandum of Understanding for cooperation in railways, including constructing world class stations, signaling and telecom technologies.
- Agriculture: The Government of India is planning to set up 30 mega food parks in all the states so that cold chain facilities are available in catchment areas comprising not more than three to four districts. [Source: iGovernment]
- Employment: There is a mismatch between skills and available jobs, with 80 percent of jobs needing vocational training, and 90 percent of incoming job seekers lacking these skills. While the country needs 250 million skilled workers, only 700,000 have the proper skill sets.
Filed under: Agriculture, Employment, Government, Health, Research, Uncategorized | Tagged: Employment, food parks, France, MoU, pharmaceutical industry, railways, vocational training | Leave a comment »
Posted on April 29, 2008 by Shital
Last month, we posted about the expansion of the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA) to all districts in India starting on April 1. Even though the government chose to expand this program, the scheme has its share of pros and cons. A recent article in The Economist highlights the strengths of NREGA as its ability to allow participants to self-select themselves, the fact that the majority of participants are from lower castes, and the impact of the scheme in mitigating migration to urban areas.
On the flip side, there are a number of problems that exist with the NREGA, such as corruption, as Prerna previously highlighted. The Centre for Science and Environment put forth a more detailed policy paper on NREGA, as well as a series of suggestions for improving on the program. CSE suggests not only viewing the Act as a means for employment generation, but also thinking about how this can be linked with local development and creating assets for communities. This is an interesting approach, as it recognizes that while the rural population needs employment, there are also a whole host of other issues that the population itself can help in addressing. NREGA can be expanded not just in numbers, but also in terms of what the program can achieve for the rural population of India.
Another problem that CSE brings attention to is the fact that while 769,582 projects are under progress, only 158,277, or about 21%, are actually completed. Read on for CSE’s recommendations.
Filed under: Employment, Government | Tagged: Centre for Science and Environment, Employment, NREGA, The Economist | Leave a comment »