Free Press Journal

Skill India, Build India: All about Higher Education Forum’s ninth conference and awards convention


Panelists come together for a photo opportunity.

The ninth annual convention of the Higher Education Forum (HEF) highlighted the need for skills and creativity among students, faculty, educational institutes and industry to foster growth and development of the education space.

“Skills cannot be taught, they need to be learnt,” claimed A K Sen Gupta, Founder and Convener of Higher Education Forum (HEF) at the ninth conference and awards convention. This was held on March 10 at International Institute of Information Technology (I2IT), Pune. Focusing on the importance and need for skills in the education space, the convention highlighted the Skill India, Build India: Role of Higher Education Institutions.

Right from the welcome address given by Aruna Katara, President of Hope Foundation and Research Centre till the vote of thanks, the entire convention encouraged students, teachers, principals and industry members to build skills.
Over 300 delegates of varied educational institutes of different streams of study and industry stalwarts attended the conference.

Aruna Katara, President of Hope Foundation and Research Centre receiving her award

Education can witness a revolution if the methodology of teaching is changed. “Teachers are the boss of a subject. Teachers can tune the way they teach in a classroom irrespective of the standard guidelines of curriculum and teach basic lessons in creative ways. They can make learning interesting by incorporating innovative ways of teaching,” Gupta added.

The convention witnessed panel discussions which revolved on various topics like corporate-academic partnership for bridging skill gap: myth or reality, integration of skill education in school curriculum; Understanding skill of 21st century; Big challenge ahead; Digital disruption- upgrading skill of faculty and Skill India; Build India: Role of Higher Education Institutions. Intellectual delegates expressed their views to broaden the viewpoint and bring about transformation in terms of learning and teaching.

The panelists revealed how education is beyond academics and classroom activity. “NM Konda, Former Vice-Chancellor (VC) of Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies (NMIMS) University, said, “Skills, knowledge, ability, curiosity, imagination, creativity and communication can transform the education space entirely. Teachers should know their students and help them tap their potential and enhance their skill sets. Teachers should punish students but should help them overcome their shortcomings and encourage them to go beyond their limitations.”

Sanjay Shivnani, Head of Vocational Education, ABSF, Aditya Birla Group presented his trophy

Education goes beyond syllabus and four walls of a classroom. The panelists informed attendees systems and methods should evolve with changing times. Sachin Satpute, Director of MIT Skills, said, “Students should be industry ready and should be given the current exposure regarding working systems and technology. It is the digital era now and we got to evolve with changing trends to develop consistently.”

Upgradation of faculty will help facilitate the process of offering internships and jobs to students. Pradeep Bhargava, Independent Director and Former Chairman of CII western region, said, “We got to change the way we teach. With the digital disruption we can move to an advanced form of teaching which the students can understand. Students need industries and industries need students so it is a two way process.” Ranjeev Manrao, member of HEF core committee, delivered the vote of thanks.

Audience listening to the panelists

Innovation Awards

Every year the HEF felicitates stalwarts and education institutions on the basis of certain key factors.

The awards are decided by a designated jury which recognises, honours and appreciates the awardees for their exemplary work and contribution to the education space.

This year, four awards were given to the curious minds who have transformed and initiated a revolution in education. The awards were given on basis of various categories like outstanding and demonstrated leadership, innovation and entrepreneurship initiatives and skill initiatives.

The awards were given to:
Shravan Kadvekar,
Director of Symbiosis Skills and Open University (SSOU)

Sachin Satpute,
Director of MIT Skills

Sanjay Shivnani,
Head of Vocational Education, Aditya Birla Skills Foundation (ABSF) Aditya Birla Group

Aruna Katara,
President of Hope Foundation and Research Centre