CLOSE on the heels of the NRI Sammelan held here, Chandigarh will be hosting another congregation for non-resident Indians, the Parvasi Punjabi Divas, to be held on January 12. To be organised by the International Punjabi Chamber for Service Industry (IPSCI) and held on the occasion of the 6th Annual Parvasi Divas 2008, vocational education and employment generation along with skill development will be the focus of the meet.
Ways to synergise education with employment generation and encouraging the youth to take up vocational training to make them employable for domestic and overseas job avenues will form part of the discussions to be held between many NRI investors and entrepreneurs, domestic corporate, ministers, embassies, high commissions, government officials, academics, human resource professionals and international agencies.
Emphasising on the need for Indian companies to take concrete steps to provide on-the-job technical training and financial incentives to improve the skill of workers; evolving a mechanism for constant interaction between industry, academia and government and developing educational infrastructure was important and something the Indian diaspora could help achieving, said AR Kohli IPCSI patron and former governor, Mizoram.
Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal will inaugurate the conference with the Punjab chief secretary chairing the first technical session and deputy speaker Lok Sabha and member of Parliament, Amritsar in the afternoon session. At the evening session, Haryana chief minister, Bhupindrer Singh Hooda will be the chief guest at the interface on “Haryana – Investment Destination” with tourism minister Kiran Choudhary and prospective investors.
Quoting a recent study showing that 53% of employed youth suffer some degree of skill deprivation while only 8% of youth are directly employed, Mr Kohli said India was faced with a grim situation, even after 60 years of independence. He added that India’s literacy rate was 61%, compared with 99% in Germany, 99% in Japan and 98% in South Korea. Secondary school enrollment in India is 25%, compared with 100% in Germany and Japan and almost the same percentage in South Korea. In India, 8% of students go for higher education compared with 40% in Germany and Japan and 80% in South Korea.
Mr Kohli said only 5% of India’s workforce had vocational education, while in Germany, Japan and South Korea it was 70%, 80% and 95%, respectively. There is an urgent need to bridge the demand-supply mismatch. Mr Kohli said there would be an increased onus on the diaspora to help the country become better in all fields.