Industry Academia Conclave on Skill Development (Press release) Smalt and Beryl in collaboration with ABESIT, Ghaziabad, successfully hosted the “Green Jobs Industry Academia Conclave on Skill development” from 22nd to 23rd October, 2016. The objective of the Industry Academia Conclave was to bring all the stakeholders on a common platform, deliberate on the skill gap issue and recommend strategic initiatives to be taken by Institutions of Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam Technical University (AKTU) to help transform students into deployable skilled professionals that delight the Industry. The conclave was inaugurated with the blessings of Dr. Praveen Saxena, C.E.O, Skill Council for Green Jobs, (Skill India Mission) and Prof. Vinay Kumar Pathak, honorable Vice Chancellor of the university, amid an overwhelming participation from India and overseas. All invited delegates from Skill Council for Green Jobs, leaders from Industries across IT, manufacturing, core electronics and other sectors, and top management of quality circle colleges and the University were present to ensure a concrete and pragmatic outcome of this conclave. In the inauguration session, Dr. Praveen Saxena, the chief guest for the conclave, brought forward a remarkable perspective of Govt. of India on Skill development, opportunities for students and Institutions, and how Skill council can collaborate with Institutions to help them upskill their students. He advised all institutions to conduct skill competitions and encouraged industry to fund such events. “Such an initiative has the potential to create opportunities for industry representatives to visit institutional campuses, thereby increasing the interaction between the corporate and the colleges”, remarked Dr. Saxena. He also recommended young entrepreneurs to capture copious business opportunities in areas such as recycle waste or waste to power and contribute to the Swachh Bharat mission of clean India. Prof. Vijay Kumar Singh, Pro Vice chancellor, AKTU, shared his perspective on the continued existence of skill gap and called out measures of addressing the same. He focused on early assessment of students’ aptitude, concept building in a practical manner and development of capabilities which can help a student stand out from the others. Prof. Sampath Kumar, Associate Dean, R&D and Industrial consultancy, gave an overview of the AKTU and apprised the audience about the capabilities and CoE infrastructure of quality circle colleges and described how these centers help to empower students with skill-based competencies. He encouraged the academic institutions to conduct faculty development programs in collaboration with Industry experts to build the competencies in house. Mr. Pravek Saxena, C.E.O Smalt and Beryl Pvt. Ltd. shared a fresh perspective of bridging the skill gap by highlighting the essence of experiential learning based mentorship for students at an early stage. “We need to look beyond technology and soft skills alone, we need to build the ability in the students to better understand industry processes and internalize the competencies required to excel”, said Mr. Pravek. Apprising the audience about the impact of a looming skill gap, he suggested the academia to set-up ‘office simulation labs’ where students can exhibit skills in a real time corporate environment. He suggested the use of analytics to capture the learning engagement of students so as to showcase it as a trend to the Industry at the time of recruitment. “This will surely help gain the confidence of the industry about the talent pool available and also aid them make an informed choice during recruitment”, said the CEO. On the second day of the conclave, eminent leaders from various top multinational companies shared the expectations of the Industry and emphasized the need for a greater collaboration between the two stakeholders. “It is imperative to develop the right attitude and inculcate emotional intelligence in students. We need to focus on platform skills which can provide a real time industry exposure of how a typical day looks like”, said Ms. Jigyasa, Senior Product Manager, Google. Towards the end of the conclave, an open house panel discussion on the topic “Making students Industry ready – Strategies to bridge the skill gap” took place. The panelist for the discussion were Prof. Vijay Kumar Singh, Pro Vice chancellor, AKTU, Mr. Ar pit Sharma, Head of Assessment and Assurance in the Skill Council for Green Jobs, and Mr. Sachin Mohan, Assistant Vice President, To the New. It was unequivocally accepted that there is a need to cultivate in students a more pragmatic outlook towards the Industry. “We must identify means for the academia to stay abreast with the latest Industrial Developments, and react to the changing dynamics of the industry” said Prof. Singh. Sh. Ashu Goel, Chairman, ABESIT, Prof. (Dr.) Vipin Garg, Advisor, ABESIT and Prof. (Dr.) Bhavesh Kumar Chauhan, Director, ABESIT shared valuable insights about the key strategies to bridge the gap and showed keen interest in executing the initiatives suggested in the august house. The conclave concluded with a symbolic ceremony where in the honorable Pro-Vice Chancellor unfurled key recommendations for all colleges derived from the two day event.