Realizing Dr Kalam’s vision for skill development in India


National Skills Network – NSN, pays homage to Dr APJ Abdul Kalam, a visionary and an achiever who dreamt of skilling India through innovative ideas. To realize Dr Kalam’s vision for skill development in India, several of his skills and abilities can inspire us to nurture and grow the evolving skill development ecosystem in India. The idea of ‘daring to dream’ applies to all of us as individuals and organizations who are major stakeholders in the skill development space – trainees, students, job seekers, employees, educationists, training partners, government officials, corporate professionals, teachers, trainers, parents and so on.

dr-kalams-vision-for-skill-development-in-india12 points from Dr Kalam’s life that can be converted into essential skills and abilities for making Skill India a successful mission in transforming the lives of millions in India.

Desire: It’s very important to have a desire and a dream to achieve something new and become better than what we are. It applies to all of us as individuals and organizations, to seek or create an opportunity, put down a plan and solid action points to make that dream a reality – whether it is learning and getting trained or preparing to get that dream job by demonstrating right knowledge, skills and abilities. Dreams and all that is desired can be fulfilled by using right skills at workplace of personal life.

Dedication: Without serious allocation of time and resources, it would be impossible to do justice to our goals – both personal and professional. Dedication involves more that setting aside a bit of your time to pursue your goals; it calls for making all the right efforts to get going by connecting with the right people who can guide you and be with you perhaps as mentors and role models. It calls for continued commitment and self-motivation.

“In decades, India will need 300 to 500 million employable skilled youth and there is a need to completely change the university education syllabus and secondary school education syllabus. Two certificates should be given to students. In schools, one skill certificate and one education certificate and in college, degree and diploma on the expertise acquired. In schools from classes 9 to 12, 25 per cent of the time has to be allotted for skill development programme,” Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam

Focus: Matching your career aspirations and talent with skill based training program or a graduate program is the key to avoid mismatches and regrets later. Similarly, for a training company, it is equally important to define the area of operation to achieve quality and excellence to match with training and business goals. This can be achieved only through sharp focus that helps in narrowing down our key strengths and makes it realistic and practical.

Discipline: It is the key ingredient in converting your ‘hard work’ to ‘smart work’! Being disciplined doesn’t mean being strict or rigid, as is often perceived in parenting and bringing up children. This has more to do with clarity of what we want to do and working towards it with a single-minded focus. Discipline has a direct impact on all three – health, wealth and wisdom.

Determination: Many of us give up easily in times of crisis. A student may not continue after failing a test or a teacher or a trainer may prefer an easy way out when encountered with problems. Cultivating a never-say-die attitude really helps in overcoming challenges that are natural when we embark on new projects or make new beginnings to accomplish our dreams.

Courage: Often we need to make tough choices. Making decisions, facing opposition from family and friends or taking a risk – during these situations, thinking and acting fearlessly demand courage and mental skills to explore, do something new or innovate. It is difficult to convince someone in case you don’t have the conviction and confidence in what you want to achieve, the purpose and its benefits.

Humility: Success really helps in holding our head high – be it passing an exam or getting a high paying job or reaching business targets. When we see this success as a small drop in the ocean of larger dreams and aspirations, we naturally present ourselves as humble, sincere and honest. Humility wins hearts and helps in expanding our range of influence in a positive manner.

Responsibility: Isn’t it important to own our mistakes or show accountability? Shirking away from responsibility presents us in low self-esteem and it can never help in becoming a leader. Learning from mistakes, demonstrating ownership and willingness to take up higher challenges it truly the mark of a champion. In the evolving skill development space we have a dire need for such leaders and champions.

Attitude: We may have the right knowledge and skills, but without the right attitude, we will not be able to use them effectively to get the desired outcomes. In a professional set up nobody has the time and patience to put up with people’s attitudes. Having the right attitude and displaying it confidently makes a huge difference in winning people and influencing decisions in our favour.

Flexibility: By being open to changes, we solve half the problem of perceiving change as a hurdle in our path to success. Being open minded and flexible can give us the necessary space to make adjustments and adapt our ideas and beliefs to work smartly in a dynamic environment where change is inevitable.

Goal orientation: Goal setting in personal or professional life makes it easy to set milestones that help us review performance, outcomes and obstacles. When a goal is broken into SMART objectives, it becomes even more manageable to track our progress and make corrections to our plans while we are on the journey to arrive at the pre-planned destination.

Sociability: Success is all about how we build relationships, how we interact with people, how we socialize, how we accommodate differences, how approachable we are. Meeting people, networking and communicating could go a long way achieving success. People skills can be learnt consciously as we see start accepting people and situations rather than avoiding them.

Today, reforms and recommendations for various interventions through skill development have been making news with enormous focus on giving vocational education in India its due. The huge numbers, whether it’s the budget for skill development and apprenticeship or the targets that need to be skilled and placed are creating positive vibes to realize our dreams of transformation through gainful employment of millions of youth. What needs to be emphasized is that all our plans and dreams will face several stumbling blocks at various stages of implementation in the absence of learning and applying right skills and knowledge, amply found in the way Dr. Kalam led his life.

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