Action points: Emerging technologies: New skills and jobs in Post-COVID-19 Scenario


On the occasion of World Youth Skills Day 2020, NSN launched a webinar series called “70 minutes” (सत्तर मिनट) on 15th July 2020. The term 70 minutes or Sattar Minute is inspired from the film Chak De India, where the protagonist Shah Rukh Khan delivers a monologue on the importance of every minute of the (hockey) game, how one should play to their full potential and love every part of the game. Similarly, Team NSN wants to focus on some key action points in 70 minutes, that can be implemented by various stakeholders in the domain of skill development and vocational training for making skills aspirational and to improve the delivery system of skills and training.

Dr. Madhuri Dubey, Founder, National Skills Network

Dr. Madhuri Dubey

The second webinar in the series was on “Emerging technologies: New skills and jobs in the post-COVID-19 scenario”. The eminent panelists for the webinar were Mr. Dasari Ramakrishna, CEO, Efftronics Systems; Mr. Venkatraman Umakanth, Member Success Lead, FutureSkills, NASSCOM; Mr. Ameya Vanjari, Head, Technology, and Innovation, Tata STRIVE; and Mr. B. Sudharshan, Deputy Managing Director, NTTF. The session was moderated by Dr. Madhuri Dubey, Founder, National Skills Network.

Emerging technologies: New skills and jobs in Post-COVID-19 Scenario

Speakers in the panel shared insights on emerging technologies, new skills, and new job roles in the post-COVID-19 scenario. Speakers broadly focused on the steps to be taken by institutions and organizations to prepare themselves for emerging technologies and jobs.

All the speakers in panel shared their views on the post-COVID-19 job scenario and skill requirement in brief before each of them shared three action points for all the stakeholders in the domain of skill development to make the training and skilling more efficient.

Emerging technologies - New skills and jobs in Post-COVID-19 ScenarioDasari Ramakrishna, CEO, Efftronics Systems


Dasari Ramakrishna

“Organisations, institutions, and students need to have a growth mindset and not a fixed mindset to manage digital businesses and activities. They should be able to adapt to the changes. Sadly, as a country, we focus only on technical knowledge and not so much on the domain knowledge. However, both of them are equally important along with the soft skills”, said Mr. Dasari Ramakrishna.

The three action points:

  1. Collaboration: Collaborations plays an important role. Collaboration needs to be among the people, data, and even among the machines. Collaboration makes everything right. For example, there needs to be a collaboration between web technology on mobile, laptop, and desktop.
  2. Analytics: Before Artificial Intelligence (AI) or Machine Learning (ML) or any other emerging technology, we need to check and analyze the data and know-how to apply these.
  3. Accountability: Earlier accountability would end when someone showed up in the office. Now with remote working becoming the norm, employees are not just accountable for their part of the work but also for the entire outcome. Their performance will be effectively measured. Therefore, employees should be aware and stick to domain knowledge to create a trust for employers.

Venkatraman Umakanth, Member Success Lead, FutureSkills, NASSCOM

Venkataraman Umakanth, Member Success Lead, FutureSkills, NASSCOM

Venkatraman Umakanth

“Even though IT is called an industry, in the past months, IT has been beyond that. Technology has become the backbone of many other industries. Emerging technologies have become important for everyone, thus making cross-functional skills all the more crucial. Research shows that the country would grow five times in the digital economy perspective. Therefore, we would need more digitally skilled people in the future”, shared Mr. Venkatraman

The three action points:

  1. Focus on the controllables: We must initially focus on what we can control. For example, academia should focus on the content they are delivering and its relevance. As a Sector Skill Council, NASSCOM tried to bring some amount of standardization to bridge the gap between industry and academia.
  2. Industry collaboration: There should be strong industry collaboration with academia. This would help in aligning the content as per the emerging technologies and curriculum. As the certificates do not matter much but its applicability does.
  3. LAG formula:

L – learning agility – Companies and organizations are no more assessing people on how much or what they know, but on how they can learn and unlearn.

A – adaptability – people must be able to adapt to the changing scenarios.

G – A growth mindset – it is necessary not just for students but also to the existing workforce. One must keep these at the back of the mind, otherwise, we will be lagging behind.

Ameya Vanjari, Head, Technology, and Innovation, Tata STRIVE

Ameya Vanjari, Head, Technology, and Innovation, Tata STRIVE

Ameya Vanjari

“Employment in emerging technologies is going to be important. Look at all the formal sectors like banking, retail, etc., COVID-19 has been a catalyst in pushing them to adopt the technologies soon. COVID-19  has pushed industries to rediscover themselves and to shape the jobs. Emerging technologies is also transforming the informal sector”, said Mr. Ameya.

The three action points:

  1. Reimagine the organization: It is not enough to adapt to the new technologies. Organizations, most importantly training partners should reimagine the services, and solutions they offer and that too in an agile manner to cope with constraints of COVID-19. In skill development, it is not possible to do away with a physical presence or practical learning. Therefore, the adoption of digital technologies and blended learning is important.
  2. Focus on what skills are important: Youth and institutions should know what skills are going to be important. Contemporary domain skills, soft skills, financial literacy, digital savviness in most job roles is the most crucial. The ability to learn and adapting to new processes and technologies is also very important.
  3. Transforming the Informal sector: COVID-19 has given an opportunity for the industry and academic institutions to collaborate. They should pick up any challenges like access to healthcare, finance, etc. and craft solutions, provide services, encourage technological start-ups, create entrepreneurs. This will help the informal sector to get formalized.

Sudharshan, Deputy Managing Director, NTTF


B. V. Sudharshan

“I feel there is no post-COVID-19 but we should live with it. Areas of opportunity in the times of emerging technologies and COVID-19 are edTech online learning, data science, AI, ML, Cloud, Pharma, Agriculture automation, etc.”, said Mr. Sudharshan, emphasizing on ‘copability’ as a key skill to imbibe.

The three action points:

  1. Sustain, stabilize, and scale-up: We must reduce waste, make efficient use of resources, and adapt to the new normal and be flexible to be able to sustain during these times.
  2. Collaborate, cooperate, and compete: All the three will play a major role during these times. We forge industry and academia partnerships and increase the reach not only to the local institutions but also the global organizations.
  3. Lifelong learning: It is important for everyone to develop an appetite for learning, whether one is a student or an employee. It is not enough to have a degree but the person should be willing to learn, unlearn, and relearn.

We hope our discussions on skilling, reskilling, and upskilling help the stakeholders in the domain in implementing the ideas effectively with the help of key action points.

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