A multi-stakeholder national conference on skill development in the primary sector was held in Delhi on 14th and 15th November 2018. The 12th National Skill Conference with main focus on ‘skilling in the primary sector’ was jointly organized by Functional Vocational Training and Research Society (FVTRS), in partnership with the Centre for Youth and Social Development (CYSD). The knowledge partners for this conference included Commonwealth Educational Media Centre for Asia (CEMCA), Agriculture Skill Council of India (ASCI), Ecociate, Skill Council for Green Jobs (SCGJ), Caritas India, Misereor and Indo-Global Social Service Society (IGSSS).
12th National Skill Conference with focus on ‘skilling in the primary secttor’
The 12th National Skill Conference was inaugurated by Shri Manish Kumar, CEO, National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC), along with Shri Maneesh Mishra from Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship. Mr P.M. Phillip from FVTRS, gave the welcome address where he expounded on the importance of the primary sector in the larger framework of growth and the betterment of the country. The inaugural session focused on the significance of skilling women, engaging underprivileged youth, and utilizing India’s demographic window of opportunity for the primary sector. The SkillNet report was released during this session.
Highlights of the FVTRS-CYSD National Skill Conference
- Dedicated sessions were held on Agriculture, Fisheries, Non-Timber Forest Produce Traditional Artisanship and Green Jobs.
- The sessions were attended and moderated by important people from each sector, who addressed the members of the audience comprising of NGOs working at grassroots level across the length and breadth of the country.
- There were deliberations on the problems faced by the specific sectors, and the possible solutions that can be implemented or are being implemented in the country in the current scenario.
The panel discussion on agriculture focused on the issue of distressed migration of youngsters due to lack of skills in rural areas, as raised by Shri Jagadananda, CYSD who acted as a moderator for the session. Col. P.S. Gupta, ASCI, discussed this issue in his presentation, and offered some innovative thoughts along with Mr Raj Ganguly from World Bank, Mr Kirti P. Mishra from Ecociate and Mr Suryamani Roul from TechnoServe. Mr. Bimal K Mishra, FISHCOFED discussed the various government offerings for Fishing Cooperatives while Mr. Khanna presented the skilling needs of the sector. Mr. Neelkanth Mishra presented the success story of his work in Katihar, Bihar. The session on NTFP, moderated by Mr. John Peter Nelson, IGSSS focused on the need for centralized mechanism for pricing of NTFPs with primary value additional skills providers to collectors. Mr. Ashwini Chandak, Ecociate elaborated about the challenges of the sector and the niche requirements of skilling.
Session on traditional artisanship focused on moving Artisans from the cadre of labour to designers and craftsmanship. Mr. Tamal Sarkar, ED, Foundation for MSME Clusters, discussed the need for reinventing traditional artisanship and matching supply to demand. Dr. Gaganpreet Kaur, NSDA focused on the need for a certain standardization and documentation of this sector that can bring traditional artisanship into the 21st century. The final session was on Green Jobs, which was moderated by Mr. Praveen Saxena, CEO SCGJ, who focused the discussion on the need for affordable and clean energy sources, which has also been defined under the UN-SDGs. Mr. Rajeev Ahal, GIZ stressed on the need to provide integrated skilling through MOOCs and innovative flexi-credits for new opportunities for entrepreneurship to meet India’s potential for “Green Business”.
The session was concluded by presentation of policy and programme level recommendations by Ms. Sanjogita Mishra, CEMCA and Mr. Niladri B. Sahoo, CYSD. This event marks the Silver Jubilee celebrations of FVTRS which has more than 100 partners dedicated to skilling. There was strong advocacy to demystify the process of “Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)” for traditional skills.