Rural India is yet to realize the potential of digital technologies. Even a simple device like a mobile phone can become a powerful tool if used properly. The scope of Digital India mission includes various aspects of digital infrastructure for empowering people in the rural and semi-urban regions. Aligned with this mission, the 4th International Conference on Life Skills and Livelihood Skills (LSLSI) – Leveraging Digital India for Rural Empowerment focuses on education, agriculture and health as key areas for digital intervention. The conference will be held from 16th to 17th November at 16-17 November 2017, at Dr. MCR HRD Institute of Telangana, Hyderabad.
SKILLS2017 is dedicated to improving the life skills and livelihood skills in rural India in order to help them improve the quality of life through employment and entrepreneurship. This is the fourth in the series of conferences that were started in 2010. The conference has attracted a host of dignitaries from India and abroad, representing industrial, academic, regulatory, health and financial sectors. Let’s hear from the international organizer of SKILLS2017, Richard Olivier, Founder & CEO, American Sentinel University Colorado, USA, about the rationale and objectives of the conference and why Hyderabad has become the chosen venue for the event.
For India to progress and take her rightful place as one of the world’s leaders on the economic, social and political fronts, it needs to create new employment opportunities (most certainly technology based) and inspire all its citizens to higher order skills that these enterprises require. Teaching one billion rural agricultural workers to use smartphones and iPads is an important first step, but it will not really change much in the long term. As in all developed countries, the role of agriculture will always be important but not as a employer. Hence new opportunities have to be created and digital technologies have a critical role to play. Richard Olivier, International Organizer, SKILLS2017
Further elaborating on the significance of the event and the theme of digital technologies, Mr Olivier emphasises the need to relook at the role of agriculture that may always be important but not as a employer. For example, in the USA, about 1 1/2% of the population is employed in agriculture, about the same in manufacturing, and the majority in services.
Influence of digital technologies in the field of agriculture in India
Over the course of this century, as Indian agriculture advances, through digital technologies among others, it will free people for higher order jobs. Further, digital technologies, knowledge, tools and skills lie at the heart of much of the technological innovation in almost every field. In the US right now, there is a growing debate about how technology will eliminate jobs. This may not be true at this moment since history demonstrates that technology creates jobs — but of a different kind. Higher order skills are based on learning the fundamentals first.
Why participating in SKILLS 2017 could be uniquely rewarding for the delegates
The conference brings together some of the best minds in health, education, finance and agriculture from India and around the world. Their purpose is to describe the polices, programs, tools and best practices necessary to develop the digital skill base of rural India in these critical areas. In the West, such a conference was not necessary, because people acquired these skills over many years and they now have a commanding lead in the effective use of these skills. India must catch up if it is to take its rightful place among the leaders of the world. By focusing on the necessary skills needed for participation in the global economy, India can “jump start” its economic growth by enabling and empowering its demographic dividend — a billion more brains!
List of Speakers
1.Acharya BP, IAS Special chief secretary, Department of Planning, Government of Telangana
2.Amarnath Raja CEO and co-founder, InApp
3.Anand Sudarshan, Founder & Director, Sylvant Advisors
4. Ashok Jhunjhunwala, Principal Advisor, Minister of Power, Government of India
5. Bobba Venkatadri, General Partner, Ventureast
6. Carrie Oliver, Managing Director, Yare Group, UK
7. Dan Coholan, Vice Chairman, RBC Wealth Management, Royal Bank of Canada
8. Gerald Jaideep, Chief Executive Officer, Medvarsity
9. Jaya Indiresan, Educationist, Trainer & Social Researcher
10. Jayesh Ranjan IAS, Principal Secretary , Departments of Industries & Commerce and Information Technology; Government of Telangana
11. Madaswamy Moni Chief Advisor (IT) Department of Agriculture, Government of India
12. Mohan Reddy BVR Founder & Executive Chairman; Cyient Ltd
13. Ranjan Patnaik Director; DuPont Knowledge Center
14.Ravi Kota, IAS Principal Secretary, Finance, Government of Assam
15. Renu Satti Chief Executive Officer; Paytm Payments Bank
16. Richard W Oliver Chief Executive Officer; American Sentinel University
17. Sangita Reddy Joint Managing Director; Apollo Hospitals Group
18. Satyanarayana J, IAS (Retd) Chairman; Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI)
19. Sivakumar Divisional Chief Executive of Agri Business, ITC Ltd
20.Srinivasa Rao Pulijala Chief Executive Officer; Apollo Medskills
21. Suhas P. Wani Director; ICRISAT Development Center
Hyderabad as the conference venue
Hyderabad is the ideal venue for such a conference with its wealth of technology companies and committed government. In addition, there are number of venture investing firms, and NGOs such as T-Hub, which can bring the essential entrepreneurial spark necessary to ensure the tools and techniques for full participation in the digital economy are provided for rural India.