Skills development is no longer a luxury (if at all it ever was!), but rather an urgent necessity. Every industry and every country is facing skills gap challenges in one way or another as there is no outrunning technological and workplace disruptions. Highly-skilled and talented labor is the driving force behind every nation’s economic as well social growth, especially in a country like India.

And, believe it or not, India is holding strong and rising up to the task, be it through government interventions, HR and L&D investments from blue chip companies, or the growing crop of skilling and training platforms available in the market today. Join me as I take a look at some positive announcements, FDIs in education in India and the promise of a better ‘eLearning’ future.

Skill on, India

Recent estimates suggest that nearly half of India’s population is below the age of 25 and the average age of the population is set to reach 29 by 2020. The nation sits unbalanced atop a scale that has equally chances of going either way – India’s demographic dividend will either boost the economic growth OR fizzle out with disappointing outcomes. And, the plane where the scale stands (bear with the analogy), is the country’s struggle with unemployment, lack of employment opportunities, rising skills gaps and technology adoption.

India has been one of the fastest growing economies in the world, for quite some time, and continues to lead the race, which is to say that India stands to benefit largely from its employable population. But wait, with 104.62 million-strong workforce set to enter the labor market by 2022, with only 1% of the population making up 22% of national income, India’s skills gap poses a terrible threat to the promise of economic growth.

A far more relevant question then arises – CAN India address this, and how?

Short answer – YES, it can… How? Let’s find out.

Certainly, global organizations have long seen the skills gap challenges hurtling towards them, including their counterparts in India. It’s not like Indian enterprises are not privy to the fact that workforce development with in-demand knowledge and skills is the call to action to effectively complement the country’s growth. But, come on, let’s face it, this has got to be a combined effort where India diverse industries embrace and propagate skills training for their employees with meaningful certifications, including effective and sustainable long-term skills development strategies.

Insufficient training facilities or opportunities, a stark mismatch between formal education and industry (skills) demands, along with limited industry inputs are some of the, let’s call them ‘overlooked’, hurdles standing in the way of India’s economic growth. And, to address this Indian organizations are slowly but surely defining and adopting efficient, scalable and sustainable employee training programs. With global technology titans like Amazon, Google and Microsoft marking a larger presence across India, the country’s corporate sector is being significantly influenced by global L&D practices. Leading organizations across the country are now leveraging the best learning management systems, modern learning libraries and innovative learn-tech tools.

Recent news coming out of India’s eLearning trades is that two of the country’s biggest software companies, Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) and Infosys, are looking to make available their organizational eLearning courses to outside users. Although a step towards opening up new revenue streams, considering the bigger picture, this still holds a promise of giving positive dividends to the demographic.

In similar news, the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) recently proposed attracting foreign institutions and foreign direct investment (FDI) in India’s education sector to Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal. Okay, some background – education in India has been not-for-profit, where the (surplus) cash generated could be invested back into the said institute. Ahead of the proposed move, an Indian government official cited that the urban development ministry is presently chalking out a scheme – Knowledge Cities – similar to special economic zones (SEZs). Likewise, the move has garnered positive responses since India’s Union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman suggested in the 2020-21 budget speech that FDI in education would be promoted.

Clearly, lot of positive movement happening in India’s education and learning sector that will surely provide some dividends in the years to come. And, learning technology solutions and eLearning will continue to bring key advantages to India’s corporate sector. A country as economically, geographically and culturally diverse as India will benefit from the wide ranging learn-tech solutions, including the irreplaceable Learning Management System (LMS), Mobile Learning, blended learning, social learning and online learning libraries.

Takeaway

In light of such positive announcements, despite of the increasing skills gap facing India, it’s time for Indian enterprises to prioritize L&D and ardently integrate eLearning and learning technology into India’s fledgling corporate sector; because learning is lifelong and technology is indispensable. Simply put, learning technology and eLearning are must-haves for skill development in India, and it’s encouraging to know that the government and Indian enterprises are taking steps in the right direction.

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Author

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Sumant is a seasoned MarCom & CorpCom professional with over 9 years of experience working for organizations in the services industry, primarily IT, real estate and hospitality. A creative bend of mind and with an innate passion for writing, Sumant has his work published across several platforms, including newspapers, magazines, and websites; and he presently plies his trade in UpsideLMS’ incredible Marketing department. Sumant is also passionate about sports (football!), fitness and travelling.