PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry organised an Industry Interactive Webinar on “Atmanirbhar Bharat amid Industry 4.0 : Technology, Business and Skilling” to discuss and deliberate on the various issues related to skilling for Industry 4.0.

Shri Sanjay Aggarwal, Sr. Vice President, PHD Chamber welcomed Dr. Manish Kumar, MD & CEO, NSDC, who was the Keynote Speaker at the Webinar along with other eminent Panelists namely Shri Vishal Jindal, Chairman, PHD Chamber Skill & Entrepreneurship Development Committee, Shri Ajit Gupta, Co-Chairman, PHD Chamber Skill & Entrepreneurship Development Committee, Dr. R K Somany, Former President, PHD Chamber & Chairman, Indian Plumbing Skills Council, Shri Jagannath V, Business Head, M2Nxt, Shri Sunil Mehta, General Manager, Mitsubishi Electric India and Shri Ravinder Kumar, Founder, Gamma Skills Automation Training and all the delegates from different industries, sector skill councils state skill development missions, academia and others.

Shri Sanjay Aggarwal in his Presidential Address said that it is very pertinent to re-engineer the skill ecosystem to meet the growing need of future smart manufacturing set up. It is extremely important for India to utilize its demographic dividend and overcome the Skills gap within a limited timeline. He suggested that we not only need to skill our workforce but we also need to reskill and upskill them as per the changing requirements of Industry 4.0. They need to tech smart with cognitive skills to suffice the growing need of skilled workforce for future. He also suggested that a mindset change is needed to adapt to the newer technologies and functioning pattern.He hailed the efforts of the Government initiatives which are focused on working towards skilling workforce till the grass root level.

Shri Vishal Jindal, Chairman, PHD Chamber Skill & Entrepreurship Development Committee said that we can only achieve our ambitious target of reaching to $ 5 trillion economy if we make India a manufacturing hub and this can only be possible when we adopt large scale automation along with the necessary skill sets in our workforce. All it needed was to re-orient and reskill those employees with changing times and need of business. And with ever changing technology, adaptability is going to become the new trend for employers and employees. On behalf of PHD Chamber, he assured NSDC and the Ministry of Skill Development that the Chamber will keep on working in contributing to the National Mission on Skill Development of the Government of India.

Dr. Manish Kumar, MD & CEO, National Skill Development Corporation, thanked PHD Chamber for organising such a meaning stakeholder discussion. He said that our large population is a great resource but at the same time there is a need convert this into a big opportunity by skilling them in the best possible way across skillsets’ requirements in various sectors . Industry 4.0 like in the invention of the wheel is slated to be Life Transforming technology which will bring tremendous changes across sectors and how we look at skillsets. He also apprised that the Government has also come up with a new initiative of SMIS (Skill management Information System) which is dedicated portal carrying all the data of the skilled labour spread across all the sectors and regions and also covers Indians coming back from overseas with higher skill sets. We can get all the details related to the skilled workforce available anywhere in India. This will also bring in a change in how Industry can source skilled manpower.

Addressing a webinar, Kumar said the PMKVY-III scheme, “which is likely to come very soon”, will try to draw in industry more deeply and “will be highly friendly towards employers. Besides this, efforts are ongoing to make the apprenticeship laws in the country even more friendly in the future and encouraged industry to promote apprenticeship”.

Kumar said several countries including Canada and Germany have requested the NSDC to teach them how to skill. NSDC has deputed a German resource to explore the possibility of an arrangement on lines of TITP between India and Japan.

The World Bank has hired us to teach Maldives, that”s a smaller country, on what to do with skilling, also with Jordan and Lebanon, two other countries where they have hired us to help them skill themselves, and we have noticed demand from places like the UK,” Kumar added.

National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) MD and CEO Manish Kumar also urged that the chambers and industry should come forward to formulate plans to integrate its skilling objectives with the Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY-III).

Dr. R K Somany, Former President, PHDCCI & Chairman, Indian Plumbing Skills Council assured his support and shared that IPSC has recently launched Plumbacharya, the Digital School of Plumbing during the Covid Times, which is a great initiative to promote key skilling areas digitally and expressed his positivity towards the Apprenticeship training in different sectors.

Shri Ajit Gupta, Co-Chairman, PHD Chamber Skill & ED Committee thanked NSDC about the e-skilling initiative and its need in the times of Covid. He shared his concern over the availability of enough aspirants for Apprenticeship Training as the industries are unable to find the right candidates for apprenticeship programs. He urged the Government to make a centralised data for the same or if such data or portal is available the same may be promoted among the industries for better use. The ease of use of this data must be there. Also another concern is the low penetration of IT skills among the Indian youth which is only 0.5% of the total workforce. He also urged the Government and the industry for creating the concept of Smart Workers and Smart Factories for Smart Manufacturing while dwelling on Industry 4.0. He also proposed that PHD Chamber can work with the Ministry of Skill Development for promoting the smart manufacturing and Industry 4.0.

Shri Jagannath V, Business Head, M2Nxt shared that the industry will have more transparency of data and process by embracing Industry 4.0. There is huge gap in what efficiency we possess and what we need to have for Industry 4.0, so we need to start reskilling our workforce and there is huge potential and opportunity for the same.

Shri Sunil Mehta, GM, Mitsubishi Electric India said that what we all are talking about is the connectivity of the equipment and a large number of factories in India have already adopted such system. The automation system or smart technologies must be brought in by any organisation based on the objective that it wants to achieve. Mitsubishi has been working with Academia across India for live projects where the students are given exposure to new projects and technologies and prepare them for smart manufacturing. In the last few years many things have been laid out for Industry 4.0, we now need a mechanism to make it happen towards automation and skilling.

Shri Atul Anand, Senior MC Member, PHD Chamber shared his interest on behalf of PHD Chamber to work closely with NSDC on the TITP program where the Chamber can add a lot of value through the industry members. He also shared his concern on the budget for Skill development programs during Covid-19 for which Dr. Manish Kumar replied that the Government won’t most likely cut down any skilling budget as it is very serious regarding skilling.

Shri Ravinder Kumar, Founder, Gamma Skills Automation Training (GSAT) said that India needs a large number of skilled workforce in respect to the need of Industry 4.0 in the coming time. India is passing through a very interesting phase as we going through the peak stage of demographic dividend, this is very important in terms of skilling. This is the apt time where we can take the advantage by linking the industry with right skilling. Agriculture sector is major area for scope for automation and it is one of the largest employment provider. Agriculture requires active reskilling for large scale mechanisation for our future needs. This is the right time for automation and robotics and will help India become Atmanirbhar.

Mr Saurabh Sanyal, Secretary General, PHDCCI delivered the formal vote of thanks and suggested a closer working with NSDC on various skilling opportunities and issues to create a healthier ecosystem wherein the industrial scenario becomes more efficient and offers higher productivity.

The Session was moderated by Mr Vivek Seigell, Principal Director, PHD Chamber. Around 200 delegates participated from different industries and Skill organizations like the Skill Training Partners, manufacturing companies, automation companies Sector Skill Councils, State Skill Missions, Assessment Agencies, Industries, Project Implementation Agencies and others.