There Is Greater Realization That Technology Would Become Very Important For Future: Manish Kumar, CEO & MD, NSDC

A webinar on "Digital Transformation in Education – Are The Masses Ready?" was presented by BW Education, in association with BW Businessworld.

BW Education hosted a power-packed session on, "Digital Transformation in Education – Are The Masses Ready?" in Association with BW Businessworld.

The education sector in a way is impacted positively by COVID-19. The immersion of technology in education has gone up. So, the discussion revolved around that are we ready for the digital transformation or not.

The panel had stalwarts from the domain of skilling, entrepreneurship and education -R Ramanan, Mission Director, Atal Innovation Mission (AIM) - a flagship national Innovation initiative of the Prime Minister and the Government of India under the NITI Aayog (National Institution for Transforming India); Manish Kumar, CEO & MD, NSDC (National Skill Development Corporation); Vinesh Menon, CEO - Education, Consulting & Skilling, Ampersand Group and Dr Annurag Batra, Chairman & Editor-in-Chief, BW Businessworld & exchange4media Group.

On how has the last 60 days impacted education and where it can be seen going in the next three to six months, R Ramanan, Mission Director, Atal Innovation Mission, said, “We are a country of 1.3 billion people, we have 1.4 million schools in our country, we have 10,500 Engineering and related institutions, we have 39,000 colleges and we have 115 million young students who are going to be entering into the workplace and the future of our country is dependent on the direction in which 115 million young students are going to take us. So, the destiny of the country is in their hands and education is a very important part because without education there cannot be the ability to take on new jobs that are going to come during the COVID-19 and post COVID-19 crisis.”

Talking about whether we are ready for digital transformation and how it can be seen panning out, Manish Kumar, CEO & MD, National Skill Development Corporation, underlined that the digital skilling and digital platforms as a means to skilling for education is inevitable, it’s not about choice, it’s about adapting to the reality of life. The whole life-transforming technology that we call the internet having arrived in the world sometimes in the 1990s has changed the way human civilization operates. Its strongest presence is felt now because of the COVID scenario, we cannot meet physically but the idea of human civilization about talking to each other is possible because of the availability of the technology as a backbone. Therefore, there is a greater realization that technology would become very important for the future.

Speaking about the future of education for masses, Vinesh Menon, CEO - Education, Consulting & Skilling, Ampersand Group, highlighted that COVID-19 has been quite tough on the entire world, it has definitely been a perfect period for resettling a lot of innovation in initiatives that we want to take and reach out to the masses. One of the biggest concerns is the last mile connectivity. If we really get down to the last mile, we are talking about 70,000 villages and we are talking about trying to reach out to the last mile out there and providing education and skilling through a digital platform and that’s where there are a few questions that need to be probably looked into. For example - out of 455 million urban population that we have, nearly 300 million of them have internet access, whereas, out of the 900 million of non-urban population, internet access has not reached to more than 180 million of population. So, that is probably one area that we need to be cognizant of.

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