Noted educationist and leader of skilling India Dr. Darlie O Koshy’s new book titled ‘Runway to Skilled India’ was unveiled at the India Craft Week being held at Bikaner House, New Delhi. The book was unveiled by Dr. Vinay Sahasrabuddhe, President Indian Council for Cultural Relations in the presence of Sri Alphons Kannanthanam MP, Former Union Minister of State for Culture & Tourism. It is a sequel to his much-acclaimed earlier work “Indian Design Edge”. The book has incorporated for the first time an interactive model with a QR Code for the reader to listen to the entire proceedings of Virtual Round Table which had leading luminaries like Sri Ajit Seth, Former Cabinet Secretary, GoIand Sri Mohandas Pai, Chairman, Manipal Global Education, Dr Subroto Bagchi, Chairman, Odisha Skill Development Authority (OSDA), among others who have dealt with multi-faceted dimensions of the book thus bringing a rich mosaic of ideas and possibilities to realize the dream of ‘Skilled India’.
“India is blessed to possess the advantage of the demographic dividend that can be harnessed to make India ‘the skill capital of the world’. The COVID-19 pandemic has also underscored the significance of Re-Skilling, Up-skilling and New-skilling (RUN) to stay relevant amid the dynamic economic scenario. I am greatly honoured by the august presence of dignitaries – Dr. Vinay Sahasrabuddhe and Sri Alphons Kannanthanam and would like to thank them for gracing this occasion,” said Dr. Darlie Koshy, the author of the book ‘Runway to Skilled India’.
The launch of the book comes after a Webinar that featured an array of experts from skill space as well as from Textile-Apparel and other allied Industries who had explored the ‘Future of Jobs & Skills’. Later on 15th January 2021, a Virtual Round Table was held to discuss the Book’s contents and takeaways by Thought Leaders.
In the new book, the author makes strong advocacy to combine India’s inherent creativity with acquired skills to move from ‘supply-driven’ skilling to ‘demand-driven’ and then ‘innovation-driven’ skill development to foster value creation. Towards this, he evangelizes a ‘RUN’ (Re-skilling, Up-skilling, New-skilling) strategy especially for the 356 million youth and the 450 million work-labour force across sectors with special focus on the largest employment generating sectors which include Textile-Apparel-Fashion-Lifestyle-Retail (TAFLR) especially adopting a ‘T’ shaped skilling approach. The new book is intended to facilitate a focused R.U.N. strategy to confront and conquer the disruptive changes in employment patterns and requirements to redirect the skill development efforts by 2022 when India turns 75 post-independence and to go beyond in this decade to achieve the status of ‘Skill Capital for the World’.
The takeaways in this book are rooted in the spirit of Atmarnirbhar Bharat which Dr. Koshy believes is an overarching concept of self-esteem and self-reliance for every Indian. For this, rediscovering and repurposing India’s innate creativity and traditional skills embedded in crafts, arts and design is critical and the traditional and newly emerging clusters offer the best opportunity with e-commerce opening up new markets. The ODOP scheme in UP introduced in 2018 exemplifies such an approach. Dr. Koshy also argues for redirecting and restructuring post-covid skill development by assessing ‘skill density’ of each course to move to a ‘Hybrid’ learner-centric pedagogy and to integrate with digital learning platforms as World Economic Forum has also recently advised. The book examines the role of traditional crafts and other natural manufacturing clusters and suggests proactive design, technology and business interventions so that the job losses suffered during COVID times can be mitigated while providing new avenues for creating jobs and providing economic sustenance and livelihoods.
The title of the book suggests that there are many approaches possible for making ‘India skilled’ and to eventually become a ‘skill capital for the world’. The policies from 2009 onwards are beginning to make a felt impact as the % age of skilled people have increased from 2% to about 5% over this period. However, there is a long way to go before a substantial number of trained candidates with higher productivity levels and global benchmarks are attained.
Dr. Darlie Koshy is an educationist par excellence. He has been heading as DG & CEO, ATDC & IAM under the aegis of AEPC while shaping a new skillscape of a ‘Skill Pyramid’ from ‘SMART’ at skill levels 1 to 4 and thereafter ATDC-AVI, for Skill Levels 5 to 7 and the higher levels at the Institute of Apparel Management playing a proactive role in the success of ISDS of MOT, GOI by setting up on Pan-India basis 200 ATDC-SMART Centres for training over 2,50,000 candidates in just under 5 years emerging as the ‘largest skill provider’ for the Apparel Sector.
Dr. Darlie Koshy is a PhD from IIT Delhi and rank holder in MBA from CUSAT having been also trained in FIT, Network as a founding faculty member of NIFT. Dr Koshy, Author of 3 major books including the “Indian Design Edge” published by Roli Books is also an internationally acclaimed Presenter and powerful Orator. Above all, Dr Koshy is well respected as a mentor and guide by hundreds of students and faculty members whom he has taught and mentored in NIFT, NID, IAM etc. over the last quarter of a century. Dr Koshy has been named twice (2006, 2008) as one of 50 Leaders shaping Indian Higher Education.
Dr Darlie Koshy was conferred with WEC’s ‘Outstanding Contribution to Education Award 2015’ for Knowledge, Skill Development and Leadership for the Upliftment of the Society. He was also honoured with prestigious “Outstanding Contribution to Education Award 2015” for ’Knowledge, Skill Development and Leadership for the Upliftment of the Society” at the ’World Education Congress (WEC) at Taj Lands’ End, Mumbai.