Hyderabad: The 4th International Conference on Life Skills and Livelihood Skills. SKILLS 2017 themed “Leveraging Digital India for Rural Empowerment was inaugurated by Mr. JayeshRanjan, IAS, Principal Secretary, IT, Government of Telangana, in the presence of Mr. Ravindr aVikram M, Chairman, REEDS Dr. Ravi K Reddy, Secretary, REEDS, Mr. Richard W. Oliver CEO of American Sentinel University, Mr. Dan Coholan, Vice Chairman, RBC Wealth Management (Royal Bank), Toronto, Canada at MCR, HRD Institute of Telangana, Hyderabad.
The 4th series of SKILLS 2017 is aimed at leveraging the Digital India program for rural empowerment. The thematic sessions onDigital Infrastructure, the foundation for success, Digital Education – delivering the Demographic Dividend, Digital Prescription for Rural Health, Digital Agriculture: Plows to Profit and Financial Inclusion or Illusion : The Critical Challenge aim at exploring the issues and challenges in effectively extending the Digital India campaign to be effective in influencing and empowering the rural population in the key aspects that touch there life. Digital India is, by far, the most potent opportunity for the transformation of India by empowering nearly one billion rural Indians with advanced skills and the latest digital tools, enabling them to “leapfrog” into the Digital Age. At SKILLS 2017 adiverse group of stakeholders like policy makers, government officials, educators, business executives and training professionals from around the world will discuss, debate, deliberate and decide on the best means to identify the challenges and create the solutions necessary to ensure leveraging Digital India for Rural Empowerment. It will also help in preparing a white paper on roadmap to achieving Leveraging Digital India for Rural Empowerment by creating opportunities by imparting life & livelihood skills to the citizens of India
Speaking at the inauguration Mr. RavindraVikram M, Chairman, REEDS, said “SKILLS 2017 is the fourth in a series of Life Skills and Livelihood Skills International conferences aimed at developing the skill levels, and therefore sustainable economies and general quality of life, of rural India. Earlier conferences SKILLS 2011. SKILLS 2013 and SKILLS 2015were focused on The Challenges for Institutional Development and The Challenges for International Cooperation, Realizing and Sustaining Clean India respectively. Each edition of The International conference SKILLS provides a platform for specialists and intellectuals to identify new dimensions for the existing government programs and prepare a blue print to help Government, NGO’s and local bodies to translate the programs to benefit the masses.”
Speaking on the occasion Dr. Richard Oliver Founder and CEO, American Sentinel University and Conference Chair SKILLS 2017 said, “This is the 4th Skills conference and the biggest to-date. It will feature exceptional speakers with diverse expertise from India and around the world, but all concerned with the Digital India mission and the critical need for focus on the rural issues for skill training and development for that sector.India has the opportunity for global social, cultural, political and economic leadership, but it must empower its rural poor to achieve this.India will not achieve its leadership position unless it makes Digital India a reality for ALL Indians. Earlier technology transformations have created serious imbalances in prosperity. With careful attention to developing the requisite digital skills for the rural poor, such disparities can be avoided. The conference will explore the key issues of infrastructure investment, and skilling rural India with advanced 21st Century skills in agriculture, finance, health and education. Speakers will provide specific policy and practice ideas.”
He further added that “Digital India is the BIGGEST transformation initiative in world history. It portends a “big bang” for the world economy and if done correctly, it will thrust India to the central councils of the world. But it won’t happen unless rural India is an integral part of the transformation.”
Adding to this Dr. Ravi K Reddy, Secretary,REEDS said“The Objective of SKILLS2017 conference is to identify and debate the opportunities and challenges associated with leveraging ‘Digital India Programme’ for creating life and livelihood skills that could facilitate rural income. The conference aims to propose initiatives for central, state and local government policies and programs in promoting and getting acceptability for digitization and leverage it in order to achieve overall economic growth. The program further targets to engage NGO’s , social and business entrepreneurs, organizations to create suitable projects, commercial models, products, programs and services to accelerate Digital India for sustainable rural economies.There is a need that we understand the issues faced by rural India and identify key areas were Digital India can play a pivotal role in accelerating the growth in rural areas by making them self reliant. The sessions will also explore the necessary Skilling programs that will be needed to enable the rural population to effectively benefit from Digital India campaign.The Indian Government is taking great initiative in promoting Digital India. for Rural Empowerment and SKILLS 2017 is aimed at supporting and promoting the Government of India’s initiatives for achieving Sustainable progress in this direction. “