Thursday, September 13, 2012

Operation (Flood) Accomplished - Rest In Peace Dr. Verghese Kurien

Amul Girl cries for the first time,
since her appearance in 1960s.
Image Source: Amul Website
The year was probably 1987/88, and I had seen a film by Shyam Benegal, titled Manthanwhich coincidentally shares it's year of birth with me. In those days of Door Darshan, anything other than Krishi Darshan was eagerly lapped up, but a song from the film remained with me. This very song, Mero Gaam Katha Parey, sung by Preeti Sagar, would push me to watch the film again, years later, in around 1994, and I became a fan of Dr. Verghese Kurien.
shovon chakraborty
If there's one single person ever, who has changed the entire landscape of a whole region, thorough his sheer persistence and relentless pursuits of the vision, which he believed in, here was the man. He took on the middlemen - the wholesalers, the moneylenders, and even the age-old feudal structure, present in the villages, in and around Anand. Nobody, from the moneyed classes, were happy with him. But his efforts resulted in the flowing of not red blood, but white milk, and led to a historic revolution among the local untouchables and the economically backward communities. Dr. Kurien lead from the front to create iconic institutions, such as, Amul, Gujarat Co-operative Milk Marketing Federation (GCMMF), National Dairy Development Board (NDDB), Institute of Rural Management - Anand (IRMA) and many more. His open brief to Sylvester daCunha resulted in the creation of the "Amul Baby" or "Amul Girl", perhaps the most iconic Indian brand symbols.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Vocational Education & Training in India - Industry Association thinks of Vocation University

The Confederation of Indian Industries, CII - in short, had recently convened a seminar on the need to train millions of workers, particularly at lower levels, and making them employable in an industry relevant way. Titled, "Employment Exchanges to Employability Centres", the seminar had been convened at Chennai in the last week of July 2012. In the seminar, Mr S. Mahalingam, Chairman, CII National Committee on Skills and Executive Director cum CFO of Tata Consultancy Services Ltd, said that vocational education programs were necessary to make the best use of the demographic dividend, which our country enjoys. He also emphasized the need for radical changes in the course curricula and the skill training infrastructure. There were a lot of skills required across sectors such as construction, manufacturing, service-related industry including hospitality and healthcare.
shovon chakraborty business blog vocational training
The seminar ended with a note, emphasizing the requirement for setting up one or more "vocational university" in India.
vocational training education university India CII
This particular proposal, at first, made me uneasy. The very mention of setting up multiple university, meant that the government of India, through its regulatory agencies, had the scope of dictating terms. And, when that happens, we all know about the end results. A look at the state of the professional education in India is enough to make us understand about the negative impacts of regulatory bodies like UGC and AICTE. What these regulatory bodies ensure is that the curricula remain grossly outdated and irrelevant from the industry's perspective. As a regional head of an industry body had once mentioned, the professional courses teach our students to play cricket, while the industry expects them to be good at baseball.
vocational training future sharp skills, gram tarang