Conference tarpaulin A total of 160 teachers, administrators, participants and students flocked to the Auditorium of the National Institute for Technical Teachers’ Training and Research (NITTTR) Campus in Chandigarh, India to attend the International Conference on Skilling for Self-Employment which was held from February 21-22, 2019.

The International Conference is being organized by the Colombo Plan Staff College (CPSC), Philippines and National Institute of Technical Teachers' Training and Research (NITTTR), Chandigarh with a view to enhancing skilling in Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) systems for self-employment of graduates for greater impact in the socio-economic development of the region.

The broad themes of the conference include: (1) Skill Development Scenario in TVET in Asia Pacific Region; (2) Capacity Building for Skill Development and Self-employment and (3) Skilling for Self-Employment: Education and Industry Perspective. It also aims to build a consensus on implementing strategies to develop skills necessary for self-employment.

The conference was formally opened in a ceremony held on February 21, 2019. In attendance are the special guests of the event composed of officials from NITTTR, CPSC, Sant Longowal Institute of Engineering and Technology (SLIET) and I.K. Gujral Punjab Technical University Jalandhar – Punjab (IKG-PTU). They lighted an oil lamp to signify the start of the ceremony and delivered their speeches that highlighted their support to the activity.

The chief guests of the conference during the inauguration ceremony (left-right): Dr. SK Dhameja, Conference Coordinator; Dr. Ramhari Lamichhane, CPSC Director General; Prof. S.K. Jain, Director of SLIET Longowal (Punjab); Prof. SS Patnaik, Director of NITTTR Chandigarh and Prof. Ajay Kumar Sharma, Vice-Chancellor of IKG-PTU Kapurthala (Punjab).

The conference was divided into three technical sessions and one plenary session spread on the course of two days. The sessions highlighted the innovations on the field of entrepreneurship, ICT, financial literacy and educational management that were developed by the respective speakers. Country papers highlighting the entrepreneurial activities in TVET from countries such as Bangladesh, India, Malaysia, Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Sri Lanka and Thailand were also presented. Notable industries were also present in the event, with some of their representatives sharing their experiences on how entrepreneurship and skill development changed their respective businesses and mindsets.

Towards the end of the International Conference, the participants and organizers were able to adopt an 11-point strategy which pushes for a more vigorous and productive promotion of self-employment through skills. The specificities are presented below:

Recommendations of the CPSC-NITTTR International Conference on Skilling for Self-Employment
21-22 Feb 2019,
NITTTR Chandigarh, India

  1. Skill training must be integrated within the curriculum.
  2. Teaching strategies must be adopted that provide experiential learning for the students and create active learning environment for them.
  3. The subject of entrepreneurship must be included in the syllabi and an automated system of fund generation must be introduced in TVET institutions. It is also encouraged that Technology Entrepreneurship and related subjects be included to school curriculum.
  4. Skills training for unorganized sectors like agriculture, construction etc. need to be introduced.
  5. Creativity and innovation must be enhanced. Action plans are needed to be framed for sectors such as surface printing.
  6. The State and Centre Govt. officials must enthusiastically provide training to the trainers, in addition to private organizations. The training agency must be accredited by their respective state or apex bodies
  7. The industry-academia linkages need to be strong enough to fulfill the needs and requirements.
  8. Technical or profession training in selected stream should be provided to the students during regular study only.
  9. Students should be encouraged to work on live projects and after completion of training, competitions among these students must be organized. The best projects should be submitted to the respective technical Directorates or concerned departments for processing.
  10. Products and customized gifts are in on huge demand all across the globe and so this is one good option for self-employment.
  11. Entrepreneurs must come up with highly creative design, concept and advertising to stay in business and grow.

Some of the participants with Dr. Lamichhane (2nd from right) during the conference.

Mr. Amit Das, Director of Disruption Technologies Pvt.Ltd., presenting his paper in Technical Session 3