The Colombo Plan Staff College (CPSC) together with the National Institute of Technical Teachers Training and Research (NITTTR)-Chandigarh recently held the Collaborative Regional Program on Role of Business Incubators in Encapsulating Sustainable Development: A TVET Perspective in Chandigarh, India from September 4 to 8, 2023. The program was participated by TVET institute Directors, Professors, Research Officers, Equipment Officers, Principals, Center Chiefs, and Instructors from Bangladesh, Bhutan, Fiji, India, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, and Thailand.

The program was designed to allow the participants to understand the unique challenges and issues posed by their respective national environments in attaining sustainable development through entrepreneurial skills and management of business incubation centers within their national TVET systems. Some of the expected outcomes of the training were for the participants to understand the complete dynamic process of business incubator set-up and its management, especially focusing on green entrepreneurship.

The program was supervised by the CPSC Director General, Prof. G.L.D. Wickramasinghe, and NITTTR-Chandigarh Director, Prof. (Dr.) Bhola Ram Gurjar. The local coordination in India was facilitated by Dr. Niraj Bala, Professor and Head of the Entrepreneurship Development and Industrial Coordination Department; and Dr. Harsh Vardhan Samalia, Associate Professor of the same department at NITTTR-Chandigarh. CPSC Governing Board-Engaged Faculty Consultant Dr. Kesavan Ulaganathen served as the Program Coordinator and Resource Person during the program, while Prof. Suresh Kumar Dhameja, Professor, NITTTR-Chandigarh, Entrepreneurship Development and Industrial Coordination Department served as the Local Program Coordinator and resource person as well.

Some experts who were tapped during the program include Mr. Azam Ali Khan, Chief Executive Officer, Technology Incubation and Entrepreneurship Development Society, Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee; and Dr. Sanjeev Chaddha, Professor and Head, Management Development Centre, Mahatma Gandhi State Institute of Public Administration in Punjab.

Photos clockwise from left to right: The program management team during the opening ceremony; CPSC Director General Prof. G.L.D. Wickramasinghe; and Prof. (Dr.) Dheeraj Sharma deliver their opening remarks

The opening ceremony was held on September 4, 2023 at the Executive Board Room, NITTTR-Chandigarh and was attended by management officials from CPSC and NITTTR-Chandigarh including the chief guest, Prof. (Dr.) Dheeraj P. Sharma, Director of IIM Rohtak. During his speech, Prof. Sharma highlighted the importance of incorporating entrepreneurship into TVET systems of 21st century institutes. Meanwhile, Prof. Gurjar during his welcome speech wished the participants success and thanked the organizers from CPSC and NITTTR-Chandigarh for delivering another fruitful training program.

From left: Photos of the resource persons delivering their theme papers; Local Coordinator, Prof. Suresh Dhameja; Dr. Sanjeev Chaddha; and Mr. Azam Ali Khan

Key activities, lecture sessions, group discussions, and workshops were facilitated throughout the five-day training. The participants were immersed in various theme papers focusing on technopreneurship, entrepreneurship as a start-up business career, management of start-ups, fundamentals of entrepreneurship, business innovation and incubation, correlating sustainable development and entrepreneurship, and experiential learning in business incubation. In addition, the participants conducted group workshops on preparing effective business framework models, and presented action plans for their institutes in their home countries.

Photos of the participants during their group workshops

In addition, a study visit to the Technology Business Incubation Centre of Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Ropar, Punjab was conducted during the fourth day of the training. The participants learned about some of the best practices of IIT Ropar in how they nurture their students in managing their business startups while finishing their postgraduate studies in IIT. The facilitators from IIT shared their experiences and hopes that more business incubation centers open in developing countries so local entrepreneurs will have an extensive platform to innovate and create meaningful ideas that will contribute to the development of TVET.

Photos of the participants during the study visit to IIT Ropar

The program also featured an International Colloquium on Industry Academia Integration and Sustainable Entrepreneurship during the third day of the program. Prof. Dhameja mainly facilitated the colloquium together with Prof. Maitreyee Dutta, Dean for Academics, NITTTR-Chandigarh. Representatives from some of the academic institutions and industries in India were invited as speakers during the technical sessions. These include Prof. Akshay Dvivedi, Dean, SRIC, IIT Roorkee; Prof. Vivek Malik, ADII, IIT Roorkee; Prof. Andallib Tariq, Head of the MIED, IIT Roorkee; Prof. V.C. Srivastava, Dean of International Relations, IIT Roorkee; and Mr. Sharad Marathe, President and CEO at Universal Technical Systems, Inc. Rockford, Illinois, USA.

Photos during the international colloquium on September 6, 2023

Following the technical sessions, the participants from the 11 countries were given an opportunity to deliver country paper presentations on industry-academia linkages and best practices of entrepreneurship in TVET. An open discussion followed afterwards where the participants and audience were able to clarify and freely discuss their sentiments, questions, and suggestions to the speakers.

Photos during the 56th Annual Day Celebration, NITTTR-Chandigarh

The participants were also invited to attend the NITTTR-Chandigarh’s 56th Annual Day Celebration on September 7, 2023. The celebration aimed to commemorate the founding of NITTTR-Chandigarh and present the institute annual report by the insDirector, Prof. (Dr.) Bhola Ram Gurjar. The program also meant to recognize the institute’s meritorious students, employees, and engineering college. The event invited CPSC Director General Prof. G.L.D. Wickramasinghe as Guest of Honor as well as the Honorable Governor of Punjab and Administrator of Chandigarh, Mr. Shri Banwarilal Purohit and Former Vice Chairman, All India Council for Technical Education, New Delhi, Prof. (Dr.) M.P. Poonia.

Photos during the closing ceremony on September 8, 2023

The closing ceremony was held on September 8, 2023 and was also participated by the members of CPSC and NITTTR-Chandigarh as well as the Chief Guest, Director of IIT Ropar, Prof. (Dr.) Rajeev Ahuja. During his speech, he emphasized the significance of collaboration and partnership towards the implementation of training and projects that benefits not only India, but also its neighboring countries. Likewise, Prof. Wickramasinghe and Prof. (Dr.) Gurjar commended all the participants for successfully completing the training and for trusting CPSC and NITTTR-Chandigarh for organizing a meaningful program.

Photos during cultural night celebration (left) and fellowship dinner (right)