Canadian Colleges Take on India Skills Development

Source: The PIE News

Canadian educators have partnered with the National Skill Development Corporation of India to undertake part of the mammoth task of upskilling India’s youth population. With the NSDC responsible for training 150 million young people by 2022, this month it has signed 13 memoranda of understanding.

The MoUs, 12 of which with Canadian colleges as well as an umbrella MoU with Colleges and Institutes Canada, will facilitate collaborations for skill development in a variety of different sectors, including water, aviation and hydrocarbon.

The agreements were endorsed by both Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the latter’s visit to Canada last week, the first in 42 years.

In 2009, under the National Policy on Skill Development in India, a target to train 500 million people before 2022 was set and the NSDC has been charged with training 150 million.

Cynthia Murphy, director of the Canadian Immigrant Integration Programme at Colleges and Institutes Canada, told The PIE News that with the looming deadline, development under these MoUs is moving very quickly.

“We all know of MoUs that are signed that don’t have a lot of activity – that’s not happening with this group,” she said.

“The NSDC is incredibly motivated and keen to get work happening under these MoUs. Each institution set its own goals within its own sector, but the time frame is of the essence.”

According to CIC figures, last year Canadian colleges and institutes hosted more than 8,000 Indian students– more than the number at universities, language schools, primary and secondary schools combined.

Education in general was one of the key areas that both Prime Ministers agreed to prioritise for bilateral engagement.

Canada also listed India as one of the priority countries to work with in its international education strategy last year.

Modi’s visit followed trips to Germany and France where he signed a two-year residence permit for Indian graduates with French president Francois Holland.

Murphy said that while on this trip Modi connected with the diaspora, but also with business and industry.

“It’s very much about building partnerships in several key sectors, and education being one of them,” she said. “It’s on the government’s agenda, it’s one of the priorities listed, and it is incredibly important to both countries.”

Despite the initial momentum of the collaborations, Husain Neemuchwala, CEO of the Canada-India Education Council said Modi has a lot to prove in the face of India’s upskilling needs.

“The government has only been in power for the past ten months or so,” he commented. “I think there’s tremendous scope and lots to demonstrate the intent as well as the ability to get things accomplished.”

He added: “I think there’s a lot to undertake at this point to demonstrate that they are able and capable and they mean what they say.”

Anaroop Kerketta Wins Indo-Canada Student Innovation Award 2013

By Sparsh Sharma

Mr. Anaroop Kerketta from the Industrial Design Centre (IDC) IIT Bombay won the third Indo-Canada Student Innovation Award for 2013.  The short animation Inside My Mind was selected by the jury and the public from 15 finalists.  The Consul General for Canada in Mumbai, Mr. Richard Bale presented award to Mr. Anaroop Kerketta during the Best Animation Film (BAF) Awards Ceremony at the FICCI Frames Conference 2013 in Mumbai.  The winning short film can be viewed online.

The Government of Canada and Seneca College of Applied Arts & Technology (Seneca) in Toronto, Canada in association with Mumbai’s Frameboxx Animation & Visual Effects are excited to have sponsored this award for the third edition of the Indo-Canada Student Innovation Award 2013 (ICSIA 2013). Seneca and Frameboxx will provide Mr. Kerketta with a one-week training session in animation and visual effects at Seneca, a return economy class ticket from Mumbai to Toronto, as well as accommodation and living expenses for the week. Each year this competition provides an opportunity to Indian students to showcase their artistic creativity, animation technique and innovation.

On presenting the award, Richard Bale said “Canada is home to leading animation firms and technology and has a lot to offer through its innovative training institutions. Anaroop Kerketta will now have the exciting opportunity to work with leading technology and an exceptional talent pool in Canada.”

The jury consisted of Mark Jones from Toronto’s Seneca College, Steve Kahwati from Toronto’s 728 Digital Pictures, Munjal Shroff from Mumbai’s Graphiti Multimedia, Kireet Khurana from Mumbai’s Climb Media, and Richard Bale Consul General for Canada in Mumbai. The winner was selected based on a combination of technical marks from the jury and votes from the general public at the online poll portal.

‘This experience is something that no classroom can teach you…’

‘This experience is something that no classroom can teach you…’

By Sparsh Sharma

A group of 19 MBA students from Université Laval – located in Québec City in Canada, a city recognised by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site – were on a study tour to India. This is the fourth time in five years that a team from the university came to India. Given their success in the previous years, the university decided to come back again this year.

The students travelled to different cities in India mainly to meet companies and promote their products and services and perfect their knowledge of India. The Canadian students represented 19 different companies in varied sectors like education, foods, manufacturing, IT, entertainment, beverages, etc.

Geneviève Marcotte, coordinator of the tour and a participant, answers some questions about the group’s visit:

How would the knowledge be useful to the group and the companies they represent?
GM: This experience is something that no classroom can teach you; after doing in-depth research before coming here and then meeting with your contacts on the field makes us realise the fruit of our labour, which is most certainly rewarding.

I believe that all students should take part in a trade mission like ours, as the experience shows you how small the world really is, and how accessible international markets are. International trade is important to both Canada and India. All the resources offered, in Canada and on the field here in India, were extremely useful for my future career of working in international business development as they were for all students involved in the study tour.

What was the methodology behind the study tour?
GM: Université Laval acts as a non-profit organisation that offers Canadian companies the opportunity to develop their international market. Our team is young, dynamic and benefits from accumulated knowledge of our 16 years of existence. Over 400 companies such as Bombardier, Maison Simons, Philips Lumec, etc. have already used our services. Our agents not only receive training from field experts but also work year-long to perfect their knowledge about the country abroad, its culture, economy, politics and language(s). Before getting into a trade mission like this, they do a market study to be sure about the best way to penetrate that particular market. It is a good opportunity for companies that desire to penetrate new markets and obtain professional, personalised service at an exceptionally competitive price. The University of Laval Commercial Missions is here to facilitate a period of transition to these new markets. From market potential evaluation to importation and exportation logistics, possible entry modes, technical representation as well as searching for distributors and clients, development agents, or the MBA students this time, worked three weeks in India to reach all goals of Canadian enterprise. Companies wanting to participate in our trade missions pay an amount which covers only cost for mission such as hotel, per diem and transport.

Would the products be marketed focusing on the Indian market?
GM: I think the business opportunity in India is immense but foreign companies must be very careful while entering this market. Though marketing is an important process in selling most products, the cultural challenges and political barriers are numerous. Obtaining permits can take long, finding the right distributor can be difficult and finding the right logistic strategy to make it all work is the key. Marketing will come once you have everything else in place, and if you have done all other things correctly, the publicity and advertisement will find results by itself with minimal effort.

Did your group’s impression about India change?
GM: It’s my second time in India and every time I discover a wonderful country with people wanting to learn more about us and teach a lot about their culture. It’s amazing. We thought India is a misinterpreted country: the advances that have been made, the technology available is impressive and the stereotype of ‘poor India’ is misleading. Businesses, especially small and medium enterprises (SMEs) all across the country, offer a wide range of high-quality products and services, and I think many people confuse lower production prices to lower quality. When you look at a giant like Tata, and all of the industries they are able to thrive in, it gives you a great example of the wide range of available knowledge, and its influence on the global scale.

Nader Daher: “India is a very sense-awakening place. Doing business here is a full human experience.”

Jonathan Bouvrette: “India brings a model of cooperation through open-mindedness”

Simon Lemay-Roux: “India is an incredible experience – business-wise as well as personally.”

Marie-Pier Michaud: “Canada and India are so different that every aspect of India becomes so impressive.”