Public-private partnership catalyzes educational excellence, Chennai, March 2011

As per the 11th educational budgetary plan, Government of India is working on improving the education sector by increasing the allocation by 19 percent of the gross budgetary support. A conference was held on “Education for Sustainable Development” organized by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).

Dr Purandeswari, Honorable Minister of State of the Human Resources Development, Government of India, addressed the audience at the conference. She stated that the education system should respond to the changing needs of the stakeholders and focus on quality of education and the faculty, in addition to infrastructure and curriculum. She urged the state governments to increase funding to the Universities and also enact the Right to Education Act to ensure a holistic development in the education sector.

The Minister mentioned that it is crucial for the private sector to join hands with the Government to provide on-the-job experience for students to develop their vocational skills and employability.

Mr Arun Maira, Member of Planning Commission, Government of India emphasized on three key elements to make education relevant to current scenario which include “innovation in delivery, new methods of learning and job-oriented education.” He stated that it is critical for the education system to align with the emerging economic trends and employment potential.

Mr S Gopalakrishnan, Chairman of CII Southern Region and Managing Director of Infosys Technologies Ltd, stated that “education should be an enabler of sustainable development and aim at developing people with right attitudes, skills and knowledge.” He also mentioned that technology delivery systems should be used in education systems, which would pave a way to open learning platforms reaching a large section of people.

Mr C R Swaminathan, Conference Chairman & Chief Executive of PSG Industrial Institute stated that realigning education to promote awareness, attitudes and skills, changes in the work systems and the use of technology will lead to sustainable development.

In her welcome address, Ms Nandini Rangaswamy, Chairperson of CII Tamil Nadu & Managing Director of Chandra Group emphasized the need to strengthen skills training capabilities to meet the ever growing demand for skilled labor. Furthermore, she added that this could only be achieved through partnerships involving academia, industry and government.

The vote of thanks was proposed by Mr N K Ranganath, Vice Chairman of CII Tamil Nadu & Managing Director of Grundfos Pumps India Pvt Ltd.