UpSkilling India: What does it take?


Education Series 2019: Part 2

UpSkilling India

Narayanan Ramaswamy, Dr. Rukmini Banerji, Dr. O.P Goel, Samyak Chakrabarty

With the world’s youngest working population, India is expected to welcome 70 million people into its workforce by 2023. This demographic dividend, with equal participation from the female workforce, can become the driving force of India’s growth story if the young population is provided with the necessary training, education and support. In a country which values formal university degrees, employers report a discernible lack of experienced and employable candidates in a constantly evolving labour market. While the number of school drop-outs at the secondary and tertiary level has significantly risen in the past few years, more than 50 lakh students are now enrolled in vocational training courses across the country under government or private institutions. 

For students who are unable to continue with their formal education and adults seeking to enter or re-enter a competitive job market, vocational training and specialised skilling programmes offer a viable alternative. The Indian government has launched the Skill India mission in 2015 to bridge the gap through its industry-led initiatives and nation-wide training centres and the private sector has taken an active interest in training individuals in order to later hire them as employees through in-house coaching institutions. Companies such as Bosch provide free or subsidized education to school dropouts and underprivileged but deserving candidates, ensuring that graduates have the requisite skills to enter the labour force.

How can job-specific skills be imparted through vocational training courses? What would be the best method to impart skill training to individuals with varying levels of cognitive capabilities and prior training? How can these courses be formally recognized in order to mainstream school drop-outs within the labour market? Join us as we discuss the major challenges to skill development and find creative solutions with Dr. Rukmini Banerji, CEO of Pratham Foundation; Dr. O.P Goel, Head of Bosch India Foundation; Narayanan Ramaswamy, Partner and Head of Education at KPMG India and Samyak Chakrabarty, Founder and Managing Director at X Billion Labs, as moderator.

Rukmini Banerji

Dr. Rukmini Banerji is the Chief Executive Officer of Pratham Education Foundation. She has extensive experience in program design and delivery and has played key roles in developing and implementing Pratham’s partnership programs with governments. Over the years, she has led assessment activities of Pratham including setting up an internal measurement, monitoring and evaluation unit. For ten years, from 2005 to 2014, she was the Director of ASER Centre, Pratham’s autonomous research and assessment unit, which conducts the well-known, nation-wide Annual Status of Education Report (ASER) survey. Dr. Banerji has been with Pratham since 1996 and took over as CEO in 2015. She was a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University and has completed her PhD from the University of Chicago.

OP Goel

Dr. O. P. Goel heads the Bosch India Foundation, along with CSR and Skill Development for the company. Dr Goel also heads Bosch Vocational Centre at Bangalore, which has been running the German apprenticeship model for last 6 decades. The Centre has been awarded as Best apprenticeship centre by the President of India 54 times and has produced 245 gold medalist apprentices. BRIDGE, a short-term skilling program for school drop-out youth is the brainchild of Dr Goel. Under this program, 26,000 youth have been trained and employed through 272 BRIDGE centres across the country. Govt of India has nominated Dr Goel as a member in its apex steering committee of Prime Minister Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY), where he is only skilling expert chosen from Corporate India. 

Narayanan Ramaswamy

Narayanan Ramaswamy is the Partner & National Lead for Education & Skill Development at KPMG India. He is also the Practice Lead for the Social Sector Advisory. He has over 24 years experience in management consulting and industry and his current focus is on Education, Skill Development and social sector advisory. Narayanan leads a team of over 60+ professionals exclusively focused on Education and Skilling – working across India, SAARC, Middle East and African regions. He is a member of the standing committee for National Council for Teacher Education (NCTE) and has been in the expert committees of the Ministry of Human Resource Development for the New Education Policy, EQUIP – 5-year vision plan for Higher Education and the Pawar committee for technology in Education. 


Listed by Forbes as one of Asia's most influential under 30-year-olds: Samyak Chakrabarty leads X Billion Labs - an ecosystem of futuristic impact enterprises. Currently, he is working towards moving the needle for India's un-employability crisis by enhancing the natural intelligence of graduates for applications at the new-age workplace across roles and sectors. This is done via an e-learning platform that incepts mental models for skills such as emotional intelligence, creative problem solving and critical thinking in 5+ vernacular languages. He is the founder of The Green Batti Project which provided positive adult role models (mentors) to students from lower-income groups, Minaya: a seed fund for women entrepreneurs in slums and Operation Black Dot to enable lakhs of college students to cast an informed vote.  


In partnership with:

HT Parekh Foundation

Event Details

Thu 21 Nov 2019
6:30 - 8 p.m.

Hall of Harmony, Nehru Centre, Worli, Mumbai 400018

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