Jan 27, 2007

Skills education and India at Davos

A couple of days ago I received an email from Jim Rosenberg (via blogstreet) that stated:

The World Bank has prepared a special section online with useful information about India related to the World Economic Forum in Davos, underway this week. The theme of Davos this year is "The Shifting Power Equation." We have organized our resources around the subthemes of the meeting:

  • Economics: New drivers
  • Geopolitics: The Need for Fresh Mandates
  • Technology and Society: Identity, Community and Networks
  • Business: Leading in a Connected World
The page is located at http://www.worldbank.org/indiadavos

We hope it is useful to you, and we welcome your feedback.

Today, I finally got to check out the link and I think it's a great way to involve us, the common citizen into the hi-powered world of the WEF at Davos.

I thought this article in particular is pretty significant:

A fifth of all those born between now and 2030 will be Indian – a full 320 million people. They will live in the world’s most populous country, a prosperous one no doubt, but also one marked by inequalities. By 2030, without intervening government policies, India may experience an increase in inequality because of the skill-intensive nature of its growth path. Much of this can be attributed to new technology, the rising demand for skilled workers, and a disinclination to employ unskilled people.

I fervently hope that tomorrow's growth does not give rise to inequity. To succeed in that endeavour education, both in the primary, secondary and higher section needs to be really overhauled to help us meet the challenges of the future.

Today I met some of my ex-colleagues for an informal lunch. There were a couple of PhDs from business schools who have ended up the corporate sector, who admitted that teaching and research is always their first love, but there is very little original research happening in the economic and business areas in India and the lack of talented conceptualisers in the business world has pulled them into the corporate world.

There was talk of how the western model of management and doing business is essentially "de-skilling" of talents...where one focusses on narrow specializations that leave people with little or no larger connect with the context. While we see that it is also being replicated in India, there was no consensus whether it was a good thing or not for talent levels in the country.