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Dire need to scale up skill development ecosystem: Dr Mita Tarafdar at Engineers’ Day

Mail News Service

Jamshedpur, Sept 15: The Institution of Engineers (India) [IE(I)] was established in 1920 to render professional service to engineers belonging to 15 engineering disciplines. The institute of Engineers (India) [IE(I)] has 123 State and Local Centres and 6 overseas chapters with a strength of over 2,37,000 corporate members. It has bilateral relationships with many global engineering organizations. In recognition of valuable service for the cause of advancement of engineering, the Institution was bestowed with the Royal Charter in 1935.

September 15 is celebrated every year in the country, since 1967 as Engineers’ Day to commemorate the birth anniversary of the legendary engineer Sir Mokshagundam Visvesvaraya. He was also called the precursor of economic planning in India. His learned discourse on economic planning in India, Planned Economy for India and Reconstructing India, was the first available document on the planning effort of the country and it is still held as the parent source matter for economic planners.

The 54th Engineers’ Day was celebrated throughout the country on the theme ‘Engineers for Skill Development & Employment in Combating COVID.’  The topic held a significant promise for delivering social and economic benefits to the working category of manpower, who had migrated during the COVID-19 period.

Jamshedpur Local Centre of IE(I), celebrated the 54th Engineers’ Day on virtual mode on Wednesday evening which was also the 160th birth anniversary of the most eminent engineer, Bharat Ratna Sir Mokshagundam Viswesvaraiya and in whose honour this event is celebrated. 

The welcome address was by Anurag Saxena, Chairman of the center.Other speakers of the evening included Chief Guest Er Vishal Badshah, Plant Head, Tata Motors, Jamshedpur and the Keynote Speaker Dr. (Mrs.) Mita Tarafder, Chief Scientist of the CSIR-National Metallurgical Laboratory (NML) and Head of Knowledge-Resource and Information-Technology (KRIT) Division. The Chairman spoke on the importance of Engineers’ Day and introduced the theme of the occasion.

The officers of Tata Steel Vikash Srivastava, Anshuman Ranjan and K N Bhan Singh were honored with Tech-Samaritans Award of IE(I) for their special contribution in the field of engineering by providing technical services to society during the COVID-19 crisis.

Dr. (Mrs.) Mita Tarafder delivered the keynote address on the theme “Engineers for Skill Development & Employment in Combating COVID”.  She spelt out the challenges posed byCOVID-19, that overturned the global economy, pushing millions into penury as the pandemic took centre stage. Reeling under an economic downturn, many industries had adopted conservative approaches like hiring freezes, pay-cuts and layoffs to remain afloat, while others were forced to shut down. The shutting of commercial establishments due to the second wave of Covid-19, had rendered several people jobless, leaving them financially vulnerable.

“As we move along, the biggest challenge at hand will be getting back on track and accept the new normal. Under the new normal, the jobs, which are heavily dependent on migratory workforce and involve work spaces, with higher levels of physical proximity, are likely to see greater transformation and would require skilling and re-employing our workforce,” she observed.

Dr Tarafder deliberated on the skill development program under the CSIR Integrated Skill Initiative. She explained the categories of skill development program including Corporate Training Program, Professional Training Program, NSDC Training Program, Societal Training Program and other need-based training programs. She said, “We, as professional engineers, need to think of technical interventions to design and implement sound labour market information systems, including accurate market assessment and need anticipation, and putting in place processes for skills recognition to prevent attrition, poor labour market integration and deterioration of working conditions for all workers. There is a dire need to scale up Skill Development Ecosystem, while strengthening our cloud based infrastructure. Access to skills recognition processes, especially for low- and medium-skilled migrant workers, will be crucial and would assist us in formulating policy recommendations for improvement of the relevant legislative and operational mechanisms.”

The virtual program received very good response from the audience. The vote of thanks was proposed by the Honorary Secretary Parvesh Kumar Dhawan.

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