First-ever Digital India future SKILLS Summit inaugurated in Guwahati

BY | Friday, 16 February, 2024

Union Minister of State for Electronics and IT, Skill Development & Entrepreneurship, and Jal Shakti, Rajeev Chandrasekhar, announced that Assam will soon have its first-ever semiconductor packaging plant worth nearly Rs 25,000 Crore. According to the PIB, the Union Minister made this announcement during his address at the first-ever Digital India future SKILLS Summit, which was held on February 15 at the Birinchi Kumar Baruah Auditorium, Gauhati University. “It was because of the leadership of Hon’ble CM Hemanta Biswa Sarma, a semiconductor packaging plant will be established in partnership with the Assam Government and TATA Group. We will soon obtain all approvals and submit it to the cabinet for final approval. Young Indians aspiring to enter the world of semiconductors won’t have to leave their state or travel to other cities anymore,” said Chandrasekhar.

The Minister also emphasized how India’s economy has undergone significant progress over the past decade, from being ‘fragile 5’ to now ranked as world’s ‘top 5’ economy. This significant milestone under the leadership of Hon’ble PM Narendra Modi has unleashed many opportunities for young Indians, particularly in emerging technology sectors where India is on the same starting line as the rest of the world.

Through futureSKILLS, we want to convey to our young Indians that in the coming years, due to the policies of our Hon’ble PM Modi ji, numerous opportunities will open up for them. Students need to empower and equip themselves with skills in areas such as AI, cybersecurity, and semiconductors. Today, the world’s biggest companies in these fields, including NVIDIA, Intel, AMD, HCL, Wipro, and IBM, are present here today in Guwahati. They all share a singular message — there are tremendous job opportunities, but building skills for it is very important. The objective of this summit is to motivate young Indians to fully immerse themselves in the world of skills,” the Minister added.

The Minister affirmed that with initiatives like futureSKILLS, India is poised to lead the way in shaping the future of technology. This endeavor will cultivate a globally competitive talent pool accessible not only to Indian companies but also to organizations worldwide, setting a new standard in the global tech landscape.

He highlighted the PM’s initiatives in has creating a three-pronged strategy to shape the future of tech – futureDESIGN for design innovation, futureLABS for innovation around systems, and futureSKILLS for preparing Young Indians from Guwahati to Mumbai to Bengaluru to J&K with capabilities in emerging sectors. “Today, Indians are very important players and participants in shaping the future of emerging technologies like AI, semiconductors, and cybersecurity,” expressed Chandrasekhar.

The Digital India futureSKILLS Summit hosted by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) through the National Institute of Electronics and IT (NIELIT) witnessed the convergence of esteemed dignitaries, industry leaders, academia, policymakers and technology enthusiasts to deliberate on strategies for Catalyzing future-ready talent for India & the World.

Minister Chandrasekhar also highlighted that FutureSKILLS is about bringing to your attention, the world of opportunities in areas that require many skilled people. These futureSKILLS are needed in emerging areas like semiconductors, Al, Electronics, HPC and cybersecurity among others. These are technologies where India is on the same starting line as the rest of the world.

Stating that the Government of Assam has taken many steps for digital skilling of youths in Assam, Dr. Ranoj Pegu, Minister of Education, Govt. of Assam, said, “Projects worth Rs. 1800 crore have been implemented by the Assam Govt. to skill our youths on industry 4.0 across 77 polytechnics and it is. Recently an agreement has been signed with TATA and also allotted 150-acre land to establish semiconductor industry near Guwahati.”

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Among the key speakers of the summit were Kuntal Sensarma, Economic Adviser, MeitY, Jaya Jagadish, Head, AMD India, Ruchir Dixit, Vice President & Country Manager, Siemens EDA,  Lingraju Sawkar, President, Kyndryl India, Ganesh Gopalan, CEO and Co-Founder, Gnani.AI, Prof. Subhasis Chaudhuri, Director, IIT Bombay.

During his address, Ganesh Gopalan, CEO and Co-Founder, Gnani.AI mentioned that India is the best place to start an AI company today. “Globally around 100 million jobs will be created in AI, this is a huge opportunity for us Indians to grab a lot of these jobs. The market in areas like cybersecurity will explode, which will create at least a few more million jobs for us to grab.  India is stepping in the right direction and Futureskills Summit is a fantastic initiative. It is fantastic to see the kind of progress that has been made. Today, there is no better time to start a company in AI today and there is no better place than India to do that,” mentioned Gopalan.

Expressing similar sentiments about India’s opportunities and the role of Young Indians, Ruchir Dixit, Vice President & Country Manager, Siemens EDA said, “It is estimated that in the next five years, we will have a shortage of 4 lakh skilled workers in the electronics industry and this is our opportunity. This is the most exciting time for me because I am seeing for the first time – opportunity being married to a platform.”

Emphasizing on the need of skilling, Kuntal Sensarma, Joint Secretary & Economic Adviser, MeitY said that Skills are the passport to prosperity, and MeitY is focusing on Skilling on various aspects of Emerging Technologies. He underlined that the summit will help to formulate a roadmap to transform India into a global Talent hub and capitalize on the opportunities thrown up by Emerging Technologies.

Focusing on the importance of Semiconductor industry, Jaya Jagadish, Head, AMD India mentioned that Semiconductor Industry is often referred to as the backbone of modern technology. It has played an instrumental role in defining the world we live in today. From smartphone to smart cities, from Artificial Intelligence to Virtual Reality, Semiconductor are the invisible force driving innovation across every sector.

Quoting former President of India, Dr APJ Abdul Kalam,  Lingraju Sawkar, President, Kyndryl said, “dream is not what wakes up you in the night, but it what keep you away from sleeping. This summit gave us the opportunity to dream big, really move from being to job generator to job providers for every youth.”

Prof. Subhasis Chaudhuri, Director, IIT Bombay spoke on the Government’s skilling programs such as PMKVY, SANKALP, UDAAN etc. and similarly NIELIT is also leveraging New Education Policy 2020, which allows more such options for the talents of today to leverage that for their career upgradation.

Dr. Y. Jayanta Singh, Executive Director, NIELIT Guwahati delivered vote of thanks at the conclusion of the Digital India #futureSKILLS Summit in Guwahati. In his address, he expressed gratitude to all the dignitaries, industry leaders, policymakers, academia and technology enthusiasts who contributed to the success of the event.

The presence of these prominent industry leaders in Guwahati underscores the significance of empowering the youth of Assam and the entire region with digital skills.

The Exhibitions showcasing Future Skills has also been inaugurated by the Union Minister of State Rajeev Chandrasekhar where he interacted with numerous representatives of Start-ups and academia. The summit also organised an exhibition that showcased over 30 innovative future skills technologies & solutions.

The summit facilitated more than 30 strategic collaborations between NIELIT and leading industry players and academia such as Intel, HCL, Microsoft, Kyndryl, IIM Raipur, IIITM Gwalior and Wipro, etc. These collaborations aim to bridge the gap between academia and industry, ensuring that educational programs are tailored to meet industry standards and demands.

In addition to this, four engaging panel discussions were held on key themes such as Semicon India, IndiaAI, Cyber Security & Emerging Technologies and Digital India’s Talent for the Global Workforce.

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