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I am happy to be present at the Annual Convocation of Tata Institute of Social Science’s (TISS) School of Vocational Education (SVE). Let me at the outset congratulate all of you who are graduating today. Needless to say, this is a moment of great joy and pride in your life. I am sure that with the value system and training that you have acquired at this Institute, you will be able to face the world with renewed confidence. From the country’s point of view, we welcome you as our next generation of managers and leaders. May you grow up to provide effective leadership to your nation.

2. We are living in an era of change. Modern management must, therefore, be viewed as a dynamic process of constantly seeking to align a firm’s internal resources with the external environment. It is this external environment which is undergoing a transformation in this country and abroad and is marked by several challenges such as
(a) Coping with increasing technological complexity,
(b) Responding to an ever-fast speed of innovation,
(c) Meeting rising quality standards,
(d) Satisfying demanding customers and,
(e) Conforming to certain codes of conduct demanded by the society at large. All these changes require appropriate tools of analysis and rigorous training.

3. Our colleges often face criticism for lack of industry focused or job focused syllabus. Even though a lot of colleges in our country focus on in-depth knowledge of a field with specific specializations, this hasn’t served the purpose of industry demand, leading to unemployment.

4. According to the International Labour Organisation, the unemployment rate has increased to 3.52% in 2017 from 3.51% in the year 2016. Post-graduates and graduates are walking pillar to post in search of employment. Despite large numbers of educated young, there is shortage of skilled manpower. There are unemployed youths and the companies are facing shortage of manpower. Clearly, there’s a huge mismatch between demand and supply when it comes to skilled workforce and employment opportunities, which could place a strain on the economy in the long run.

5. To my mind, specific skills are the key requirement for any job role, and these skills can be acquired along with education. The purpose of education has to be beyond just acquiring the right skill set. The biggest goal education should serve is to act as a powerful medium to teach an individual to create opportunities, explore unseen domains, solve problems, and find one’s own identity. India’s development philosophy must realize that neither high medium-term growth, nor sustained poverty reduction, are possible without a paradigm change in India’s approach to the education and employment of youth.

Dear Friends,

6. A work integrated approach of learning needs to be developed in our country wherein learning includes all educational activities that intentionally integrate learning within an academic institution with practical applications in a workplace setting. We have to focus on work integrated learning that would include apprenticeships, field placements, co-ops, mandatory professional practice, internships, applied research projects, and service learning.

7. It is only through this kind of effective work-Integrated Learning activities that the needs of industry can be met by the students and universities in developing, delivering and reflecting upon learning experiences that benefit all stakeholders. Such learning helps students get a professional identity and allows them to advance their theoretical knowledge and transferable skills.

8. I am happy that Tata Institute of Social Science (TISS) continually responds to the changing social realities through the development and application of knowledge. It helps in creating a people-centric and ecologically sustainable society that promotes and protects the dignity, equality and human rights for all, with special emphasis on marginalized and vulnerable groups.

9. I am also happy to learn that the School of Vocational Education (SVE) by TISS rolls out a new education eco-system in India in association with AICTE. This is a Vocational Education programme, I am informed, focusing on job-specific skills for various verticals like Automotive; Travel and Tourism; Retail Management; Media & Entertainment; Construction; HR and Sales; Pharmaceuticals; Healthcare; Dialysis Technology; Industrial Tool Manufacturing; Industrial Safety; Logistics; Agriculture; Hospitality; ITES; Telecom; and Digital Marketing and many more.

10. I am also happy to know that the School of Vocational Education by Tata Institute of Social Sciences has successfully implemented a project to incubate a National Vocational University. It is one of the replicable models of ‘Work Integrated Training Programme (WITP)’ developed by TISS-SVE. I am told, it is a unique approach to provide the trainees with an opportunity to enhance their skills and gain workplace-based industry experience as a part of their certification program.

11. I congratulate TISS-SVE for providing an ecosystem that will provide the youth an opportunity for gainful employment along with career progression. Dear Friends, to become a good educational institution, one requires good faculty and administrators. I am happy that TISS was able to attract and recruit such learned teachers, students, work force and Apar India Institute, as a premier Training Hub Partner. I acknowledge the tireless efforts of all those involved in this project.

Dear graduating students:

12. The intellectual, social and technical skills you have acquired here from the teachers and members of faculty would stand you in good stead. In your career, there will be many professional accomplishments to your credit. Your parents, teachers and alma-mater will be proud of your achievements. This is a proud moment not just for you, graduating students, but also your teachers, mentors, faculty members and parents. Sail forth into the world with confidence. Lead us in the building of a better world.

Thank You

Jai Hind.