CII Media Releases
IT skill development and human development could be a strong basis for bilateral relations between India and Singapore: Education Minister, Singapore
Jun 07, 2019

According to Mr Ong Ye Kung, Minister of Education, Singapore, skill development needs rethinking in conjunction with emerging trends. He stated that India and Singapore could develop their relations based on IT skill development and human development. The Minister was addressing the Growth Net Summit 7.0, organized by Ananta Centre, Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), and Smadja & Smadja in New Delhi today.

The Minister said that Singapore has reduced exam burden in schools and in higher education, customized courses are available for students, including technical and IT courses. He added that his favourite movie is actually an Indian film on women empowerment and it also depicts resilience, courage and fighting against social expectations. He specified that Asian society puts pressure on the younger generation in the name of tradition whereas the young have a different view of lifestyle. He called this generation, “the generation of internet”.

Singapore made progress by implementing three steps - i) imparting human skills, ii) public housing policy, and iii) education reforms. Mr Ong emphasized that emerging economies should focus on skill training and digitalization.

According to Mr Ong, there is huge scope for skill learning between India and Singapore. Various projects have already been launched between the two nations including IT cooperation, Northeast skill project,  World Skill Centre at Bhubaneshwar and others. He appreciated India’s ‘remarkable’ economic transformation; however, skill challenges need to be addressed, he felt. “India's economic transformation and skill set, with its vast cultural and social backdrop, makes for an impeccable and concurrent talent pool,” he said.

Ms Anita Rajan, CEO, Tata STRIVE and VP, Tata Community Initiatives Trust, India addressed the question of how to manage the huge explosion of talented and educated young people. The digital economy will generate $1 trillion of economic value by 2025. She suggested that India should reskill people according to area of specialization. Scholars, PhDs etc. should be encouraged in the digital economy, she added.

Mr Gabriel Bordado, Skills and Employability Specialist, WDT (South Asia), International Labour Organisation, stated that there should be deeper economic integration for the future work force. He also stressed that there should be skill development for the future. A new committee has been set up in ILO in January 2019 with about 22 members that works towards investment in human capital.

According to Mr Tarun Das, Chairman, Institute of Economic Growth, India, "We are living in a world of digitization where staying relevant and competitive remains crucial in defining and generating skills for the digital economy". Mr Das appreciated Singapore’s renovation techniques which make it always relevant and competitive. The country is the best friend of India in the region, and India should learn from it how to grow people through education, he felt.

New Delhi

7 June 2019

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