IIT Bombay Alumni Association announces launch of annual Global Alumni Business Forum

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IIT Bombay Alumni Association today announced the launch of an annual Global Alumni Business Forum (GABF).

Mumbai, July 25, 2013: IIT Bombay Alumni Association today announced the launch of an annual Global Alumni Business Forum (GABF).

Be it business or technology the collective knowledge and power of the IITB alumni network has the potential to engineer change. The IIT Bombay Global Alumni Business Forum aims to act as a global think-tank and a business networking platform for its alumni and create business leaders and change agents for tomorrow.

The objective of this Forum will be to create special interest groups on key issues of national importance (such as education and skill development, renewable energy) and engage business heads, academic leaders, researchers, innovators, policy makers and other leaders of society in a common platform through an annual event to shape national, regional and industry agendas. The Forum will hold annual meeting and will aim to bring together top business leaders, international political leaders, selected intellectuals and journalists to discuss the most pressing issues with India as its focus.

Inaugurated today by  Chief Minister of Goa, Manohar Parrikar, today’s event was a pre-cursor to the annual event that will be held from next year.

Themed around ‘future of learning in India to produce both skills and education’, today’s event featured a keynote address by Dileep Ranjnekar, CEO of Azim Premji Foundation and endnote address by Padmashri Prof. Deepak Phatak as well as a panel discussion on the topic with eminent speakers from the field such as: Dr. Anil Sahasrabudhe, Director, College of Engineering, Pune, Atul Behari Bhatnagar, COO, National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC), Vivek Sawant, Founder, Managing Director of Maharashtra Knowledge Corporation Limited (MKCL), Prof. Kannan M. Moudgalya, Professor of Chemical Engineering, Systems and Control, and Education Technology at IIT Bombay and Revathi Kasturi: CEO, LAQSH Job Skills Academy.

The panel will be discussing, debating and possibly coming out with a roadmap in response to the big question of: is our education system giving our youth the skills, knowledge and attitude required for the times when the boundaries between learning, working, and living have completely blurred?

A prelude to the annual GABF, the focus of this year’s Forum is on post 12th standard skill building and professional education that is directly relevant to employers.  The Forum wishes to focus on evolving trends in education planning, locate successful models, possible initiatives, technology required, and regulatory environment needed.  It proposes to discuss out-of-the-box thinking presented by those who are already active in addressing related problems.

IITBAA is working to invite renowned thinkers, policy-makers, practitioners and entrepreneurs to talk about creating opportunities for expanding and financing post-basic education.  The discussions will address multiple skills and education areas, the well-known dilemma of “education vs. skills”, possible government-business partnerships and showcase entrepreneurial and industry initiatives in addressing these challenges.

Speaking on the occasion, Manohar Parrikar said, ‘The demand for skilled workforce has increased. World trade and migration have intensified, and the divide between the haves and havenots has widened beyond acceptable levels.  In India, we face the horror of economic, social and political disasters if we are unable to convert our demographic profile in to a dividend instead of a disaster.

In this rapidly changing world where a country’s development and competitiveness are dependent on a skilled workforce, our education system has to play a critical role with profound implications for the function and types of jobs for which it is supposed to prepare people.’

‘For a small state like Goa that is high in Human Development Index (HDI), education and skills are top agenda focus areas. By creating a business forum with a focus on both skills and education and putting the right kind of professionals and experts on one platform, IITBAA has taken steps in the right direction. I congratulate them and wish them the best,’ he added.

Speaking on the launch of the Forum,  Bakul Desai, Chairman, IIT Bombay Alumni Association said, ‘The key policy challenge for India is to ensure that that our workforce is equipped with the skills needed to escape the cycle of poverty and take advantage of the opportunities made possible by globalization and technological change.

Skills in that sense are the most important lever within our control to create wealth and to reduce social deprivation. Skill development will have a long-term role in maximizing our economic prosperity, productivity and in improving social justice. Yet the supply-demand mismatch for new and higher level skills is growing rapidly in India, and in fact all over the world.’

The Forum aims to emerge with actionable ideas to transform the country’s education system into a flexible, inclusive system that enables more people to acquire education and skills, with a corridor to jobs and further learning.

About IITBAA: Established in 2001, IIT Bombay Alumni Association creates and maintains a life-long connection between the Institute and its alumni, who number more than 35,000. In collaboration with an extremely dedicated volunteer board of directors, the Alumni Association works to connect alumni, support students and build an unforgettable Institute experience through a diversity of events, programming and services. The mission of the Association is to foster strong bonds between alumni, students and the Institute, to keep alumni informed, and create a network enabling them to remain engaged with their alma mater and help shape it's future through the Association's programmes and services.

Date: 
Thursday, July 25, 2013