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Skill labs

The place of nurturing future talents and education

Photo of Dr. Sukumar Kar
12 10

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By 2026, 64.8 per cent Indian population will be in the bracket of a working group. As against this demographic dividend, India might have a shortage of skilled people- engineers (6 lakh), graduates (39 lakh) and vocationally trained personnel (7 lakh), according to CII report on linking skills to jobs. In addition, India might fall short of the target of skilling 500 million people by 2022. One should also consider that the country has set for itself monumental goals such as‘Make in India’, ‘Digital India’, ‘Smart Cities’ to name a few and the ground reality suggests that we do not have enough skilled people to execute it effectively. In view of this, it is understandable that ‘Skill India’ is an official government program. 

Like China, we wish to emerge as the manufacturing hub of the world. ‘Make in India’, ‘Digital India’ etc are manifestations of this aspiration. For this to translate into reality, we need to empower a whole generation of youth with high-end skills and advanced competencies which can match the competitiveness of China and other countries.

When it comes to teaching-learning of skills, classroom culture of theoretical discussions may not prove to be adequate and effective in imparting the right skills to the youth. Therefore, development of a futuristic ‘Skills Lab’ that categorically focuses on imparting skills to the learners through activity based learning and advanced technology. Learning skills is about ‘doing’ something in real life situations and hence to evolved course modules that provide ample simulation of real life situations and sufficient practice for the skills to become internalized as second nature. Secondly, technology if appropriately employed can play a vital role in skilling people.

In sync with this, ‘Skills Lab’ is a ‘lab’ equipped with next generation technology for various skills such asCommunicative English, Computing Skills, Vedic Mathematics, Leadership Skills, Team Work, Goal Setting, Interview Skills, Group Discussion, Resume Building and other life and soft skills to be imparted, learnt, monitored and measured. ‘Skills Lab’ has the potential to draw the learners into ‘putting skills into practice’ and ‘measuring’ their own ‘skills development’ through the tech tools at their disposal in the lab. ‘Skills Lab’ is also the most suitable model of skills development implementation as it presents a model that provides ‘quantification’ of skills development through technological tools and ‘demonstrable’ skills enhancement which is measurable against any criteria.

‘Skills Lab’ is a revolution in the making. It is an idea whose time has come. It is also a mass model as it can be scaled up to the national level with meticulous precision to address the need of ‘Skill, Scale, Speed’. It can be modified as per the diverse requirements of the different institutions, regions, and segments of learners. ‘Skills Lab’ can be a transformational system to supplement the core education practices and take the quality benchmark to the next level

Who is your idea designed for and how does it reimagine higher education to support the needs of tomorrow?

This is for every students who wants to enhance their skills,education & training.It re imagine higher education in the way that sometimes classroom culture of theoretical discussions may not prove to be adequate and effective in imparting the right skills to the youth but Skills Lab categorically focuses on imparting skills to the learners through activity based learning and advanced technology.

This idea emerged from:

  • An individual

What skills, input or guidance from the OpenIDEO community would be most helpful in building out or refining your idea?

Views and suggestions of OpenIDEO team and the different readers on my idea to spread this to the entire world.

What early, lightweight experiment might you try out in your own community to find out if the idea will meet your expectations?

we can go with a pilot check for this kind of labs in different educational organizations in a particular area.

Tell us about your work experience:

I am a Ph. D holder and entrepreneur related to environment science and would like to serve the society by my knowledge and experiences of life.


Join the conversation:

Photo of Pabitra  Bandyopadhyay

Dear Dr. Kar

In the context of future our country , your innovative idea should bring a better tomorrow to us and our neighbouring country too . I think with the world changing as fast as it is - industries rising, evolving and crashing; technology leading to more efficient, effective ways of doing everything; globalization interconnecting us all; and a whole new generation emerging and entering the workforce - how do we best ensure young people are prepared for the world of work from here forward? Keep in mind that along with the jobs being phased out, countless more jobs don’t even exist yet .Their will be the only answer is your IDEA the “Skill labs” .
In order to create employment for those who are graduating or more, it’s important for us to review a system that has become antiquated. Even more critical, however, is to note that our current models of education, career planning and job searching are not just in need of a facelift - we need a major paradigm shift in how we think about training our emerging workforce and the skills they need to have to be relevant, let alone have a chance at being wildly successful.


Pabitra Banerjee

Photo of Dr. Sukumar Kar

Mr. Banerjee, Thank you for the positive notes on my idea. Yes, I am optimistic for this.

Photo of Kate Rushton

Hi Dr Sukumar,

Do you envisage the Skills Labs to be a combination of an Incubator / Maker Space e.g. Higher Education as A Human Centered Service Built Around Industry Partnerships or The Missing Link for Supporting Business Start-Ups and Innovation: A Workforce Model incorporating some of the softer skills?

Photo of Mary Ressler

What I find as well is that in the United States the students need techincal skills to be able to compete in the global economy. This is something that the tradional education system of the United States has cut back on due to funding. I like the idea of embedding more skills into our system!

Photo of Dr. Sukumar Kar

Thanks Mary

Photo of Billy Korompilias

Dear Dr.Sukumar,

India is a quite power since now for the worldin my opinion, and I personally believe that it is time to show that power for the betterment of our lives globally. The new Entrepreneurial Framework of the startup ecosystem and design thinking methodologies can surely advance the technical skills of any Human Capital, so your idea to incorporate it in a group of people who seem very good at this sounds great.

Hindus though own already a very important level of awareness and skills on something useful for all humanity beyond Entrepreneurship. I think an idea like yours would use easily all the modern tools of marketing and the digital age, though it could differentiate in applying Yoga on its Operational Research & on its development practices.

My team has the same direction and I see this, as something very useful for your idea as well. We are designing frameworks for education by synthesizing mechanisms for experiencing inclusiveness, it is a kriya yoga direction with the use of modern technology. You can see what we have made here Intelligence Circles - Investigating Capsules (IC) . I hope we can find a common ground and work together as well, as I am very much interested in advancing Hindu Human Capital, as it is a very important part of the worlds family.


Photo of Dr. Sukumar Kar

Firstly, I am so amazed the way you have concluded your views because we and the entire world knows the culture of India so thank you very much.
Yes, I do agree with your words and I think you have mentioned some important points in regards of human capital. I have already read your idea IC and it is really nice concept and you are always welcome for working together. I think you have been in India for good time that's why you know lot about our country.Once again thank you for your great notes.

Photo of Dr. Sukumar Kar

We often see that there are people who have the potential to crack the things but sometimes they failed just because of lacking in a particular skill. India have a great human capital now it depend upon us how we utilize this capital and for that there is skill lab.

Photo of Max Noble

Dr. Sukumar Kar , India's potential really excites me. It's great to see people like you concerned, and more importantly doing something to help the younger generations. The latest "money shredding" issue may cause some short term pain, but I believe it will bootstrap India into the new digital economy.

Manufacturing is no longer about the cheapest labor. It is moving globally, manufacture anywhere and ideally locally. So, Skill Labs, for youth should focus on robotics and automation and closed loop manufacturing.
Check out Industrialization 4.0.

Photo of Dr. Sukumar Kar

Hello Max, Thank you for showing belief on Indians. You are correct that if suitable guidance and mentor ship are provided to Indian youth then that will turn up in the emerging form of Indian economy. I have checked your link and its really knowledgeable and important for today's youth.

Photo of Kate Rushton

Hi Sukumar, interesting post! Any chance you could find an image to go along with it? Images help grab attention and tell a story. You should be able to use the Edit Contribution button on the top of your post and follow the instructions to add images from there. Looking forward to seeing more of your inspiring insights on OpenIDEO.

Photo of Dr. Sukumar Kar

Hello Kate, Thanks for the positive note. Yes, I do felt to provide an image at the time of posting this idea but due to shortage of time I couldn't able to do the same. Now I have uploaded an image. Hope it would be helpful to attract more readers. Once again thanks for your quick guidance.