I am just back from the Third National Conference on Youth 2025 under the theme ‘Skilling India for Global Leadership’ hosted by and at The Jaipuria Institute of Management, Jaipur Campus on 12-13 Feb 2016. The Conference Convenors: Dr Nidhi Vashisth, Dr Anvay Bhargava and Mr Raj Kishor Kampa, need to be lauded for flawless design and execution of the entire conference. They along with their dedicated students (doing their MBA) made sure that every guest felt happy being there.
As a regular visitor to the Jaipuria Jaipur Campus, I can only say that their hospitality is getting impeccable by the day. Right from the time I landed in the Jaipur airport till the time I left, students ensured that everything was proactively taken care of. Hats-off to the teachers of Jaipuria Jaipur campus to have moulded students to run an event so professionally.
Here are some interesting things that I observed at the conference:
- The ‘Saraswathy Vandana’ (prayer) prior to starting the event, especially an academic event is very contextual
- It is always my pleasure to be treated to the humility and large-heartedness of Dr Prabhat Pankaj (Director, Jaipuria Institute of Management, Jaipur). He is a true teacher. He listens, shares willingly, and encourages everyone to grow. This time he raised the bar by inviting his teacher Prof Debendra Kumar Das (Professor of Economics) and sharing their emotional connect during the inaugural address. I was touched to see the second contextual element, ‘Guru-Sishya Parampara’ on display. The teacher responded in style.
- Smt. Suman Sharma (Chairperson, Rajasthan State Commission for Women, Govt of Rajasthan) was the chief guest. She presented her thoughts in Hindi and made an emotional pitch for youth to not only serve themselves but also the society. True to her current role, she also highlighted the importance of women and their role, if India is to achieve her true potential.
- Dr Marko Saravanja (Chancellor, Regenesys Business School, South Africa) was the guest of honour. It was scintillating for me because he touched upon the essential truths of our Shastras (Philosophical Texts) in his speech. Without making it a sermon he presented and connected them to three essential skills youth need: dreaming big, harnessing internal power and working with love. Apart from listening to his thoughts, I also had the pleasure of spending some time with him during the breaks. We seemed to have number of mutual interests (Vedanta, Entrepreneurship, Teaching) and decided to continue our conversation in the future as well.
- Mr Shrinivas (Advisor to Tata Sons on Skill Development) was the ideal person for the Keynote address. He set the stage for the two days of deliberations. He used personal anecdotes from his Taj days as well as data from recent research to highlight the importance of this challenge. He also happened to be the chair of the first panel discussion titled ‘ Skilling Young India – Initiatives and Challenges’. As a co-panelist in the discussion, i shared my thoughts on the initiatives and challenges of skilling India through an entrepreneurial lens.
- The post lunch panel discussion was moderated by Dr Amalan of VTU, Karnataka. He and his lovely panel deliberated on ‘Skilling India for Make in India’. It provided number of interesting perspectives and was significant considering the fact that the ‘Make in India’ program was happening in parallel at Mumbai.
- The second day started with technical sessions. A total of 13 papers were presented. I must say the papers by the youngest presenters seemed to spark the maximum conversations. Ms Madhavi and I chaired the technical sessions and provided inputs on how the researchers can take their research forward. We also had a number of inputs from senior faculty members which gave us a lot of learning. It was inspiring to see young BBA and MBA students take interest in delving deeper into why skilling youth is important. Their presentations based on data and analysis gives me confidence that amongst the youth there are going to be some serious researchers as well.
- The last panel discussion was moderated by Mr Ashok Narain. He and his panelists spoke about a topic close to the interest of youth – ‘Corporate sector, talent pool, and global leadership’. It was this session that saw number of questions from the audience.
- The valedictory session had Padma Bhushan Prof V S Vyas (Former Director of IIMA) as the chief guest. His few words of wisdom put the whole conference in perspective both spiritually, emotionally and intellectually. Prof Raina of JKLU, Jaipur presented his valedictory address in a novel way. He not only showed how skills are to be developed but also gave the faculty in the audience a glimpse on pedagogical creativity. Dr Debendra Das presented his thoughts on spirituality and skill development. It was fantastic sitting through the valedictory session. Dr Pankaj closed the session with a promise to make the 4th Conference next year even bigger!
I feel at home when I visit the Jaipuria Jaipur campus. The deliberations clearly showed that the issue of ‘Skilling India’ is both urgent and important. There is immense scope for future research. I will keep the research thoughts for a separate blog.
I enjoyed the conference. I met fellow researchers. I was inspired by legendary academics. I started new conversations.