India has potential to 'capitalise' skilling opportunities, says PM Modi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi | PTI
Amid the coronavirus pandemic, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday said that India has a potential to "capitalise" the skilling opportunities, which in-turn can supplement the "global demand".

The Prime Minister further stressed "the need to map this demand and align Indian standards with those of other countries" and added, "the Indian youth with a long maritime tradition can contribute as expert sailors to merchant navies across the world due to the growing demand in this sector."

PM Modi addressed a virtual event to mark completion of five years of Skill India mission on the occasion of World Youth Skills Day.

He also brought out the distinction between 'knowledge' and 'skills' in his address by illustrating an example of the bicycle. "A lot of people are confused about knowledge and skill. Such people can read or watch how to ride a bicycle in books or videos - this is knowledge. Actually riding a bicycle is a skill. Knowledge may help, but skill is the actual ability to do things," he said.

"Knowledge is different from skill. If the gap between knowledge and skill is bridged, entrepreneurship is encouraged. Our government has been working on this mantra since the last five years," he added.

The digital conclave was organised by the Union Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship.

A UN recognised event, World Youth Skills Day is celebrated each year on July 15. Its aim is to recognise the strategic importance of equipping young people with skills for employment, decent work and entrepreneurship, and to highlight the crucial role of skilled youth in addressing current and future global challenges, according to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO).

According to the prime minister, the 'mantra' to stay relevant in times of coronavirus is to skill, re-skill and upskill. PM Modi said skill is timeless, and it keeps getting better with time and it makes you different from others.

He also said that in today's rapidly changing world, millions of skilled people are needed and there is a huge potential, especially in the health services.

"In this time of corona (virus), this question has become even more important. I have only one answer: the mantra to stay relevant is skill, re-skill and upskill," he said.

Referring to migrant workers who returned to their home states during the coronavirus-induced lockdown, Modi said these people, with a special skill set, have started rejuvenating villages.

"Someone is painting the school, while someone is building a house with a new design," he said.

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