University of Chicago, Telecom Sector Skill Council of India tie-up to boost India’s rapid transition towards a digital economy

New Delhi [India], Dec 23 : The University of Chicago (UChicago), led by the Harris School of Public Policy and its Tata Center for Development, today sealed a historic Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Telecom Sector Skill Council of India (TSSC) in the presence of senior Government of India Minister PP Chaudhary (Minister of State for Law and Justice, Electronics and Information Technology).

The partnership was inaugurated with an engaging dialogue on "Building India 2030 with Emerging Global Technologies" at the University of Chicago Center in New Delhi, witnessing participation from 'who's-who' of the industry, academia and government of India.

Some notable guests included Akhil Gupta (Vice Chairman, Bharti Enterprises), Bhaskar Pramanik (Chairman, Microsoft India), Sivasailam (Additional Secretary, Department of Telecommunication), Pankaj Mohindroo (National President, Indian Cellular Association of India) and Phil Chang (Secretary, Economic Division, Government of Taiwan) amongst others.

The MoU was signed by Dr. Kerwin Charles, Interim Dean at the Harris School of Public Policy, University of Chicago (in Chicago) and then sealed between Lt.

Gen. Dr. SP Kochhar, Chief Executive Officer of TSSC and Dr. Balaji Srinivasan, Associate Provost and Senior Advisor to the President at University of Chicago in New Delhi today.

Under the memorandum of understanding, UChicago will help TSSC, a public-private partnership focused on capacity building in the Indian Telecom sector, create training programs focused on advanced telecom and digital skills.

As a knowledge partner for TSSC, UChicago will leverage its world-class strengths in evidence-based policy research and capacity building to help create targeted educational tools for TSSC trainers.

In turn, the trainers will then train students and professionals who belong to the vast TSSC network, within and outside of India.

Currently TSSC has a strong reach in India, Taiwan, Australia and United Kingdom. "For digital India to be a reality, technology will be that unique driver that will lead us to reach a massive scale.

This linkage between technology, industry and academia to develop skills is really commendable. This is an opportunity for everyone for building India 2030 and the role of the partnership is to build and collaborate towards achieving it.

It is time that there is a mind-set shift in Indians from being technology users to becoming technology creators.

Digital revolution is definitely ours and we are at the apex of one in telecom. We must ensure that the fruits of this revolution reach citizens even at the bottom of the pyramid," said Minister of State for Law and Justice Electronics and Information Technology (MeiTY), Chief Guest PP Chaudhary.

"UChicago, led by the Harris School of Public Policy, is pleased to partner with such an important sector of the Indian market," said Balaji Srinivasan, associate provost and senior advisor to the president at UChicago.

"We look forward to bringing our strengths as a University to bear on TSSC's training program, working closely with them to adopt a model of collaboration that builds upon the existing ecosystem in India, and by plugging in relevant global expertise." The collaboration builds on UChicago's current skill-building efforts in India led by the Tata Centre for Development at UChicago.

The Centre, based at Harris Public Policy in the United States and the University of Chicago Trust in India, builds on a solid foundation of development-focused research and implementation efforts to deliver trainings directed at government officials, bureaucrats, and other decision-makers within the development space.

"Given the extraordinary penetration of smart phones in the society, there is a massive opportunity for efficient delivery of public services through mobiles," said Lt.

Gen Dr. SP Kochhar. "Combined with our government's focus on training efforts such as Skill India, Digital India and Make in India, it puts us at a historic point to define the next decade for India and the developing world.

To leverage this opportunity and tackle its accompanying challenges, emerging markets like ours will need to invest substantially in capacitating their human capital and infrastructure at global standards.

Collaboration with the University of Chicago is a critical step towards achieving this goal." The Indian telecom sector has emerged as one of the greatest economic success stories, registering a consistent overall growth rate of more than 35 percent over the past two decades.

The sector employs close to 2.8 million people directly and almost another seven million indirectly, making it one of the largest employment generating sectors in the sub-continent.

In the next five years, the sector will employ more than 8.6 million people in India. Through a partnership with TSSC, UChicago has an unprecedented opportunity to impact this dynamic sector.

"The telecom industry in the US has an experience of over half a century, with cutting edge technology and systems.

We have an opportunity to learn from their experience and apply the relevant components in India, while focusing equally on building our local capabilities and expertise," added Lt.

Gen Dr SP Kochhar..

Source: ANI