Skills gap puts $1.97 tn growth at risk in India

New Delhi (IANS) India may have to forgo as much as $1.97 trillion in gross domestic product (GDP) growth promised by investment in intelligent technologies over the next decade if the country fails to bridge the skills gap, a new report from Accenture said on Monday.

Advanced technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), augmented/virtual reality (AR/VR) and Blockchain can enable rapid reskilling and upskilling at scale, said the report titled "Fueling India's Skill Revolution".

These technologies can help people learn new skills quickly, efficiently and cost-effectively, Accenture said.

"We must offer more experiential on-the-job training and help people adopt life-long learning as their jobs are transformed. Digital tools and applications -- like Artificial Intelligence, analytics and Blockchain -- will be essential in delivering these new learning approaches," said Rekha M Menon, Chairman and Senior Managing Director at Accenture in India.

The report notes that skills such as complex reasoning, creativity, and socio-emotional and sensory perception cannot be taught through traditional teaching and learning.

"Intelligent technologies increasingly require people to hone more exclusively human skills such as creativity, empathy and ethical judgment. These skills cannot be acquired in the classroom," Menon said. 

The report includes a framework that combines a suite of innovative learning methods grounded in neuroscience research to make skills development more effective.

The framework suggests that an individual's learning journey can be augmented by a combination of digital technologies. 

For example, AI can help with content curation and dissemination to ensure that students are aware of the skills they need. AI-based adaptive programme can build specific pathways to tailor learning to individual needs, said the report.

Similarly, AR/VR technologies can enable immersive training to make people job-ready and Blockchain-based micro-credentials can help individuals stay on the path to lifelong learning and build deeper expertise, the report said.

The report recommends that stakeholders in India -- including government departments, industry bodies, academia, non-profit organizations and corporates -- need to create, among other things, a comprehensive skills-based learning path in schools and colleges and adapt curriculum in institutions of higher learning to cater to the broader needs of the digital economy.

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