A famous quote comes to mind when we talk of skill and creativity:
The future belongs to those who learn more skills and combine them in creative ways – Robert Greene
The state of Odisha has never been lacking for talent and skill.
Myriad kinds of skills, of artisans and famers, craftspeople and musicians, dancers and painters, art, cinema and sports have emerged over the centuries, from the skilled hands of Odisha.
The word ‘skill’ has been defined in the Oxford English dictionary as ‘the ability to do something well’ or ‘a particular ability or type of ability’. Skills are often informally referred to/meant as abilities which help someone work at a job.
Skills have always been necessary for human evolution and progress. Society wouldn’t be at the point where it is today without the passing down of various skills, from one generation to the next.
Whereas Odisha has always had variously talented and skilled craftsmen, farmers, artists, musicians, performers, sportspersons, thinkers, administrators, human civilization today has evolved beyond these parameters, and in this fast-changing world, newly developed skills hold greater ground.
Education is probably, in today’s age, the most common and also, one of the most important methods of imparting skills. It helps develops a person, not just through reading and learning, but through practical experiences, and most importantly, through situations in which a person performs, either for the better or worse.
Quality of education assumes a very important and significant role in such a scenario. Odisha has been making huge strides in improving the quality of education in the state, both technical and non-technical.
While the setting up of premier technical institutes like IIT Bhubaneswar, NIT Rourkela, NISER, IGIT has bolstered education on the technical front, IIM Sambalpur, KISS Bhubaneswar, RISSAR (Regional Institute of Social Science and Research), Institute of Social Sciences, School of Humanities and Social Sciences NISER are holding up the fort on the non-technical front.
Besides reform in the formal education sector, there is a need for the protection, preservation and continuance of the art and craft forms of the state.
A good example of an initiative by the Odisha government in this regard is the SIDAC (State Institute for Development of Art and Crafts) institute near Kala Bhoomi Odisha Crafts Museum in Bhubaneswar.
Young people are trained in the various crafts of Odisha such as Pattachitra, painting on coconuts, papier mache craft, weaving of specific patterns, etc.
Skills are not just important in order to earn a living and be successful, they afford a sense of fulfilment and purpose to the life of individuals.
Learning of skills should be an interesting and motivating process, leading to positive purpose in life.
As to government efforts to promote skill-based education, under the Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana, around 1.2 lakh candidates from Odisha were trained under the Short Term Training Program, while more than 49,000 of the candidates received placements through the program.
While 1.9 lakh candidates from Odisha were oriented in the Recognition of Prior Learning program, nearly 1.5 lakh candidates were certified for the same as of March 2020.
In terms of the number of candidates trained in the STT and RPL training programs of the PMKVY, Odisha ranks 8th among all the states in the country, with 3.13 lakh candidates trained under both programs and more than 49,000 placements under the STT program (RPL does not mandate placement).