Mr. Prudhvi Kokkonda strives to build a strong workforce to meet the Indian government’s call to become self-reliant.

Inspired by India’s call to become “Atmanirbhar” or self-reliant, Mr. Prudhvi Kokkonda is on a mission to reduce the skill gaps among the country’s youth.

In TALScouts hour, we spotlight Mr. Kokkonda, the founder of Skilleduvarsity, the world’s first Meta University. He spoke to us about the need to focus on skills alongside improving literacy and graduation rates in India.

“Meta University is more of a collaborative activity,” Mr. Kokkonda explains. A student seeking a particular skillset can avail resources from a combination of top programs and research schools across a spectrum of reputed global universities. Institutions based on their specialties will come together and train an individual, he further elaborates.

Excerpt from the interview: Mr. Prudhvi Kokkonda talks about Skilledu varsity and Meta University

The Indian government’s “Self-reliant India” campaign focuses on making the country independent in all aspects—be it economically, socially, etc. Understanding the importance of building a workforce that can bring this goal a reality, they launched another initiative called Skill India. They aim to develop relevant industrial and trade skills for over 400 million people by 2022.

“We are all working for the objective of Skill India for Atmanirbar Bharat because India also is looking for self-sustainability in all areas,” Mr. Kokkonda said. “This is the country with the world’s largest youth population. So we want to encash that advantage by making them employable.”

Skilleduvarsity aims to expand its services to rural areas in the future, where many young people currently reside.

Further, he lamented about the current education system in India, which doesn’t give adequate importance to building skills.

“It [the curiculum] is not contemporary or on par with the industry requirements. Except for I.T [Information Technology] jobs, in all other sectors, more than 97% of the children are unemployable,” he expresses his concern.

Excerpt from the interview: Mr. Prudhvi Kokkonda expresses concern about the current Indian education system.

But he is hopeful about the county’s future. He commended the recent reforms in education policies. “India is now shifting gears,” he said, hoping to be a part of this growth story through their efforts.

Mr.Kokkoda underscores the importance of value-based education. According to him, it is the foundation on which young people should build their knowledge and skills.

Excerpt from the interview: Mr. Prudhvi Kokkonda speaks about the importance of community service from a young age.

Quoting a regional saying that says citizens make a country, and its value is therefore defined by its people, he believes it is impertinent to ensure that future citizens have an excellent value system.

“Unless and until they inculcate that character and nature in them from an early age, it doesn’t blossom,” he stresses.

He advises youth to start participating in community service from a young age. Sowing seeds of service early on will ensure a bright future for them and the country.

“Whatever they [youht] are going to do [in the future], they need to look at the value they are going to add to the community at the end of the day.”

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Watch full interview here