Jaipur, Rajasthan, India
State of Rajasthan (SoR) and Wadhwani Operating Foundation have announced a strategic partnership which aims at making Rajasthan a Smart State through Job Creation and Talent Development. Dr. Ajay Kela, President, and CEO, Wadhwani Operating Foundation exchanged the memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Shri Rajat Kumar Mishra, Secretary, Department of Skills, Employment and Entrepreneurship in the presence of Hon’ble Chief Minister of Rajasthan Smt. Vasundhara Raje. This initiative would also support the Make in India, Startup India, Skill India, Digital India and other Initiatives of Government of India.
Focus areas of this collaboration include making Entrepreneurship Education ubiquitous in Rajasthan colleges, developing city based Startup and SME ecosystems, establishing a Startup and Small Business Innovation (SSBI) initiative to fund innovation challenge grants, vocationlization of high schools, transformation of ITIs to Modern Manufacturing Training Hubs and Multi-Skill Institutes and employer engagement for education, internship and apprenticeship. These will be supported by Central Core Technology Platform to achieve the desired quality and scale.
Expressing optimism on signing of this MoU, Hon’ble Chief Minister of Rajasthan Smt. Vasundhara Raje said, “Development of entrepreneurship in the State with international standard models, is one of the Government’s priorities. I hope that Wadhwani Operating Foundation and like-minded organizations will spur entrepreneurship development in each and every district of the State and the Government will fully support this.”
Speaking on the occasion, Dr. Ajay Kela, President & CEO, Wadhwani Operating Foundation said “Rajasthan’s Smart State initiative will focus on job creation and job fulfillment through building and supporting the full life-cycle of the entrepreneurship, Skills and innovation ecosystems. The strategy is to build city-based ecosystems that include upgraded skills training through transformation of ITIs, entrepreneurship education in colleges, local mentor and investor networks and policy framework to support growth Start-ups and growth SME’s. I hope that this collaboration between Rajasthan Government and Wadhwani Operating Foundation will spur high-quality job creation in the State.”
About Wadhwani Foundation
Wadhwani Foundation was founded in 2000 by Dr. Romesh Wadhwani with the primary mission of accelerating economic development in emerging economies through large-scale job creation. The Foundation is present in India, Indonesia, and Malaysia operating in association with governments, corporates, and educational institutes, and has plans to expand soon to other countries in Southeast Asia, Africa, and South America. Its five Initiatives are driving job creation through innovation, entrepreneurship and skill development :
National Entrepreneurship Network (NEN) inspires, educates, and supports student entrepreneurs, startups, and SMEs for creating high-value jobs. Over the past ten years, NEN has trained over 3,000 faculties across 500 institutes, who now regularly offer entrepreneurship courses to more than 100,000 students, annually. NEN recently signed an agreement with Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship to scale this to 3000 institutes. NEN has also ventured into creating city-based entrepreneurial ecosystems that would consist of mentors, investor, and incubators supporting startups and SMEs
Skills Development Network (SDN) aims to equip non-college-bound high school graduates with sufficient work-skills to command family supporting wages (Rs. 12,000+). Today, SDN works across 3000 high schools and with over 200,000 students and is embarking on scaling this to 15,000 schools over the next three-five years, in partnership with the Indian government. SDN is also working with the Central and State Governments to transform ITIs to modern manufacturing training hubs and multi-skill institutes, and with employers to engage in providing adjunct faculty, internships, and apprenticeships.
Opportunity Network for Disabled (OND) mainstreams the educated disabled into sustainable, high-quality corporate jobs through a business value proposition. 8,000 people have been placed through this initiative and OND, in partnership with the government and industry, is building capacity to place 100,000 over the next five years with the ultimate goal of corporates recognizing the business value of hiring and mainstreaming the disabled.
Research and Innovation Network (RIN) aims to create a world-class innovation ecosystem in India with the goal of propelling India towards the top ten innovative nations in the world. The Wadhwani Research Centre for Biotechnology (WRCB) at IIT Bombay and Shanta Wadhwani Centre for Cardiac and Neural Research (SWCCNR) at NCBS, Bengaluru, are the two pioneer centers set up by RIN. The Startup and Small Business Innovation (SSBI) initiative aims to create national ecosystems in critical sectors of high importance.
Policy Research Center (PRC) provides data-driven research inputs for informed policy action towards accelerating economic growth. PRC has assessed the performance of two of India’s most comprehensive and largest programs initiated by the Department of Biotechnology and administered by Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC) – SBIRI and BIPP. The assessment led to evidence-based recommendations for policymakers to improve impact and scale of innovation programs in small- and medium-scale industries. The Foundation envisions creating partnerships with various central government organizations to initiate innovation grants to 25,000 companies over five years as part of the SSBI Initiative.
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