Panchkula, February 23, 2022: Technology is just a tool to empower us and not overpower us, but we must embrace technology in a big way. This is what the pandemic has taught us in the last two years. Key speakers at the Satluj Career Fest 2022 stressed on the need to imbibe technology and also on the need to develop entrepreneurial skills.
Region’s largest career fest ‘Satluj Career Fest’ was organised by Satluj Public School, Sector 4, Panchkula (a part of Satluj Group of Schools—Satluj Public Schools, Little Satluj Pre-Schools with 15 branches and 30,000 students across India), with an aim of guiding the students of class 9th to 12th and their parents about various career opportunities. This was the second year that the event was hosted virtually, leading to not only a pan-India, but international reach with student registrations from all over the world.
Counsellors and foreign representatives from more than 300 universities, foreign and Indian, took part. Over 5,000 students represented 300+ schools from India (including metros, tier 2 and tier 3 towns) and around the world during the career fest.
The prominent universities included, University of New Castle, Australia; Bradley University; Amity University, Australia; Teesside University, UK; Leeds Beckett University, UK; Florida Atlantic University USA; Simon Fraser University, Canada, among several others. Among the prominent Indian ones were, SRM University, Amity University, Chandigarh University, Lovely Professional University, to name a few.
Reekrit Serai, Managing Director, Satluj Group of Schools, said “After brainstorming internally, we realised that students in non-metro cities and smaller towns face a lack of opportunities when it comes to quality higher education options. Also, there’s a lack of awareness about jobs and skills of the future. Thus, we decided to organise Satluj Career Fest to spread awareness. In the last two years we have seen a complete change in the education of students because of the pandemic which has led to online teaching. It has been hard on students also as they have not been able to go to the schools but learning hasn’t stopped though. Virtual education has become a norm this year which was not there till the last year and has changed the way we educate our children.”, said.
Krit Serai, Co-Chairman of Satluj Group of Schools, said, a lot of hard work went into the planning of Career Fest, which is one of the biggest career shows. He said, 20 plus panellists deliberated on various aspects which helped the youth to choose proper careers. “Career planning is very important in our lives and for a proper career choice planning must start at plus two stage or even Class X. We have a variety of jobs for the youth available now”, he added.
The inaugural session was on jobs and skills of future – pre and post COVID. Mr Vijai Vardhan, Ex-Chief Secretary, Government of Haryana; Dr Biswajit Saha, Director CBSE; Tejveer Singh, Principal Secretary – Industries and Commerce, Government of Punjab and Maj. Harsh Kumar, Secretary NCERT participated in the session.
Dr. Biswajit Saha, Director CBSE while speaking on the occasion said it was indeed praiseworthy that the school group is organising this event so that decision making capability is enhanced to upper level so that there are a lot of options available. Dynamics are going to change as we are targeting 2030 and 2040. He added, Artificial Intelligence, Robotics, Nano Technology, development in Genetics and Space Tourism are also getting popular in the last few months. All these are trying to amplify the bandwidth of capability which todays generations must aim for. “There is a need for understanding of technology and its positive use case. We must introduce multi-disciplinary bouquet of subjects and based on the student interest to make education journey more conducive”, he added.
Mr. Vijay Vardhan, Ex-Chief Secretary, Government of Haryana, said, “There is something which I have observed living in Chandigarh for so many years that there is a lot of pressure on children from parents and peers to join a foreign university after they finish Class XII. It is good as children get to see new culture but not all parents can afford to send their children abroad. If you see the see the success stories in the last 3-4 decades of countries like Singapore, China, South Korea, Taiwan, Vietnam or Hong Kong, these are the nations who have developed their own education pattern, based on their intrinsic value system and language. The Japanese competed with the whole world and have revolutionised the manufacturing , the IT and the automobile industry without even reading English. Likewise have the Chinese. Local is global the essential qualities which endure and transcend human excellence and all schools should be focussing on this. It’s good to interact with foreign universities but that is something parents should not fret about and should focus on what values and skills they can give children and there is no bigger learning place than your home.”
Mr. Harsh Kumar, Secretary NCERT, while addressing the inaugural session said career fest was a good platform for exchange of ideas. “Our focus should be on how to educate our children in this changing phase and difficult times of pandemic. These two years have taught us a lot in education and we must understand the change in the system and has given us a lot of opportunities to search ourselves. The basic thing of education is to be a good human being. Attitude determines how well you do in life so attitude decides your altitude in life. Technology is just tool for us to empower us and not overpower us. Last two years we have adapted to the situation. We are rediscovering ourselves in National Education Policy and policymakers have thought about use of technology which was done much before the pandemic. He stressed on the use of local language to grow and we have to understand the history of our country.
Tejveer Singh, Principal Secretary – Industries and Commerce, Government of Punjab, said, “COVID pandemic has been the greatest challenge humanity is facing. The pandemic has been a great disrupter but there is a bright side to disruption and that is crisis often becomes a catalyst for change. COVID has brought in exponential jump in the use of Information Technology. Teaching and office work became online and everyone has adapted to this new mode of engagement. We all need to embrace technology in a bigger way, understand the power it unleashes, and work to resolve problems of the present and the future. With technology as the enabler, entrepreneurship and innovation is likely to increase exponentially in the country. Discipline is important. Discipline is hard work and is all about planning your life and how to get best out of it. Being ethical and being emphatic will always form foundation of success. Communication skills are also very important and lastly ability to work in teams is very important.”
The speakers in the first panel included, Dr. Chandrani Singh, Director, (MCA), Sinhagad Institute of Management (SIOM) who was also the Moderator of the session. Other speakers included Dr. Madhumita Mitra, Professor of Biological and Environmental Sciences; Coordinator of Biology and Chemistry Education, University of Maryland; Dr. Daniel Penkar, Director Sinhagad Institute of Management (SIOM); Awantika Bhardwaj, Senior Director – People, Culture and Experience, Ensono Digital; Mr. Jogendra Singh, Vice President, Hero Moto Corp and Dr. Goutam Chattopadhyay, Senior Scientist, NASA Jet Propulsion Lab.
Other panel discussions included, ‘Future of Work – Investigation in Acquisition of Skill-Sets to Prepare for Uncertainties’; ‘Skills that remain relevant in a changing and globalized world’; ‘Knowledge Economy or the industrial-era model or higher education in developing countries’; ‘Evolution of Indian Higher Education and Challenges faced pre and post COVID’ and New Education Pedagogy and Career Trends in the Post-COVID World.”