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International summit ‘Development Dialogue’ begins in Hubballi

The two-day international summit on social entrepreneurship ‘Development Dialogue’, organised by Deshpande Foundation, began here on Saturday with panellists emphasising on the need to take blended learning into campuses of institutions imparting formal education. Participating in the keynote panel on “Reimagining Skilling”, Managing Director and CEO of IL&FS Education and Tech Services R.C.M. Reddy and Vice-Chancellor of KLE Technological University Ashok Shettar deliberated on why it was important to integrate skills with formal education. Mr. Reddy said the notion of teaching skills for drop-outs should be done away with and replaced with the approach of ‘skills for all’ and ‘skills for life’, and for that integrating skills with formal education was crucial. Prof. Shettar said: “We should not try for a systemic change but can try to bring in the experiences in social entrepreneurship into campuses. If we can create five such models then it will be a great way to begin with.” He said the success of such models will automatically attract others and pave the way for scaling up. Founder and CEO of iMerit Technologies Radha Basu, and Founder and CEO of Year Up Gerald Chertavian briefed about their experiences in working in unconventional areas. They said that the initial strategy was to channelise the skills of the target groups properly so that the results would motivate others to join hands. In a session coordinated by the former Director of IIM, Bengaluru, Sushil Vachani, the panellists answered questions of the participants. Prof. Shettar felt that it was crucial to choose and align with the right institution. “You will not take off if you start fighting with the bureaucracy in the beginning itself,” he said. Mr. Reddy also said restructuring of the formal education in India was also needed. Earlier, in the inaugural session Founder of Deshpande Foundation Gururaj Deshpande and CEO Vivek Pawar briefed about the various initiatives of the foundation.