Sashi Chimala, Executive VP – NEN speaks to Economic Times

Govt for Entrepreneurship Lessons in Schools

Skill development ministry wants to teach youngsters what it takes to start a business at an early age, puts together a broad curriculum

The government wants to take entrepreneurship lessons to schools, teaching youngsters what it takes to start a business at an early age. The skill development and entrepreneurship ministry along with Purdue University, Entrepreneurship Development Institute of India and the National Entrepreneurship Network have put together a broad curriculum covering schools to Industrial Training Institutes.

Meanwhile, the skill development and human resource development ministries are in talks to make the entrepreneurship curriculum compulsory for schools, according to people aware of the plan.

The Narendra Modi government is laying great emphasis on encouraging the entrepreneurial instinct to boost investment and create employment opportunities in India.

The Indian capacity for harnessing entrepreneurship has not been fully realised with the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) sector contributing just 17% of GDP compared with 85% in Taiwan, 60% in China and 50% in Singapore. Taking a cue from activities in western countries, where children get an early grounding in basic principles, the curriculum at school level plans to make entrepreneur ship a fun, experiential affair. It suggests activities such as hosting an annual market place in the school where students create their own companies, sell and brand products. It also conceives of exercises entailing `. 50 investments in students’ business ideas.

“In India, entrepreneurship is considered passed from one generation to the other. By way of education, students can discover that talent in them,“ said Sashi Chimala, executive V-P of Wadhwani Foundation’s National Entrepreneurship Network.

In the initial phase, an online entrepreneurship course will be designed and made available in schools across the country. A programme to train facilitators is also in the works. “MBA programmes teach you how to grow a business and there is no training on how to start a company. This could be a step in that direction,“ Chimala said.

According to government data, 62% of India’s population is in the working age group (15-59 years) and more than 54% are below 25. In the next 20 years, the labour force in the industrialised world is expected to decline by 4%, while in India it will increase by 32%.

In order to reap this demographic dividend, India needs to not only skill up but also create entrepreneurs in the country.

The Economic Times

Sashi Chimala in The Economic Times

Sashi Chimala in The Economic Times

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