It has been 70 years since we began our journey premised on our tryst with destiny on August 15, 1947. This Independence Day, we don't just celebrate the freedom, but take pride in what we have achieved.
What Dr. Manmohan Singh professed in the concluding line of his first budget speech on July 24, 1991, termed by many as the charter for India's economic freedom: 'Victor Hugo once said, No power on earth can stop an idea whose time has come... the emergence of India as a major economic power in the world happens to be one such idea', has become a reality now - India, ranking world's third largest in purchasing power parity terms, has become a large and growing part of global economic growth story!
Our growth story in the last 7 decades is not without contradictions. Improved performance on several critical parameters of socio-economic development, yet many challenges remains. It is a fact that many of Indian cities are now world class, yet life in several rural parts of the country is without basic facilities. While economic reforms have lifted millions out of poverty, the gap between the rich and the poor still exists.
Independence brought all of us hope, created a sense of freedom and opportunity. There are still huge opportunities to be unleashed and new frontiers to be explored! As we reflect on independence, let's remember our strengths and achievements and continue to embrace these with a renewed commitment in building the India that we dream of. After all, there are a billion dreams to be realized!
On the SKILLS2017 Conference front, I am happy to share that the progress is very exciting. Here are some excerpts on the progress:
  • An advisory committee comprising a galaxy of 30 eminent personalities in the fields of Academia, Industry, Government representing 8 countries guiding the event.
  • 17 Indian and Overseas organizations of prominence are collaborating with the conference.
  • Speaker acceptances from 5 Countries - United Kingdom, USA, Canada, South Africa and India.
  • Speaker representing organizations include Royal Bank of Canada, American Sentinel University, ICRISAT Development Center, ITC Ltd, Cyient, Agriculture Skills Council of India, Yare Group and the Department of Agriculture, Government of India.
  • To recognize and stimulate innovative ideas in the application and utilization of digital technologies and lead to scalable entrepreneurial models for sustainable socio-economic development, a Business Plan Competition is included in the conference program.
We believe, Digital India is, by far, the most potent opportunity for the transformation of India by empowering nearly one billion rural Indians with advanced skills and the latest digital tools, enabling them to “leapfrog” into the Digital Age. It is for this purpose and to ensure a healthy dialogue about this enormous opportunity, SKILLS2017 would bring a diverse group of stakeholders together in Hyderabad, on November 16 and 17, 2017, to deliberate and decide on the best means to identify the challenges and create the solutions necessary to ensure Leveraging Digital India for Rural Empowerment.
" Let us pledge to create a New India by 2022 "
- Prime Minister Modi in his address to the nation on 71st Independence Day
It is incumbent on government policy makers, commercial and educational institutions, and NGOs, to unite and resolve to create the policies and programs necessary to ensure India's rural poor have the opportunity to take full advantage of attaining sustainable economic participation in the emerging Digital World. You are welcome to take part in our effort in Making of Developed India!
Dr. Ravi K Reddy
Secretary, REEDS ,

Hyderabad, 16 August 2017

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