SKILLS2017 International Conference which REEDS and LSLSI are proudly hosting is shaping very well.  As most of you are already aware and just as a reminder for those who does not, SKILLS2017, the two day event, organized by REEDS and
LSLSI in collaboration with Telangana Academy of Skills and Knowledge and Hyderabad Visitors Convention Bureau will be held on 16-17 November 2017 at Dr. MCR HRD Institute of Telangana, Hyderabad.
SKILLS2017: Leveraging Digital India for Rural Empowerment will focus on the national Digital India mission’s potential to transform rural economies and aimed to help achieve the Digital India program objective – an incremental 20-30% increase in India’s GDP by 2025 -- by bringing together a diverse group of stakeholders to propose supportive solutions through the use of new digital technologies and tools in 5 strategic areas i.e., enhancing India’s digital infrastructure, financial inclusiveness, agricultural productivity, and accessible rural health, and education.
In the light of ongoing efforts – nationally and globally, both to strengthen innovation and creativity in the digital environment and to use the power of digital technology to make the flows of invention and creativity cheaper and more efficient and user-friendly, SKILLS2017 is very timely and valuable in helping chart a development path for economies such as India.
Conference is just about 120 days away but, thanks to support from several quarters – Conference Chair, Advisory Committee, Cooperating Institutions, confirmed Speakers and other contributors, we are able to make a good progress so far. A galaxy of 25 eminent personalities representing 8 countries joined the International Advisory Committee; dozen institutions of repute are extending collaboration to the event; and as of today we have speaker acceptances representing organizations such as the Royal Bank of Canada, American Sentinel University, ICRISAT Development Center, ITC Ltd, and the Department of Agriculture, Government of India.
We have included, as an important part of the SKILLS2017 conference program, to support continued innovation in digital rural empowerment, a Business Plan Competition for innovative business models that support conference themes vis-à-vis innovation in digital rural empowerment. A winner in each of the five theme categories is awarded a $1K US grant and would be connected to further resources to realize their visions.
The preliminary schedule and related information can be found on the conference website. As Google CEO Sundar Pichai once remarked ‘Digitizing a country of the scale of India, and making it work well, truly will have a beneficial effect’ and that ‘When we built for India, we built for the world,’ Digital India would be a significant opportunity to shape not only the country’s path towards sustainable development but also for the well-being of the world.
Mustering global expertise and preparing for such an inclusive international conclave dedicated to the digital application agenda necessary to meet the country’s social and economic challenges requires the participation and sustained support of a range of players. We highly value every appropriate participation and support.
Thank you for your continuing support to make a change. Mark your calendars and consider joining us at the SKILLS2017 Conference!

Dr. Ravi K Reddy
Secretary, REEDS

Hyderabad, 9 July 2017