The Centre for Indigenous Innovation and Entrepreneurship, KISS-DU, Bhubaneswar in collaboration with the Indian Association for Life Skills Education, Chennai organized a Panel Discussion on Sustainable Development Goal 9: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure and Life Skills Education on 26th August 2022. Dr. Seshadri Ramkumar, PhD, CText, FTI (UK), FTA (Honorary) (India), TAPPI Fellow (USA) and Ms. Shanti Murmu, a KISS alumina and Mahatma Gandhi National Fellow (MGNF), IIM Bangalore were invited as esteemed panelists for the session.

Delivering the Welcome Address, Professor Jugal Kishore Mishra, Director Internal Quality Assurance Cell, KISS-DU spoke about the seven Innovative Centres and shared a brief profile of the University. He concluded by saying that it is a moment of pride for KISS to see Ms. Shanti Murmu, an alumina of KISS as one of the panelists.

Ms. Sunitha Ranjan, President, Indian Association for Life Skills Education in her Introductory Remarks stated that life skills promote the enhancement of key psycho-social skills such as TEXT communication, interpersonal relationship, managing our emotions, stress and cognitive skills such as critical thinking, problem solving and decision making.

In his Opening Remarks, Professor V. Balachandran, Professor Department of Management Studies, Central University, Kerala talked about SDG – 9 and the various targets and indicators under it. He went on to establish a connection between SDG – 9 and Life Skills Education and how LSE provides solution to socio economic challenges.

Initiating the Panel Discussion, Professor Seshadri Ramkumar focused on Innovation and the role of Life Skills Education in achieving the Innovative quest. The recent COVID-19 has created a new confidence among general public on the importance of R & D. Professor Seshadri Ramkumar presented how innovation has played a role in combating serious situations such as BP Oil Spill in the United States and the COVID-19 global pandemic. In an answer to a question on how life skill education can support the cotton sector, Professor Ramkumar brought example to show how United States’ cotton farmers organize and interact with policy makers and scientists in combating critical situations like climate change, drought, etc. He insisted that everyone is an innovator in their own way.

“Life Skills help in developing relationship and resiliency. It helps to connect well with people of different work and cultural backgrounds,” stated Dr. Radhakrishnan Nair, Founder President of Indian Association of Life Skills Education.

Other presenter in the event was Ms. Shanti Murmu, who has been doing pioneering work to uplift unrepresented people in Odisha and is recognized as Change Maker through her initiative ‘Parivartan’ in 2015 focusing on menstrual hygiene. This initiative has created ripple effect in her community inspiring 3000 adolescents and girls in 10 nearby villages.  Ms. Murmu underlined the role played by KISS in her life. She also highlighted how the Life Skills Education Programme has developed the confidence level. While sharing the lessons taught by KISS she said “KISS taught us never to forget our roots”. Underscoring her work in the area of Innovation, she said that currently she is associated with a Vernacular Improvement Programme by the NITI Ayog wherein language barriers faced by the young innovators are bridged when they are pitching their work. Design Thinking and Confidence Building Tools are used to meet the end result.

Dr. Gauri Hardikar, Secretary, Indian Association of Life Skills Education proposed a Vote of Thanks.