EIFE One Year of Extensive Growth

One Year of Extensive Growth


October 28, 2015

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September 2015


Launched in November 2014, Europe India Foundation for Excellence (EIFE) has come a long way within a year with seven projects in three cities and an upcoming international summit on skill development.

A nation fails when its elites fail to secure the best education possible for the society and fail to assume the leadership that foster development,” says Count Christopher de Breza, founding chairman, Europe India Foundation for Excellence (EIFE) Brussels, who launched EIFE in November 2014 as the only think tank in Europe dedicated to India and Europe relations. One year, seven projects, three states covered; the foundation has marked its presence efficiently in the country in one year, bringing together creative thinkers and intellectuals in areas that have overlapping research interests, in order to evolve common policy initiatives between EU and India.

Opportunities opened at Vibrant Gujarat

With the aim to launch an internship programme, practical work experience for Indian students in EU and vice-versa, EIFE tasted its first success at Vibrant Gujarat 2015, a global investment held in Gujarat in January this year, where the foundation initiated its discussions with Infrastructure Leasing & Financial Services (IL&FS), Gujarat International Finance Tec-city (GIFT) to create Centre of Excellence for financial services – a concept of anchor institute. Under the project, EIFE will design course module, bring faculties from Europe and in return, GIFT will provide space to EIFE. De Breza informs, “As part of the project, we have asked IL&FS and GIFT to identify potential employers in Gujarat and also, tie-up with universities in the state, adding, “The duration of the course will be four to six weeks with 50 students initially and we will take it to 300 students per batch.”

More projects in Gujarat

Following the first project initiated in the state with the government, the foundation has been in consultations to work with Centre of Entrepreneurship Development (CED), Gujarat, which will again be an anchor institute. This project involves upgradation of module and exchange programme for trainers as well as students. EIFE has been having dialogues with the government as well as the private players. With the Puri Foundation for Education in India, set up by UK based Indian industrialist and philanthropist, Nath Puri, the association includes exchange programmes of interns between Gujarat and France along with study tours for skill development officers. Apart from these three projects, De Breza informs that the foundation is in talks with Indian Institute of Management (IIM) and Centre for Environment Planning and Technology (CEPT) University, both based in Ahmedabad, Gujarat.

Jharkhand – EIFE’s next destination

At Vibrant Gujarat 2015, Jharkhand chief minister Raghubar Das in its State Session appealed to public and private sector to contribute to the Jharkhand Skill Development Mission for making the youth of the state skilled, independent and employed. EIFE considered it as an opportunity and approached Jharkhand government for Industrial Training Institute (ITI), Ranchi. Another project that has started is with Heavy Engineering Corporation for curriculum, teaching skills and review of students. The third project is for tool room, where EIFE will help in skill upgradation and top three students will be sent to Europe for training. “This includes modernisation of one of the ITI institutes on pilot basis involving equipment, training module and exchange of faculties and students,” adds De Breza.

Expansion in other cities

Recently, EIFE has expanded to Mumbai, with its consultations with Kohinoor Technical Institute for exchange of interns and training. Additionally, it is looking forward to working with different verticals of Indian film industry such as Film Federation of India and Whistling Woods International. “We have made our presence in these three cities extensively. The government and the private players with whom we started the projects are quite impressed with our initiative of fostering skill development in India and we are motivated with the positive response equally,” says De Breza.

Talking about challenges, De Breza says, “One of the key challenges that we face is to work with Indian diaspora in this segment which is completely lacking. Diaspora is an integral part of a nation’s wealth and it can play an important role in promotion of innovation and excellence. Therefore, we aim at showcasing how the diaspora can play an effective role in skill development.”

He further adds, “We are expanding. We have good presence in European countries like Spain, Barcelona and the UK. We have participated in numerous events also. We participated in Hannover Messe 2015, Germany, Barcelona Conference in September 2015 and EICC-TIPS is next on the radar.”

The next step

The strong presence in key cities with fair number of projects within a year has taken EIFE to the next step of organising a summit on skill development in India. Named as “India International Skill Development”, to be held in March 2016 in New Delhi, the summit will create a common platform for governments, institutes, think tanks, business leaders and academicians from both Europe and India to think “skill development” at the global level. Ministries of skill development, employment and labour and state governments of Gujarat and Jharkhand along with institutes like National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) and IL&FS will be seen participating in the summit. From Europe, the think tank OECD (Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development) and key institutes like Mind Fra will participate through collaboration.

De Breza shares, “The idea of organising ‘Indian International Skill Development Summit’ is to fill the skill gap. OECD and European countries have set a benchmark in the field of skill development and employability. For India to do so, the biggest challenge will be to equip its population with necessary training and skill sets. And through this summit, we are trying to develop a bridge between EU and India. So that India will learn through the expertise of European institutes and foster skill development in India along with the mission of the new government towards skilling the young India. According to the government of India estimates, for the next 10 years, each year nearly 13 million young Indians will join the job market, translating into 130 million job seekers by 2024.”

The Summit will focus on skill gaps highlighting various sectors, current skill requirements, case studies, requirement of international support, exchange programmes, a lot more in the presence of more than 500 professionals from India and Europe.

To contributing to this growth and reach out to maximum leaders in Europe and India for a common objective, EIFE is launching its website – www.eife.org, during the TIPS 2015 summit.



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