Skill India: Govt proposes skills universities, council for vocational education

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NEW DELHI: To give a push to the skilling ecosystem, the government has proposed establishing the National Council for Vocational Education & Training, along with skills universities that will offer degrees like master and bachelor of skills.
The Skill Development and Entrepreneurship Ministry has placed the guidelines on setting up skills universities in India in the public domain and sought comments within 15 days.
According to the draft norms, the universities will have specialised skill training labs, studios and centres of excellence developed in collaboration with industry. They will also have a counselling cell to assess the aptitude of students prior to their enrolment in a skill-based programme, apart from career counselling during their course.
Moreover, the placement cell shall organise campus recruitment by forging appropriate linkages with the industry.
“Presently, skill based courses are being offered under degrees of varying names. There is a need to have a uniformity in nomenclature to differentiate between the conventional technical courses and the skill development degree level courses.
“In view of this, Bachelor of Skills (B. Skills) or Bachelor of Vocation (B. Voc) shall be used instead of all the other nomenclature being used for such bachelor level programmes in the country,” the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship said in the draft guidelines.
Similarly, master level degree programmes shall be known as Master of Skills (M.Skills) or Master of Vocation (M.Voc).
One of the major functions of the proposed regulator, the National Council for Vocational Education & Training, is to formulate norms and standards for Skills Universities.
A Standing Committee shall be set up by the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship with representatives from UGC, MHRD, NSDA, NSDC and Skills Universities for alignment of requirements of Skills Universities and UGC norms from time to time.
“Skills Universities will emerge as foremost institutions of skills based education recognised by employers, nationally and internationally,” said the norms.
The Skills Universities shall offer sector specific certificate, diploma and degree programmes directly related to the job roles in demand. These programmes shall be higher than the ones offered by ITI/Polytechnics and also different from the conventional degree courses offered by academic institutions such as B.Sc. Electronics, B.Sc. Computers, etc.
Moreover, strong employer connect would be the basis for any skills programme for the purpose of identifying the courses corresponding to the job roles in demand, designing the course curriculum, skill assessments, student & faculty training, apprenticeship, on job training, placements, joint research projects etc.
On the Job Training and apprenticeships shall form an integral part of a skills-based programme. The Skills Universities will award degrees, diplomas, certificates and other distinctions that conform to the National Skills Qualification Framework.
The students shall also have the option to exit with a Certificate, Diploma or Advanced Diploma after acquiring requisite number of credits as is being currently done under the B. Voc programme.
Preference may be given to those students coming from the vocational stream like-pass outs from ITI, Polytechnics or students from the vocational stream in the schools.