The National Skill Development Agency (NSDA) is looking at streamlining vocational education as part of higher secondary education for increasing employability in India. According to S. Ramadorai, NSDA Chairman, the agency is setting up a common framework with an open/flexible system to create an interest for certain specialised skills and convert them through testing and certification into higher diplomas and degrees.

Pallam Raju, Union HRD Minister, had also pointed out at the CII HR summit that the biggest challenge was to make the large workforce more employable. Underscoring the problem of mainstream education proving inadequate, it has been reported that only 20 per cent of the 4 lakh engineering students who graduate every year are employable. As a part of the National Policy on Skill Development, the Government has set a target for training 500 million persons by 2022.

In secondary school education, particularly in standard 8 to 11, they are looking at introducing vocational stream as a part of the general education where the child would be given certain credits for the number of hours of vocational training. Then after standard 12, the youth will have a choice to purse vocational education or general education, Ramadorai said.

“We will look at the results and push for adoption through the National Skills qualification framework.” Ramdorai said.

At present, NSDA is working closely with the Ministry of Human Resource Development and Ministry of Labour and Employment for its implementation. It is running pilots at the school level in Assam and Haryana.

deepa.nair@thehindu.co.in

(This article was published on October 3, 2013)
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