Special emphasis on vocational education and skill developmenthas been given under National Education Policy (NEP) 2020
Various steps being taken by the government to provide Vocational Education to the youth. Some of the major stepsare as follows:
- The Department of School Education and Literacy is implementing the initiative of Vocationalisation of School Education under the umbrella of the Centrally Sponsored Scheme ‘Samagra Shiksha’. The scheme aims at integrating Vocational Education with general academic education in all Secondary/Senior Secondary schools; enhancing the Employability and Entrepreneurial abilities of the students, providing exposure to work environment; and generating awareness amongst students about various career options so as to enable them to make a choice in accordance with their aptitude, competence and aspirations. The scheme covers Government and Government aided schools. Under the Scheme, National Skill Qualification Framework (NSQF) compliant vocational courses are offered to the students from class 9thto 12thin the schools covered under the scheme. At the Secondary level i.e. Class IX and X, vocational modules are offered to the students as an additional subject. At Sr. Secondary level, i.e. Class XI and XII, vocational courses are offered as a compulsory (elective) subject.
The National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 has given special emphasis on vocational education and skill development. Integration of vocational education with general education and mainstreaming of vocational education have been identified as the key reforms in the education system of the country. In order to fulfil various objectives of NEP, the existing scheme of Samagra Shiksha has been revamped and various new interventions relating to Vocational Education have been incorporated. Some of them are as under:
- Coverage of Vocational Education has been expanded to cover Government aided schools also in addition to Government Schools.
- Hub and Spoke Model of Vocational Education has been introduced providing for the utilization of the infrastructure available in the Hub schools by the students of nearby schools (spoke schools) for vocational training.
- Exposure of pre-vocational education at Upper Primary level.
- Internships, bagless days etc. have been included under Innovation component of Samagra Shiksha.
- The University Grants Commission has taken initiatives to facilitate higher education institutions across the country to provide skill-based education under NSQF. The institutions have been allowed to offer full-time, credit-based programmes at the level of Certificate, Diploma, Advanced Diploma, B. Voc, P.G. Diploma, M. Voc. and Research with multiple entry and exit options. The curriculum in each of the semester/year of the programme(s) is a suitable mix of general education and skill development components.
UGC issued the Guidelines for Higher Education Institutions to offer Internship / Apprenticeship Embedded Degree Programmes in the year 2020. As per these Guidelines any UG degree programme in any discipline, as specified by UGC under Section 22 (3) of the UGC Act, 1956, is eligible to embed apprenticeship/internship into the degree programme. While UGC’s programmes for skill-based education emphasize on developing skilled workforce with vocational education, the emphasis on Internship / Apprenticeship is to improve the employability of students in the general stream.
UGC has published Curriculum and Credit Framework in Undergraduate Programmes in accordance to the above objective. The curricular components of undergraduate programmes in the revised format prescribes minimum credits for various components which includes among other things a 2-4 credit internship, a 12 credit minor in vocational course, a 4 credit vocational exit course for those who exit after 1st/2nd year, community engagement and service etc. The aim for including vocational courses is to provide a holistic education and also to enhance the employability of graduates. The curriculum also provides students ample opportunities for internships with local industries, businesses, artists, crafts persons, etc. In addition, UGC is part of the committee which developed the draft National Credit Framework. National Credit Framework is a comprehensive framework that enables seamless integration of academic learning, vocational learning and experiential learning. This framework enables mobility from vocational education to general education and vice versa.
- All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE)has brought out flexibility in eligibility criteria for admission in engineering courses in order to integrate skilling courses. It allows candidates having one of the vocational subjects as recognized by CBSE/State Education Boards/ or having B. Voc. in specialized domain, for admission through lateral entry into 2nd year of B. Tech. Programme in AICTE-approved Institutions. AICTE has launched Kaushal Augmentation and Restructuring Mission of AICTE (KARMA) Scheme for AICTE approved Institutions and centrally funded Technical Institutions. Under this scheme Institutions are approved for providing Skill training as per NSQF to School Drop Outs, Students pursuing their degree/Diploma and to willing School students of CBSE, State Boards in the vicinity of Institutions. Till February 2022 more than 1000 institutions have registered on KARMA portal.
- Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MSDE) is providing Long Term Skill Training through 14,953 Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs) and under Short-Term Skill training through various schemes such as Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY) (through 721 Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Kendra (PMKK) established across 631 districts, Jan ShikshanSansthan (JSS) (through 286 Jan ShikshanSansthan), National Apprenticeship Promotion Scheme (NAPS) etc.
- Ministry of Skill development and Entrepreneurship (MSDE) in co-ordination with Ministry of Education has launched the Skill Hubs Initiative (SHI) as a pilot on 01.01.2022 under central component of Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana 3.0 (PMKVY 3.0). SHI is the integration and mainstreaming of vocational education with general education as has been envisaged under the National Education Policy, 2020 (NEP, 2020). Skill Hubs are nodal skill centres identified to provide skill development and vocational training opportunities to drop-outs and out of education candidates.
- MoSDE has taken various steps to align the training under PMKVY, with the industry requirements to increase the participation of the candidates. Under PMKVY, training is provided to candidates as per the skilling demand of industry. Ministry through National Skill Development Council (NSDC) has facilitated the setting up of 37 Sector Skill Councils (SSCs) as autonomous industry led bodies to develop Nation Skill Qualification Framework (NSQF) aligned job roles and courses curriculum, conduct skill gap studies and assess and certify trainees.
The Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MoSDE) and the Ministry of Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSME) are organizing consultation meetings, seminars, conferences, summits, and workshops with the industry associations, such as the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI), Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM), Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and various other representatives of industries, such as Sector Skill Councils (SSC), National Association of Software and Service Companies (NASSCOM), etc. for creating and sustaining a skill ecosystem and implementation of various schemes and programmes for skilling children, youth and adults.
AICTE has been in continuous touch with all the Sector Skill Councils pertaining to Skill Development Training in different upcoming fields and sectors. AICTE has also conducted various webinars with SSCs, AICTE approved institutes, PAN India for highlighting the upcoming job roles and futuristic emerging areas for employment.
The consultative process involved in the finalization of Curriculum and Credit Framework for UG Programmes includes inviting comments from stakeholders by placing the document on the UGC website. In addition to seeking feedback/suggestions from all Universities and colleges across the country on the draft document, UGC also invited feedback from all IITs, NITs, IISERs, Industry bodies such as ASSOCHAM, FICCI, NASSCOM, CII etc. on the curriculum framework. Their suggestions were considered before finalizing the curriculum and credit framework for undergraduate programmes.
Under the scheme of Samagra Shiksha, vocational courses are offered/developed in consultation with the Sector Skills Councils (SSCs) and the representative bodies of industry. Employability Skill module has been made a mandatory part of the vocational Courses. It consists of Communication Skills, Self-Management Skills, Information and Communication Technology Skills, Entrepreneurship Skills and Green Skills.
This information was given by the Minister of State for Education, Smt. Annpurna Devi in a written reply in the Lok Sabha today.