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April 21, 2018

Kashmir Inc moots proposals for industry-academia partnership in education and skill development


Srinagar : In a recently mooted proposal by Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industry ( KCCI) to the state government, the apex body has highlighted the need for infrastructure development of government-run educational institutions under private-public-partnership ( PPP) and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) modes. Industry chambers advocated for industry participation in skill development as well.

This initiative from the private sector is being seen as a shot in the arm for education in Kashmir, as it could lead to development of model schools and colleges in Kashmir in days to come.

The Federation of Chambers of Industries Kashmir (FCIK) during the knowledge initiative meeting had also suggested about the role private sector could play in skill development of youth in Kashmir.

Mukthair Yousuf, president, FCIK said the private sector participation in the field of skill development of the state is yet to be shaped as the sector continues to be dominated by the public sector.

“The major challenges faced by the state at this point of time is unemployment which is increasing with ever passing day. The challenge of unemployment can very well be addressed by the industry to a large extent but the industry can only absorb people with adequate level of skill,” Yousuf said. The state government presently faces a challenge of severe paucity of highly-trained trainers who can impart quality skill to the youth for making them job worthy, said Yousuf adding that the industry can extend support for training programs for trainers at their facilities.

Speaking with Greater Kashmir, Nasir Hameed Khan, senior vice-president, KCCI said the proposal was mooted during a recent ‘Knowledge Initiative’ programme chaired by the chief minister’s advisor Amitabh Mattoo. Khan said KCCI has also made a suggestion that initiatives such as “CMs super-50” marred by “adhocism and lack of continuity”, could be rejuvenated with help of a boost from private sector.

“We have suggested that government school infrastructure be improved by the government along with private sector under PPP mode. The knowledge initiative of the state government has highlighted that potential use of government properties is not taking place, as these properties are under-utilized. We have suggested that government joins hands with private sector to kickstart various initiatives such as tuitions for the deserving students,” Khan said.

Khan said KCCI has informed the government that as a part of the corporate social responsibility (CSR), private sector can also play an important role in development of education sector. He said there is a need for “modification” of PPP model for development of education. The private sector can also play the role of “guiding students of government schools from an early stage”, he added.

“We have asked the government if they can provide us with some viable projects in which the private sector can also invest in which certain percentage of CSR can be given free access to education, modern library and sports facilities. It is not that we are out there to just make profits but the commercial and financial viability of any project is important,” Khan said.

Khan said among other suggestions of KCCI includes that tuitions by government teachers that take place in temporary structures such as tin sheds at present need to be regulated. “We are also suggested that students in government schools and colleges be given access to good facilities and be under supervision with help of CCTV cameras so that they feel secure for which private sector can be roped in,” Khan said.

Note: News shared for public awareness with reference from the information provided at online news portals.

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