New Delhi : Experts who deliberated on the education and skill initiatives on day one of the 2017 edition of the Global Partnership Summit (GPS) called for a complete overhaul of the system as well as the attitude of general public.
While taking pride of India’s demographics, which has an average age of 29 at present, Rakesh Agarwal, joint secretary in the ministry of skill development and entrepreneurship said even though the country is making great strides in education field, most of the graduates and post-graduates are non-employable. While employability of IT graduates and those coming out of poly-techniques is a mere 25%, it is 42% for ITI alumni and 48-50% for engineering graduates.
He said the government was coming out with a scheme so that more youth are not only attracted to learning skills, but also will set up a trans-national standard, so the certificates are recognized in foreign countries. He said MoUs are being signed with different countries so that youth can have long-term internship periods with industries there. He called on industry to play a pro-active role and change its mindset of encouraging cheap labour to rather a high-productive labour. “Relying on cheap labour is self-destructive not only for the country but also to industry in the long run,” he concluded.
RCM Reddy, managing director of IL&FS said the societal problem of looking down at the skilled person as second class was an issue that needed to be tackled with. He said instead of a network of ITIs, there was a need to merge skill with the general education system. “Why we cannot introduce basic electric engineering, plumbing, automobile engineering and other such trades at the 12 grades?” he asked. He also said that people with skills and trades should be recognized as diploma or certificate holders to allow them to seek jobs in organized sector. “Bring education and skills together,” he added.
Author Shantanu Gupta also agreed that skills are not aspirational in India, but for drop-outs. Shankar Goenka, country head of WOW factors also suggested linking skills with school education system.
Sushil Ramola, managing director of B-Able said 70% of jobs existing today will not fetch leverage 20 years later, demanding a long-term vision while imparting skills to current young generation. He said blending school education with skill development and then superimposing it with value education is the only panacea available to prepare youth for nation building in future. Speakers also warned that demographic dividend though needs to be celebrated, but in absence of jobs can be dangerous as well creating instability in the country.
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