Indian higher education sector has been witnessing an exponential rise in terms of number of Institutions. There is a phenomenal growth of it during the last decade as compared to the scenario till the nineties. In a report prepared by the MHRD, from 20 Universities in 1950, the figure rose to 677 by the year 2014 (out of these 45 are Central, 318 are State, 185 are Private and 12 are Deemed Universities). There are also as many as 51 Institutes of national importance like IITs, NITs IISERs etc. As regards to the number of colleges, in 1950 there were just about 500 such institutions. Compare this with the figure till March 2013: 37,204, published in a report of Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD). According to the report, the growth had been 34 times and 74 times higher in case of Universities and Colleges respectively. However, in spite of these big numbers, the institutions are yet not sufficient to accommodate the young aspirants (to enter the threshold of the campuses of higher education) till this moment. Majorities of these higher educational institutions have been imparting the conventional type of education and a large number of these graduates have to either remain unemployed or to get content with berths in some jobs quite below their actual qualifications. Besides, a good number of them are not even ‘empowered’ accordingly to fetch a job in the present day job market for want of the relevant additional skills.
In another report, it has been predicted that, by 2030, India is going to post a figure of 140 million people in the College-going age group. The figure could also be a reason to be concerned about, since, if no specific change takes place in the higher education sector to address the massive young forces for their employment, then this may cause destabilization to the society in future.
But the good news is that, in realizing the existing shortcomings in the higher education system and to address the future bleak scenario besides realizing the enormous potentialities of the young forces, in recent times there are special thrusts being given to adopt policies and their implementation towards the development of knowledge, skills and aptitude of the youth of the country. Towards such a mission, the MHRD has approved the policies of the National Vocational Education Qualifications Framework (NVEQF) and has set up National Skills Qualifications Framework (NSQF). These programmes are termed as skill development programmes. To implement these skill based programmes, National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) has been established, which acts as a facilitating agency. This agency does not directly impart education or involve in academic activities but it establishes specific Sector Skill Councils (SSCs) for different trades. These SSCs are trade specific and they will engage third parties based on their expertise and experiences to evaluate the skill part of various programmes. One major advantage of these skill based programmes is that students can move both horizontally and vertically or may come out to join the job market and may re-join in the system for further learning needs. The UGC has accepted the model and has since approved a good number of new and innovative programmes aiming to enhance skill professionals for the country and the World. Our college has also joined in this and has already started a few job specific and skill driven programmes; more than hundred learners have since enrolled themselves in these programmes.
Higher education is something of a shared responsibility of both the Centre and the States. For successful implementation of these programmes, proper coordination between the States and Central Government is very much necessary. This has become all the more imperative if the ‘dream-figure’ envisaged in the vision document prepared for the year 2030- to achieve: one in every four graduates in the world, has to be translated into reality.
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