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Govt many allow green field projects in vocational education

business Updated: Apr 04, 2007 23:22 IST
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India Inc may soon get an opportunity to equip country’s skilled manpower as per the industry own standards.

The Task Force on Vocational Education is expected to suggest green field projects in the area of vocational education to provide skilled manpower to meet the industry demands in wake of India’s booming economy. The report is likely to be submitted to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh by end of this month.

The Task Force is understood to have suggested a Public Private Partnership (PPP) model for the Greenfield projects to be set up in main industrial towns of the country. As per the model, the state governments would provide land to the interested corporate sector for setting up the green field projects whereas the Centre would provide a loan to them for establishing the centres. In return, the private player will admit a certain number of students sponsored by the government at subsidised fees.

Government officials say the corporate setting up the vocational education school will be free to decide on the courses to be run, the curriculum and the fee structure for students except those sponsored by the government. A particular green field project can be given permission for a specific industry, an official said.

The task force is also expected to recommend a similar approach for upgrading 1,396 government-run ITIs in the country. In the area of fast changing technology, an official said, most ITIs have outdated equipment and run old courses that are of no use to the industry, a fact brought out before the government by the industry in various submissions. “This needs to change and the government will help in bringing this change,” the official commented.

The PPP model will transfer the functional control of these ITIs to private sector whereas the government will continue to regulate fees and admissions. “The new management will get total financial and academic autonomy,” an official said.

Finance minister P Chidambaram, in his budget speech, has announced an interest free loan of Rs 2.5 crore to the private management of each ITI for upgradation and revision of courses. Under the new PPP mode, 300 ITIs would be upgraded every year.

Once the task force submits its report, the Ministry of Labour is likely to approach the Cabinet for the change in policy and allowing skill green field projects with private sector. The Ministry of Labour is working on a Cabinet note for new policy direction, an official confirmed.