After many squabbles and turf wars, the government has finally decided to have a national qualification framework for skill certification of those seeking jobs in 32 sectors, including automobile and retail.
An inter-ministerial committee constituted by cabinet secretary this week decided to have a common certification mechanism by merging the frameworks of the HRD ministry and the labour ministry.
The HRD ministry a year ago had notified national vocational education qualifications framework for eight sectors and was expected to issue operational guidelines soon.
The labour ministry, on the other hand, refused to accept the HRD ministry’s formulation and circulated its own national vocational qualifications framework for approval, forcing the Prime Minister’s Office to intervene.
“Both the ministries have now agreed to come out with a consensus document,” a senior government official told HT.
He admitted that it had taken almost two years to bring the two warring ministries on board for skill development initiative identified by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh as key for harnessing India’s economic potential through demographic dividend.
According to official sources, the national framework will have qualification parameters similar to one in the international level to ensure employability of those getting trained at centers set up with the help of private employers. And, the framework would be implemented by the National Skill Development Authority to be set up soon.
The framework will also define the role and responsibilities of sector skill councils to be regulated by the authority approved by a Group of Ministers last week.
The councils set up in collaboration with the private sector would be mandated to determine curriculum, develop training manuals and provide certification at different levels depending on the training.
A government official said a person with basic training would get a secondary level certificate and would be able to upgrade his training for graduation level certification.
“There would be credit accumulation and transfer based on total learning hours at each level, credits and competency based assessment,” the broad outline of the national framework says.
It will also push for modular courses aimed at virtual progression and horizontal transfer throughout the skill development system, it added.
The new framework will also recognize prior learning of a particular skill and education through on-line and distance education mode.
The National Open School and Indira Gandhi National Open University will have an important role in implementing the new framework, officials said
The government has realised that the qualifications framework will not work without active participation of the private sector in course determination and skill certification.
The sector skill councils have private participation but the new framework aims to give them a bigger role in running of over 2,000 vocational education and training courses.