Educational institutes must work with industry to ensure employability | opinion | Hindustan Times
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Educational institutes must work with industry to ensure employability

The AICTE’s suggestion to have an industry consultation committee to rework the curriculum of each subject taught in these institutes is certainly a step in the right direction. It would ensure that colleges are teaching skills and subjects that have relevance in the industry and can help increase the employability of the students.

opinion Updated: May 10, 2017 15:39 IST
Given the government’s push on initiatives such as Skill India, which aims to train over 40 crore people in India in different skills by 2022, it is vital to ensure that more and more students will have been trained in adequate skills and practices.
Given the government’s push on initiatives such as Skill India, which aims to train over 40 crore people in India in different skills by 2022, it is vital to ensure that more and more students will have been trained in adequate skills and practices.(Getty Images)

Indian higher education leaves much to be desired, especially in the technical and technological sectors. There are engineering colleges in practically every street corner; and yet the widespread opinion in the industry is that most recent graduates are unemployable without a lot of training. AICTE (All India Council for Technical Education)’s statistics show that the number of institutes offering engineering and technology programmes under the AICTE in 2015-16 is by far the largest of all streams (6431), including applied arts and crafts (66), architecture (171), hotel management and catering (108), management (a distant second at 3,475), MCA (1344), pharmacy (1465), and town planning (8). And yet, studies show that the number of students that are job-ready is less than one-third of those graduating from technical schools.

The AICTE’s suggestion to have an industry consultation committee to rework the curriculum of each subject taught in these institutes is certainly a step in the right direction. It would ensure that colleges are teaching skills and subjects that have relevance to the industry and can help increase the employability of the students. Given the government’s push on initiatives such as Skill India, which aims to train over 40 crore people in India in different skills by 2022, it is vital to ensure that more and more students will come into the job market with the right training.

Skills and other vocational training (that don’t fall under the technical ‘engineering’ bracket) in India is looked down upon as a sort of last option if a student has not ‘made it’ to the ‘prestigious’ institutes of engineering. This is an attitude that urgently needs to be remedied. And the best way to do away with such prejudices would be to ensure that more and more vocationally trained graduates find profitable employment. This is a task that must involve the industry as much as the educational institutions. In a country standing on the cusp of a substantial demographic dividend, where a majority of the population will belong to the age group of ‘working people’; a lot remains to be done to ensure that the working age population is actually put to productive work.