“To make India progressive in the 21st century and eliminate poverty and unemployment, skill development needs to made as the major mission in education,” said Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal. He said this while inaugurating the National Summit on Higher Education for Skill Development and Employability on Thursday. The summit was organised by Educational Promotion Society for India to create a platform for discussing the relevance of skill development. Highlighting the role of vocational training in higher education, Badal said, “Although India is the youngest nation in the world with more than 60 per cent of its population under 30 years of age, it is unfortunate that only 3 per cent is trained with vocational skills. This is in sharp contrast to countries like Korea, which has 96 per cent population trained in vocational skills, and Japan and European countries like Germany and France where more than 80 professionals are trained with technical skills.”
Minister of State for HRD Ram Shankar Katheria, chairman of UGC Review Committee HariGautam, EPSI president and chancellor of VIT University G Viswanathan and others were also present. Vice-chancellors and heads of the institutions of more than 50 universities and 100 colleges across India took part in the summit. Vishawnathan encouraged the universities and institutions to take a leap forward in the direction to impart technical and vocational training as a part of their academic curriculum. He urged the government to take steps in reviewing the higher education policy in India so that issues like low gross enrollment ratio implementation of ranking and accreditation process, greater autonomy for private institutions, reducing or eliminating process of approvals and NOCs can be addressed. H Chaturvedi, alternate president, EPSI and director BMTEC, Greater Noida, said encouraging entrepreneurship and start-up revolution were two remedies for solving the problem of poor employability in India. At the summit, the gathered educationists discussed ways to help higher education institutions work efficiently to produce students with quality skill training to improve employability options. “Vocational education should be termed as professional education and it should be integrated with changing industry requirements as the students passing out from universities and institutions will have to be absorbed by the industry,” Gautam.
Also, Punjab and Haryana governor and UT administrator Kaptan Singh Solanki said higher education can convert knowledge into a tangible entity that generates wealth.
Expressing these views while presiding over the summit, Solanki said Punjab is marching ahead in the field of skill development. According to him, Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal is chairman of the Skill Development Committee constituted by the Government of India.
Describing the 21st century as the century of development and technology, he said India will play a key role at this time, provided educational institutions impart relevant and skill based education. Higher education, he said, should focus on quality.
The governor stressed on the need for a link between teaching, learning, research and development. He said teaching and learning provide us with tools to convert knowledge into wealth. The need of the hour, according to him, is to strengthen infrastructure for teaching, learning and research.