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UPSKILL TASK

WebdeskAug 02, 2021, 07:00 PM IST

UPSKILL TASK

Raj Nehru

 

Higher education institutions should improvise and restructure their strategies to develop a holistic curriculum that introduces youths to the new-age concepts and roles. By revamping the skill ecosystem, we can transform the youth into job-ready human resource

 

In today’s era, one needs to choose the right kind of academic training clubbed with specialised training to become more competitive and employable. Higher education has always been and continues to be an important agenda for the majority of aspirants. However, lack of actual skill training within the curriculum is turning our country’s precious talent pool redundant. While the employers are focusing on core competencies and not just the theoretical knowledge, the youth, lacking basic employability skills remain without job.

 

The present dynamic landscape requires higher education institutions to improvise and restructure their strategies to develop a holistic curriculum that introduces youths to the new age concepts and roles. The effectiveness of education must be measured against the employment opportunities it generates and not mere the degrees it awards. In 2016, the Government of Haryana pioneered and took the lead to establish India’s first skill university—Shri Vishwakarma Skill University (SVSU) with an objective to transform the skill ecosystem in the State that would help transform the youth into job-ready human resource.

 

SVSU in its inception phase had conceptualised and developed an innovative skilling model—Industry Integrated Dual Education Model (IIDEM)—with the active partnership of the industry. The model has been adopted to facilitate the creative curriculum design that addresses the need of specialised training for making the students competitive. The university has integrated traditional classroom system with online classrooms and supplemented it with vocation-based education and apprenticeship—National Apprenticeship Promotion Scheme (NAPS). This blend of innovation is aimed at making students ready for the demands of the industry and market changes. Students in their alternate semesters of training get an opportunity to work on new machines and technology in the industry.

 

Technology is not only life-changing, it is also game-changing. Students during their apprenticeship/ on-the-job-training forays earn a predetermined stipend from the employers /industry partners. This makes the programme an ideal ‘Earn While You Learn’ proposition. Students learn by doing and also earn while learning thereby enhancing the effectiveness of education as it creates a job-ready pass outs who are not only a competent job seeker but also a job provider. This choice empowers the youths and facilitate entrepreneurship as well.

 

The ‘Earn While You Learn’ model hones personal financial management skills at early stages of studies. The students learn to become self-reliant and self-managed at the training stage. Earn and Learn builds their thinking perspective as they get exposed to their mentors in the industry.

 

The university has tied up with more than 100 industries and runs IIDEM programs in the field of robotics and automation, mechatronics, tool and die, mechanical manufacturing, artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, besides aerospace, aviation, agriculture, automotive, banking, construction, electronics, green jobs, IT/ITeS, plumbing, and hospitality and some other emerging areas. SVSU has also been appointed as an assessment and certifying agency by National Council for Vocational Education and Training (NCVET). SVSU is first to have the status of an affiliating university in Haryana and also offer complete spectrum of National Skills Qualification Framework programmes from Level 1 to 10 i.e. Skill Certificate to Skill Ph.D.

 

To facilitate Life Long Learning, SVSU is also working on Recognition of Prior Learning, an initiative aimed at formally acknowledging the skills of the workforce in the State who hitherto have no formal certifications. The program offers enhanced employability to the participants with improved earning capacity besides helping the State and Country to improve thegross enrollment ratio. University has also initiated the Honorary Causa degree for the experts of industry and academia. The objective is to recognise and certify people for their outstanding skills.

 

The effectiveness of education must be measured against the employment opportunities it generates and not mere the degrees it awards 

 

SVSU has also brought a significant focus in the areas that are either have low aspiration or no aspiration. University has developed Bachelor of Vocation (B Voc) program in the field of agriculture in partnership with Shivansh Farms and Nandi Farms. The students work in the farms and learn new techniques of farming that would help improve livelihood, farm productivity and entrepreneurship. The students may even start their entrepreneurship like farmer producer company, dairy or organic farming. Another program that university runs is to promote ethnic food and sweets in partnership with Bikanerwala Foods Ltd. Diploma in Ethnic Food and Sweets Processing, is a one-year course in which the students will practice and learn about the processing of delectable Indian traditional foods as well as sweets.

 

Apart from this, in order to save and preserve the folk art of Banchari, SVSU has developed and is offering Diploma in Folkart Banchari. Over 800 years old Banchari Folk Art (BANFOART) cultureof BrijBhoomi, Haryana is rich yet slowly being forgotten. As a pioneer effort, SVSU has compiled the repository of over 800 rich poetry/songs into BANFOART LOK GRANTH. Trained students are connected to organisations and various industries to give their performances and earn as well. This initiative has not only helped revive BANFOART but also make it aspirational as it improves livelihood prospects.

 

SVSU has also set some great examples in very short period by enabling women to get skilled in the areas that were traditionally considered a male bastion. In the field of manufacturing, girl students of the University have excelled with welding skills. Recently Ladli and Lalita scored third position in First National Welding League of Women Competition on the occasion of International Women’s Day at C V Raman College of Engineering, Odisha, SVSU has planned to set up a Center of Excellence that will bring in industry to establish their manufacturing or research related interventions inside the campus through a special partnership. SVSU aims at raising the dignity for skill and labor and train more than 60,000 students, each year, across the State starting next two years.

 

(The writer is founder Vice-Chancellor of Shri Vishwakarma Skill University, Haryana)

 

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