Changing of mindset towards vocational educational required for faster, sustainable and inclusive economic growth: Vice President Ansari
Dr. Lalit Kishore | 15 Apr 2014

Inaugurating the International Conference on Skilling in Schools organized by PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Delhirecently, the Vice President of India M. Hamid Ansari said that Skill development was a critical fpr achieving faster, sustainable and inclusive economic growth, reports PIB. He envisaged that India will soon have the working age population excess of those dependent on them to be a potential source of strength for the country's economy if we continuously upgraded the skills of our population.

According to Ansari, educating, skilling and providing productive employment to our teeming millions, especially the youth, has become a matter of highest priority in order to reap the benefits of the ‘demographic dividend’ and emerge as the skill capital of the world. "Given the overwhelming percentage of our people working in the informal sector, skill development and up-gradation becomes all the more important," Ansari added.

In the context of emerging emloyment Ansari suggested, "As the Indian economy continues to transform and mature, large-scale sectoral shifts in the working population are inevitable, particularly from agriculture to manufacturing and services sectors. These sectors, however, need significantly different and often specialist skill sets, which require training and skill development. It is this skill gap which also needs to be addressed through comprehensive efforts, at various levels, including schools."

Expressing his worry lack of interest in vocational education, he said that skills are yet to become aspirational among the youth and stressed the need to mainstream skill formation in the formal education system and introduce innovative approaches for the skill creation outside the formal education system.

Appreciating the efforts of the government to make the revision in curriculum mandatory once in three years and to beguided by needs of the industry, Ansari said, "Under the framework (of curriculum), various domains have been identified which include Retail, Security, Information Technology, Tourism, Construction, Automobile Technology etc. It is expected that the programs will cater to at least 5 million students for vocational degree and diploma every year. It also has the potential to raise the Gross Enrolment Ratio from 15% to 30% by 2020, while simultaneously providing meaningful employment." Changing the mindset towards vocational educational would be an important undertaking as we move forward, he added.