Home/ Education / News/  Government junks plan for vocational university

New Delhi: The government has scrapped a labour ministry proposal to open a national vocational university to better regulate the more than 11,000 industrial training institutes in the country.

Labour and employment minister Bandaru Dattatreya had announced the plan to open the university in his home state, Telangana.

“It will be an umbrella body," the minister had said on 4 December, adding that the renewed thrust on skill education in the country had necessitated such an initiative.

At an inter-ministerial meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in January, the proposal was abandoned, at least two government officials said, requesting anonymity.

More than half a dozen ministries, including the newly established skill ministry, were part of the meeting.

After the meeting, the labour ministry was told that instead of opening a varsity it should allow states to establish skill or vocational universities, one of the two government officials said. “It was marked to HRD (human resources development) ministry as it controls university systems through University Grants Commission," said the official.

“We will not open the university as planned earlier," confirmed Alok Kumar, director general of employment and training (DGET) at the labour ministry. DGET controls the skill development initiatives of the ministry and all industrial training institute (ITIs). India has more than 11,500 ITIs with a capacity of nearly 1.6 million.

Kumar said the states should join the skill mission.

“We will coordinate with others who wish to do so at the state level. We can provide assistance and guide them on quality parameters," he added.

The first government official cited above said that a university would have helped streamline the quality, put uniformity in structure and improved its engagement with students.

Teamlease Services India Pvt. Ltd, a staffing and training company, has already opened a state-level skill university in Gujarat, and company executives said that instead of the central government mandating the rules from Delhi, the states should have the liberty to open and run vocational universities.

“The demand for skill or vocational university is high and the states are interested. We believe that instead of a central university, state-level skill university will serve the purpose better as these institutions can offer courses as per the need and demand of that geographical location and the industries around it," said Rituparna Chakraborty, senior vice-president, Teamlease Services India.

India aims to impart skill training to 500 million people by 2022 to improve the efficiency of its labour force and help industries increase productivity.

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Updated: 19 Feb 2015, 01:42 AM IST
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