Dr. S S Mantha
Chairman, All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE)
AICTE has recently awarded an eGovernance project to Larsen and Toubro. Could you elaborate on the project and its significance?
The e – governance project is in effect a content and knowledge management portal. The portal is developed on ORACLE-SIEBEL CRM platform. It works as AICTE website providing the public interface for information, provides the intranet transactions for the AICTE internal work flow applications, and also allows internet transactions for the stake holders to access the live database for making online applications for setting up new institutions. It also allows AICTE to monitor and regulate the existing institutions online. Business Intelligence tools (BI) allow various statistics and MIS reports to be generated for decision making.
The Web portal is a unique experiment to bring in some of the best practices of business and computing into a live application thereby providing utmost transparency and accountability.
Could you provide us with an overview of the importance of skill development in India keeping in mind the changing economic scenario?
Skill development is an extremely important activity for a growing economy such as ours. Every student who goes through higher education will be well served if he or she has additional skill acquired along with his / her studies. It enhances the employability opportunities. On the other hand, skill acquired for a student who does not go through formal education would provide a means of self employment and also a chance for employment in the formal sector.
India has several models in place for promoting vocational education. The best practices and experiences of the western world are used in many models to impart vocational education. However the quality metrics required to measure the quality of vocational education imparted and the skill imbibed need to be strengthened. The private sector has an onerous and important task in identifying and promoting the skill areas and also provide a methodology for quality and confirmation of the same to the global standards.
What are your views on the importance of Public Private Partnerships in this sector?
Institutions to be set up and conducted in a PPP model is a great idea to enhance participation by two very important players in mobilising economic growth. New viable models for growth of higher education need to be explored if we are to come out of the low GER syndrome. Allowing institutions of higher learning under Section 25 of Company’s Act to be set up could give a massive fillip to the sector besides automatically ensuring industry participation. Similarly credible foreign players should be allowed to set up good technical institutions in this country in order to promote healthy competition that would eventually better the standards that exist.
What is the future course of action that AICTE will undertake in the field of technical education and ensuring quality dissemination of the same?
AICTE has an extremely important course to plan, promote and monitor technical education in this country. The vision should really be that every child who desires to acquire technical education should have a means to do so. The mission of AICTE is to see that this vision is realised. Quality will be the cornerstone of such education and by implementing an outcome based education and measurement metrics based on global standards, AICTE would ensure that the education meets those requirements. AICTE is a provisional member of the Washington Accord which also helps in this endeavour.
What are your views with regard to a need for National Qualification Framework to address various issues of manpower assessment and training and to facilitate lifelong learning of workers?
National Qualification Framework can be a tool to address issues related to life long learning. AICTE through its e-governance project aims to capture the existing data on manpower assessment and training needs and project the future requirements in terms of skill sets required vis a vis the qualifications.