Jharkhand Moots Strategy for Higher, Technical Education & Skill Development

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With a new set of policies and incentives, the Jharkhand government is geared up to bring a drastic change in the higher, technical and skill development sector. Aware of its limitations, the government has started luring private players. Apart from giving single window clearance to investors, the government has also decided to allocate 10 acres of land for single disciplinary university and provision of endowment fund of `2 crore. The government has also signed MoUs with a few prominent players to ensure a visible transformation, write Gautam Debroy and Akash Tomer of Elets News Network (ENN).

Inspite of several challenges, the Jharkhand government is determined to bring a U-turn in its higher, technical education and skill development sector.
Inspite of several challenges, the Jharkhand government is determined to bring a U-turn in its higher, technical education and skill development sector.
Under the leadership of Chief Minister Raghubar Das, the state, which is lagging far behind vis-à-vis national average, has taken several initiatives to boost up this promising sector of higher, technical education and skill development.
jharkhand_mootsAdmitting the fact, Jharkhand Chief Secretary Raj Bala Verma has said her government is trying to overcome the problems and take the state ahead in higher education and skill development sector.
“It’s true, higher education and skill are the two major sectors, we are really concerned about. But we are trying to overcome these problems. We are opening new colleges and universities in our state. In fact, in the last six months, we have opened three new private universities including Amity, Pragyan and ISEC. We have decided to give skill development training to over 20 lakh people in the state in five years,” said Verma.
Against the national average of 23 Gross Enrollment Ratio (GER), Jharkhand register only 13 GER. In terms of higher education colleges, the state has college population index of 8 against the national average of 23.
“For us, at present, the biggest challenge is to increase the GER. It is 13 and we need to take it to 32 by 2022,” said Ajoy Kumar Singh, Secretary, Department of Higher, Technical Education and Skill development.
To match the national average, Jharkhand requires 692 national colleges. Similarly, the state requires 80 polytechnic colleges and 26 engineering colleges to match the national average.
The state government, thus, has planned to construct and open over 100 new engineering, degree and polytechnic colleges in near future and set some notified model guidelines to lure private participation in the sector.
124As a first step towards solving some of the serious problems in this sector, the government is giving opportunities and incentives to private universities to come and invest in Jharkhand.
In Jharkhand, there are several advantages in the higher education and skill development sectors. The state has been ranked as 5th Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) destination in India. It has also been ranked as No. 3 State, by DIPP, in terms of doing business is concerned. The state has recorded 10.5 per cent GSDP growth rate-second fastest in eastern India.
To have technology-enabled quality education, the department of higher education and skill development, has already taken several initiatives for making the colleges and university campus Wi-Fi enabled.
In the first phase, as many as five university and 30 colleges will come under this project. “We are also planning to upload video and audio lectures on website. Further, we are also in the process of building e-library,” said Ajoy Kumar Singh.

Initiatives in Higher Education:
1. Opening New Universities
2. Setting up of Wi-Fi campuses and Digital library in all universities
3. Setting up of Industry promoted Centre of Excellences
4. Establishing campuses of foreign universities/technical institutions

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Initiatives in Technical Education:
1. Opening New Engineering / Polytechnic colleges
2. Management of colleges on PPP mode
3. Development of COEs and t-SDIs for Skill Development

Initiatives in Skill Development:
1. Forging partnership for Skill Development Centers in existing institutions
2. Setting up of 50 Mega Skill Development Centres
3. Setting up of Entrepreneurship Development Fund (EDF)
Industry-friendly education is also a big challenge in Jharkhand. “There is a huge gap between industry requirements and what we are teaching on colleges. Students who passed out are not getting jobs,” said Singh.
To overcome the problem, the department of higher, technical education and skill development has taken initiatives of changing the course curriculum.
“We have instructed varsities to change the curriculum so that we can bridge the gap between industry and academic. We are also encouraging tie-ups between universities and industries,” said Secretary Singh.
Significantly, the state government has already signed MoU with some of the prominent private companies including Cisco, Oracle, Tata. These companies will be bringing new software, technology and solutions to provide better education in the state.
“It will enable students to get immediate jobs after completing their courses,” he added.
The department is also incorporating skill development certificate courses in the colleges. “These courses will get integrated in our education system s that students studying in regular courses can get relevant hands on experience to help them while working in industry,” he said.
In the last budget, the Jharkhand government announced to incorporate skill education in the syllabus of class 9th and 10th standards to ensure students are skilled from early age and don’t face problems to get a job.
To give an impetus to the several initiatives taken by the department of higher, technical and skill development, the present leadership has initiated a vigorous movement named Momentum Jharkhand–the investment destination.
The Jharkhand government is organising road shows in and across India and abroad to attract investors in this sector.
jharkhand_moots1The government, according to the officials, has already received several proposals in the field of higher education and skill development. It has already given approval to eight private universities whereas three more are in the pipeline including Arka Jain University Capital University and JIS University.
Recently, these three universities have also written to the higher education department seeking necessary and required approvals.
By setting the ball rolling in the higher education and skill development sector, Raghubar Das government is all set to play forward and take the State at its peak.

125Jharkhand’s rise as Education-cum -Training Hub
Jharkhand’s Skill Policy was formulated with a focus on the following key areas to meet the vision of the state:
? Assessment of Skill Gap
? Spread Awareness
? Organizational capacity building
? To strengthen the Policy Making bodies
? Empanelment of Skill Training Providers.
? National Skill Qualification Framework (NSQF)
? Additional Skill Acquisition Program & Introduction of Skill Management
? Information System Convergence of Skill programs
? Encourage Industry Initiatives

The State Government has signed Memorandum of Understanding with CISCO and Oracle as a step towards industry academia tie-up and course integration in Jharkhand. Jharkhand Government has also received proposals from Siemens, PTC and Samsung to setup Centre of Excellence (COEs) in the State.
Training Wing of Directorate of Employment & Training under Department of Labour, Employment & Training imparts vocational training in engineering & non-engineering trades to the youth through a network of 22 government and 148 private ITIs, spread across the state. Presently training is imparted in 42 engineering and non engineering trades. The installed capacity of government and private ITIs taken together is around 29,500. n

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