Rajasthan is proving to be a breeding ground for entrepreneurs and innovative thinkers where millions of young minds with new ideas, and support from the government are ready to take on the future roadmap, writes Reetika Bose of Elets News Network (ENN).
Ranked at the second position in the School Education Quality Index, 2019, the state of Rajasthan has pulled itself from the 26th position to the second spot. All thanks to the reforms, initiatives, merging of schools, teachers- students average in classrooms, availability of subject teachers in schools to be the key drivers of quality education in the state of Rajasthan.
Quality education is the aim and with this objective, the state of Rajasthan has revamped the educational structure with new innovations, programmes and schemes in response to the aspirations of its young population for greater economic and social mobility associated with higher and technical education. The education landscape of Rajasthan reflects that along with quantitative expansion the thrust is on qualitative aspects.
The departments associated with the education in the state are committed to promote holistic learning amongst youths of Rajasthan so as to enable them to lead meaningful lives in the society. Every department is keen to develop the requisite capacity and capability of youngsters that will lead to development of the nation.
The Department of Higher and Technical Education, Government of Rajasthan focuses on nurturing the employable, positive and aspirational generation of lifelong learners. Such traits help the youths of the state to sustain in this competitive and quality conscious era of globalisation.
In order to make the youth employable and to make the college campuses conducive for the holistic development of the students, the Department of Higher and Technical Education in Rajasthan has several key areas of concern that need to be addressed are quality education, accessibility, facilities and employability. These are the key drivers for the enhancement of education in the state.
The Rajasthan Government’s mission is to develop a higher and technical education system in the state that strives for excellence in quality, easily accessible to every section of the society, and produces skillful human resource that can stand up to the challenges of the changing times.
Easy access to higher education opportunities will enable students to develop knowledge and skills necessary to achieve their professional goals, improve the productivity of their organisations and provide leadership and service to their communities.
The Government, with such a higher education system, wants to ensure that it is open to all and does not discriminate an individual on the basis of religion, caste, gender, physical or financial conditions. An education system that churns out social thinkers, scientists, inventors, innovators, artistes, players, motivators of highest quality is the need of the hour.
The system has its focus on enhancement of quality of teaching and research at par with the global standards through revision of curriculum, syllabus, teaching-learning material, text books, pedagogical processes and ICT in education.
To improve the quality of all Higher Education Institutes (HEIs), benchmarking will be done through The National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) and through National Board of Accreditation (NBA).
Rajasthan endeavours to put in place such an education system that could support and sustain India’s undeniable status of an emerging economic power.
HIGHER EDUCATION- THE MUCH NEEDED REFORMS
With an aim to make students employable along with learning, many entrepreneurship programmes are now being started and some of them are in progress in colleges, with an which can help them in the creative utilisation of their time and money.
- The Pratiyogita Dakshta Program is one classic example of how the state of Rajasthan is gradually expanding to add the state’s youth other than the students for providing free coaching for the competitive exams.
- The talk of the town is the new innovative program which is the ‘Idea Bank’, where ideas are sought from the faculty and other stakeholders in the higher education domain. Eventually, the best idea will be evaluated and implement them in the higher education ecosystem of the state.
- Resource Assistance and College with Excellence (RACE) – The scheme has been initiated for the colleges and by the colleges. It involves redistribution of resources at local level and it is improving the condition of colleges that lack resources.
- The summer camp programme “Kaushal Unnayan” has met with great success which was organised in 163 government colleges of the State in June.
- Student-centric Learning and Capacity Enhancement Programme is helping students to improve their learning (academics) as well as get hands-on experience in industry- relevant skills.
- Rajasthan State Higher Education Council (RSHEC) formed for planning, monitoring and evaluating quality assurance in higher education.
TECHNICAL EDUCATION- SETTING A BENCHMARK
The state of Rajasthan, with a vision to impart high quality technical education to all the sections of the society is gearing up with new reforms and initiatives to enhance the competitiveness of the state’s technical manpower to global standards.
- For improving the quality of technical education, a committee is formed for National Board Accreditation (NBA) accreditation of at least one branch in each of the Technical Institutes in the State.
- To enhance the training for the teachers, faculty development programmes are organised by the Rajasthan Government. In Rajasthan Technical University, Kota, about 60 FDP programmes, workshops and trainings, 3 international seminar and state level smart India Hackathon will be organized.
- A new Collaborative Research Scheme (CRS) was started by AICTE New Delhi in which about 2 to 5 research projects were submitted by the staff of engineering colleges of Rajasthan. Among them 84 projects are sanctioned by AICTE, which is the highest in India. In this scheme, provisions were made of 10 crore for 11 Engineering colleges in Rajasthan, out of which 25% amount has been transferred to Engineering Colleges.
- For quality improvement, engineering colleges have applied in 49 branches to National Board Accreditation by preparing self-appraisal reports. Training will be organised for students of engineering colleges by using business analytics softwares. Students will be given special training of GATE, on employability skills and summer Internship by prominent IIT/ NIT.
- The AICTE has prepared guidelines for the recruitment of principals of engineering colleges, strictly adhering and transparency in recruitment process. Similarly guidelines will also be prepared for the recruitment of assistants, associates and professors.
- The Rajasthan Technical University, Kota is going to set up a modern research hub in which many facilities for modern technology like performance computing facilities, solar energy system, CAD/CAM, 3d printer and other software will be available.
- TEQIP (The Scheme of MHRD and World Bank) has provided 10 crore to each engineering college of Rajasthan and 20 crore to Rajasthan Technical University, Kota, for enhancement of quality and up gradation of curriculum of technical education.
- Strengthening the placement of students for which IIICELL (Industry Institute Interaction Cell) has been set up.
- Choice Based Credit System (CBCS) and semester system has been introduced in all departments of Rajasthan Technical University, Kota. This has been recognised by National Board of Accreditation, New Delhi.
EMPLOYABILITY OPPORTUNITIES FOR STUDENTS
With an aim to provide maximum job opportunities to the students, the department of higher & technical education is striving to do various good practices like conducting job fairs, connecting students with potential buyers, etc. Ensuring job placements to students, on campus or of campus, is one of our major targets.
CENTRE FOR ELECTRONIC GOVERNANCE (CEG)
With an aim to create industry employable IT professionals by arranging seminars lectures, vocational training, and industry relevant software training, the government has appointed Centre for Electronic Governance (CEG) as nodal agency for state level Central Placement Cell (CPC). Rajasthan is the second state in the country to be running this kind of a program after the highly acclaimed ‘Jawahar Knowledge centre’ in Andhra Pradesh.
The main objective of CEG is to provide opportunities of employment to students of Engineering /polytechnic colleges. More than 400 students are placed in various industries to this day. CPC has targeted more than 1000 students for providing employment and training with collaboration of Rajasthan Skill Development Department, RSLDC and Local Administrative Department.
Guidance and careers cell are formed in each of the technical institutes of Rajasthan for students. About 149 lecturers of Engineering / Polytechnic colleges have been trained in robotics and 3D printing under faculty development programme by CEG. Also, students of Polytechnic colleges were trained in AutoCAD and Robotics by TTC and LRDC, Jodhpur.
RUSA EFFORTS AND ACHIEVEMENTS
The Rashtriya Uchchatar Shiksha Abhiyan (RUSA) is a Centrally Sponsored Scheme (CSS). Launched in 2013, it aims to provide strategic funding to eligible state higher educational institutions. The central funding (in the ratio of 60:40 for general category States, 90:10 for special category states and 100% for union territories) would be norm based and outcome dependent.
GOVERNMENT EMPOWERING THE MARGINALISED SECTION
For those who belong to the weaker section of the society and cannot afford to attend expensive coaching classes, the government is going to start an online 24*7 Quick Response System (QRS) scheme to answer the queries of the students on a real-time basis. Besides, an application has been created for the universities through which helpline facility for students, monitoring the academic & extracurricular activities of universities, the transmission of orders, and overseeing the work of district resource committees.
MUKHYMANTRI YUVA KAUSHAL YOJNA – SKILLING THE FUTURE OF TOMORROW
A number of students in colleges are interested in embracing a skill for their future. Likewise, the government is providing employment related training to those who are still studying.
To fulfill their need and in consideration of their job opportunities in the market, the department in collaboration with RSLDC has developed 39 skill training courses. The RSLDC has granted Rs 3 crores from its regular budget to start MYKY for training more than 7,500 regular students from 118 government colleges. The students will be given job oriented training for 200- 350 hours. This will enhance their performance and eventually job opportunities.
Likewise attempts are being made to affiliate all the government colleges with the Rajasthan Skill University in order to have opportunities for all the students of these colleges in getting diploma after being trained. This will definitely benefit a large section of the regular students studying in government colleges. For this, the government has collaborated with Rajasthan Skill and Livelihood Development Corporation (RSLDC). Under this, 34 regular courses for skill development will be rendered in selected government colleges. 25 Language Labs are being planned to be established in the selected government colleges to help students in grasping the requisite language skills for acquiring jobs in the future.
THE FINAL DESTINATION FOR EDUCATION, EMPLOYMENT & ENTREPRENEURSHIP
Addressing the major challenge of unemployment among the Rajasthan’s youth, The state is focused on the various aspects for the betterment of higher and technical education system. The department is planning to help in establishing universities and colleges of global repute and appointment of skilled facilities along with a good support staff.
With innovative strategies and the zeal to develop the institute of excellence, the state of Rajasthan is indeed proving to be a breeding ground for entrepreneurs and innovative thinkers. Millions of young minds with new ideas, and support from the government will make the state ready to take on the startup drive in the future.