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'One NSDC Not Enough For Skill Development'

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Refocus the ITIs and make them open to new developments and getting adopted by well-established corporates, says K R Sekar, Partner/ Tax, Deloitte Haskins & Sells to Rozelle Laha of BW | Businesworld.  The major agenda for the government in the coming years would be job creation as India has a significant younger population and therefore skill development and creating skilled manpower should be the focus of the government's proposed policy changes.

What are the key points for you in the new budget? What should be the new government’s top priority in education?
The government’s priority is to create more jobs. More jobs can be created through the manufacturing, infrastructure and service sector. If we need to create jobs, we need more skillful people. The first priority area of the government this budget should be to motivate and incentivise the skill development programmes through public-private partnerships.

Secondly, create more teachers’ training institutes through public private partnership (PPP) model. We need to have quality teachers. Today, unfortunately we do not have quality teachers.

Thirdly, create credible accredited agencies to rank institutions. Today we have plethora of institutions but we do not know the qualitative aspects of these institutions. None of these institutions are accredited, or ranking is known, or is subject to any evaluation. We do not have any public ranking system.

Government should introduce a qualitative ranking of institutions through an established model by which institutions are ranked by accredited agencies. Even these accredited agencies should be on public private partnership model, which creates more credibility. Credibility can come only through public private partnerships.

The Planning Commission says that the “not for profit” should be removed from the education institutions. It should also be implemented because the real and good organisations will come for education and it encourages transparency. Today in the name of “not for profit” we have institutions which are not professionally run nor do they have any accountability. Though commercial intent can be challenge but considering the gap between demand and supply, real and qualitative institutions will survive.

The fifth point is availability of funding. Education is extremely costly. Its time that the government ensures that banks provide quality loans to quality institutes at better rates and also provide certain benefits to students at the time of repayment.

How can the existing education system be effectively reformed?

Refocus our entire education system to skill development. Incentivize the big organizations to put the people for teaching. Skill development cannot be a monopoly of the government. NSDC is an enabler. You should make skill development a mission in India. Allow public private partnerships in skill development. Only one NSDC may not be sufficient for boosting skill development.