Linking of Vocational and Higher Education
National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 has advocated integration of vocational education with main stream education in a phased manner. Accordingly, University Grants Commission (UGC) has facilitated Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) to offer skill-based programmes under National Skill Qualification Framework (NSQF). The objective of NSQF is, inter alia, to integrate relevant skills into the higher education system in order to make higher education relevant to the learners and the community. In addition, UGC has also notified guidelines on Internship/Apprenticeship Embedded Degree Programme in the year 2020. As per the UGC Guidelines, any Under Graduate (UG) degree programme is eligible to embed Internship/Apprenticeship into the degree programme. While UGC’s programmes for skill-based education emphasize on developing skilled workforce with vocational education, this emphasis on Internship/Apprenticeship is to improve the employability of students in general stream.
All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) has also brought out flexibility in the eligibility criteria for admission in Engineering courses in order to integrate skilling courses. It allows candidates having one of the vocational subjects as recognised by CBSE/ State Education Boards / or having B. Voc in specialised domain, for admission through lateral entry into 2nd year of B. Tech Programme in AICTE-approved Institutions.
AICTE has launched Kaushal Augmentation and Restructuring Mission of AICTE (KARMA) Scheme for AICTE approved Institutions and Centrally funded Technical Institutions. Under this scheme Institutions are approved for providing Skill training as per NSQ Framework to School Drop Outs, Students Perusing their degree/Diploma and to willing School students of CBSE, State Boards in the vicinity of Institutions. Till February 2022 more than 1000 institutions have registered on KARMA portal.
In addition, Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) is offering Certificate, Diploma, Master degree level vocational programmes in the areas of Information Security, Business Process Outsourcing; Finance and Accounting, Communication and IT Skills, Fashion Design, Modern Office Practice, Pharmaceutical Sales Management and Entrepreneurship. The University acts as a national resource centre having twenty-one Schools of Study offering skill and competency-based programmes across a diverse range of disciplines, including the above stated areas.
The information was given by the Minister of State for Education, Dr. Subhas Sarkar in a written reply in the Lok Sabha.