Government to open 2,50,000 vocational schools in next 5 years
Written by Arjun   
Wednesday, 05 December 2007
New Delhi: 2,50,000 vocational schools will be opened in India in next five years in Public – Private – Partnership (PPP), where corporate sector will play a major role, said Mr. N. K. Singh, Deputy Chairman, Planning Commission, Government of Bihar at the India Economic Summit 2007, organised jointly by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and the World Economic Forum (WEF), here on Tuesday. He further said that the initiative will be a significant measure to take advantage of the demographic dividend of India and develop quality manpower for the global requirement.
Speaking on the session, India’s Demographic Dividend: How will It Really Pay Out’, Mr. Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu, Member of Parliament, India said that corporate India should participate in providing quality education and define the skill set required by the industry to make young population employable. He said that the quality of manpower is important than quantity to reap the dividend of upcoming demographic advantage of India.

Manufacturing and agricultural sector compliment the sustainable growth of the service industry and currently there is a scarcity of employable manpower in both the sectors, added Mr. Prabhu.

Commenting on migration as a challenge to the payout of demographic dividend, Mr. N. K. Singh, said that demographic structure, employment opportunities, quality of governance and education are the key factors that lead to migration. He said that inculcation of skills will add value to native states of migrated workers and a comprehensive coordinated mechanism is required for mechanism.

On the issue of corporate social responsibility (CSR), Mr. Singh said that Indian companies should collate together to understand the pattern of economic growth and demographic structure of a region to tap the local manpower. CSR should be effectively practiced to educate and provide training to the young emerging population and get employable manpower, he added.

Mr. Soumen Basu, Executive Chairman, Manpower Services India said that primary and secondary education system should be able to create self learning mind and a mindset to adapt technical education in future. Informing that 97% of potential working population is without any technical qualification, he said that the vocational training should be consistent and Industry should participate in government’s effort to identify the required skill set and laying benchmark of quality.

11th Five Year Plan has taken up the challenge of changing demography and civil society should play a responsible role in implementation of the plan, said Mr. Sunil Mehta, Country Head and Chief Executive Officer, India, American International Group. India needs innovative and intelligent solution to earn the demographic dividend and key focus should be on soft skill development, he said. India has to prepare for the demographic ecosystem and corporate sector should develop right kind of atmosphere to support the growth of Indian talent, added Mr. Mehta.

Mr. Ashok Misra, Director, Indian Institute of Technology, Mumbai said that five million students pass out higher school education with science as a subject but there are insufficient technical colleges to accommodate even 20% of the passing students. He suggested that setting up of centers of excellence, teachers’ training and involvement of corporate sector can bridge the gap between the demand of manpower and supply to the industry. Mr. Misra said that greater stress should be given to vocational education and research with a focus on entrepreneurship, creativity and innovation.

Moderating the session, Mr. Victor Mallet, Editor, Asia, Financial Times, Hong Kong SAR commented that India has realised that resurgence of young generation is not only a possible opportunity but can also pose a threat. He said that 71 million new entrants in the Indian job market will require social stability and the country should look at development of skilled manpower for the huge requirement in the global market by 2030.
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