By JC Jain

India is a country with contradictory approach in terms of education and employability. There is huge population of youth in the country but still there is a lack of skilled manpower and resultantly employment rate shows negative trends. It is a big question for the policy makers. So what and where is the problem?

Today, the number of youth in India is the highest in the world, close to one- fifth of the youngsters now living in the world, which is a great ‘Demographic Dividend’. It means that if the youth available in the country are well trained and skilled they would prove to be asset for the society and the nation contributing towards the economic growth as well as ensuring employment for those willing. This apart, suitable training and education can propel many of them towards entrepreneurship, generating employment for others instead of seeking employment themselves.

A suitably skilled youth is not just an asset in terms of positive contribution. They can hardly be involved in destructive anti-national activities which the misguided Kashmiri youths are indulging in. Besides, they cannot easily fall prey to drug abuse.

Today, in many states of the country, including Uttarakhand, there is a huge migration of youth from the hills to the plains, particularly to the metros, because of lack of suitable educational and skilling facilities in accordance with the need of current and future industrial world.   There is a need thus to identify the gap between academics and expectations of industry and society.   To fill this gap, current education needs a major reform and up-gradation, integrating greater use of the information technology with the field of education through constant updating of the syllabus.   Skilling the youths with the latest in technology is a win-win situation both for the prospective youths as well as the employers.

In a broader sense, skill development means developing oneself and the skill sets to add value to the organisation where one is going to be employed. Continual improvement is what any organisation looks for in its employees. Learning and developing one’s skills requires identifying the skills needed for becoming competent, and then successfully seeking out trainings or on-the-job opportunities for developing those skills. Close to  70 per cent of development of an employable youth comes from on-job activities and hands-on learning experiences. This can include development experiences like managing a project while serving on a cross-functional team.

Twenty per cent of one’s development comes from interactions with others. This includes having a mentor, being a mentor, coaching, participating in communities of practice, serving as a leader in an organisation.

Ten per cent of youth’s development comes from training, including seminars, conferences, webinars. This is a rough ratio division between various parts of training accepted worldwide.

India is growing and emerging as one of the largest economies of the world. Empowering the youth through education and right skills have scripted success story in many countries of the world. Time has come when we have to move away from Macaulay Education System to something more Indian, pragmatic and job- oriented education which does not ape the model of other countries. However, before adopting these models, it is important to study the suitability of the model, to see whether it is suitable for our country or not. We should develop our own models of education, industry, economic development and social growth.

(The author is an educationist and industrialist, the writer is also the chairman of College of Engineering Roorkee)

Source: Daily Pioneer

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