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Volume 7 > issue 03 > march 2011 issn 0973-4139

rni no. upeng/2008/25311

story 08 cover Employ-ability in High Growth Sectors


Employability has been one of the key problems plaguing the society across the developing countries. There is a strong need for developing a national academic framework that promotes ‘education for employability’

leader speak

12 Prof V N Rajasekharan Pillai


Fashion Design Courses@IGNOU


tourism and hospitality sector Going Full-throttle in 32 IGNOU Tourism & Hospitality

vocational education and training

34 Harish Menon CEO of IndiaSkills

Prepares Media 24 IGNOU Personnel

translation studies


Translation: Role and Scope in India

event report

31 International Conference on

Digital Libraries and Knowledge Organisation

36 Union Budget 2011-12: Education Overview


automotive sector Automotive Industry Set for Global Competition


Chairman, All India Council for Technical Education

regular features Business News 20 India News 30 Corporate News 40

tech focus

41 Scientific Assessment Tools for Measuring Skills Among Workforce

policy matters Skills and 41 Employability Vocational Education

finishing schools

48 IGNOU’s Finishing School Employability Initiative


Dr SS Mantha

budget overview

21 Reaching out to Peripheries media and entertrining sector


corporate diary

textile sector Skills Deficit in 17 Countering Apparel Industry

Vice Chancellor, Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU)

in the 21st Century: 50 Learning Expanding Access to Higher

Vice Chancellor, Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU)

fashion sector

Prof V N Rajasekharan Pillai

Visit www.digitallearning.in for news, interviews, resources and articles on ICT in education in India


Education and Employability

Advisory Board Prof. Asha Kanwar, Vice President, Commonwealth of Learning Dr. Jyrki Pulkkinen, CEO, Global eSchools & Communities Initiative (GeSCI) Shri Subhash C Khuntia, Joint Secretary, Department School Education and Literacy, Ministry of Human Resource Development, Government of India Prof. V N Rajasekharan Pillai, Vice Chancellor, Indira GandhiI National Open University (IGNOU) President: Dr. M P Narayanan Editor-in-Chief: Dr. Ravi Gupta Editorial Team: Dr. Prachi Shirur, Dr. Rajeshree Dutta Kumar, Divya Chawla, Sheena Joseph, Pratap Vikram Singh, Dhirendra Pratap Singh Sales & Marketing Team: Debabrata Ray, Arpan Dasgupta, Bharat Kumar Jaiswal, Anuj Agarwal, Fahimul Haque (Mobile: +91-9873277808), Rakesh Ranjan (sales@elets.in) Subscription & Circulation: Gunjan Singh Mobile: +91-9718289123 (subscription@elets.in) Graphic Design Team: Bishwajeet Kumar Singh, Om Prakash Thakur, Shyam Kishore Web Development Team: Zia Salahuddin, Amit Pal, Sandhya Giri, Anil Kumar IT Team: Mukesh Sharma

The key determinants for employability of an individual are moving self-sufficiently within the labour market through knowledge, skills and attitudes and the way they use these assets to present themselves to their employers. While some countries put emphasis on changing their education systems to be more employment-centric, in most parts of the world, education and employment are not in sync with each other. The high growth sectors in India are currently facing acute shortage of employable graduates, thereby hampering fast paced advancement in these sectors. India has one of the highest graduate producers per year in the world. But, this does not equate to a high percentage of employable candidates. Young people in India make up 19 per cent of the population and despite growing demands for skilled employees the unemployment rate is at 50 percent for youth across the country. A comparatively younger population can equally be a challenge as it can be an immense opportunity for any country. More than 70 per cent of Indians by 2025 will be of employable age. In this context, universalising access to secondary education, increasing the percentage of our scholars in higher education and providing skill training is necessary. India has historically created employment to the tune of 6.5 - 7 million per year, implying India can face significant challenges in employment creation - should growth derail even slightly. Unemployment among the educated youth occurs due to a disparity between the ambitions of graduates and associated employment opportunities accessible to them. In this background, the real challenge is about how we invest in education and ensure we create rich, employable talent that is globally useful. As per the industrial requirement, there is a huge gap between number of students graduating per year and the employment they get after completion of their course. The need was felt to redefine and restructure the entire education system to address this issue. The budget 2011-12 has brought cheer to the education sector with a hike in the government spending, especially under Sarva Shikha Abhiyaan by upto 40 percent. Vocational education has duly received added impetus through the additional allocation made to the National Skills Development Council and efforts in vocationalisation of secondary education. Skilling the workforce is of urgent necessity in the current scenario. We hope that the current budget will promote further partnerships and initiatives for bridging the employability gap.

Events: Vicky Kalra Editorial & Marketing Correspondence digitalLearning - G-4 Sector 39, NOIDA 201301, India, Phone: +91 120 2502181-85, Fax: +91 120 2500060 Email: info@digitalLearning.in digitalLEARNING is published by Elets Technomedia Pvt. Ltd. in technical collaboration with Centre for Science, Development and Media Studies (CSDMS). Owner, Publisher, Printer - Ravi Gupta, Printed at Vinayak Print Media D-320, Sector 10, Noida, U.P. and published from 710, Vasto Mahagun Manor, F-30, Sector - 50, Noida, UP Editor: Ravi Gupta

Dr. Ravi Gupta Editor-in-Chief Ravi.Gupta@digitallearning.in

digitalLEARNING / march 2011


guest editor

Education for Employability through Sustainable Initiatives Employability has been one of the key problems plaguing the society across the developing countries. There is a strong need for developing a national academic framework that promotes ‘education for employability’. The Planning Commission, Government of India has very aptly started the process of preparing an approach to the 12th Five Year Plan and Twelve Strategy Challenges have been identified to initiate these consultations- Enhancing the Capacity for Growth, Enhancing the Skills and Faster Generation of Employment, Managing the Environment, Markets for Efficiency and Inclusion, Decentralisation, Empowerment and Information, Technology and Innovation, Securing the Energy Future, Accelerated Development of Transport Infrastructure, Rural Transformation and Sustained Growth of Agriculture, Managing Urbanisation, Improved Access to Quality Education, and Better Preventive and Curative Health Care. A cursory look at the 12th Plan Strategic Challenges indicates the significant roles of education, skill and employability in all the sectors. Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) will participate proactively in this dialogue initiated by the Planning Commission to accelerate faster, more inclusive and sustainable growth. The first four year period of the 11th Plan (aptly described as Education Plan) has witnessed unprecedented growth and consolidation in the activities of IGNOU. Some of the important achievements of IGNOU are establishing 11 more new schools, getting the best faculty, experienced consultants, full-time research and teaching assistants and developing relevant new programmes for these schools. The necessary inputs for these activities were given by National Knowledge Commission, Planning Commission and Parliamentary Committee on Higher Education. This period has also been very fruitful for the University in its national and international networking for effective and optimal utilisation of intellectual capabilities and infrastructural facilities for providing knowledge and skills to vast number of people in a financially sustainable way. The University has maintained its exacting standards as the premier national resource centre for open and distance learning and seamless provider of quality education, at par with other international institutions of higher learning. The University has also been unwavering in its commitment on access to education and equity in opportunities to women, scheduled castes and scheduled tribes, the rural population, remote areas, tribal regions, the differently-abled and the socially and economically weaker sections of society. The student enrolment in IGNOU has doubled in the past four years from 1.5 million to over 3 million, prompting the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) to declare it as the largest, most diverse and inclusive institution of higher learning in the world in 2010. Partnering the Government in its various plan schemes and aligning and streamlining teaching and training activities with national priorities delineated by the Planning Commission in the 11th Plan helped the University to grow in the right perspective. The special issue is an attempt to explore the employability needs of the new age economy. There is a strong need for a well coordinated and comprehensive approach substantially equipped with the proactive participation of the academic community, administrative authorities and statutory bodies along with the ministry to achieve the desired goal. We envision such a collaborative path in approaching the Twelfth Plan for Inclusive Education, Training and Capacity Building at all levels. With Best Wishes...

Prof V N Rajasekharan Pillai Vice Chancellor, Indira Gandhi National Open University



cover story

Employ-ability in High Growth Sectors

The bookish knowledge of a new employee is not enough in the long run as sustainability is a big factor in the growth of an individual. Thus researching into the deficit, universities and industries are conducting workshops; experts from the industries are training students at various levels as per their needs. Short-time programmes are on the focus of both sides and are proving beneficial in the long run of enhanced employability skills By Jaydeep Saha


n recent times, our higher education system has been discussed in many fora with regard to its relevance and quality. India is ranked third in terms of graduates output next to that of USA and China, but in terms of quality, we are trailing, as hardly one percent of our students get quality education. Today’s high unemployment rates mask longer-term talent shortages that may affect both developing and developed countries for decades. The global population of 60 years and older will exceed that of 15-years-old or younger for the first time in history by 2050. But, the talent crisis will start much sooner. Barring technological breakthroughs, the United States, for example, will need to add 26 million workers to its talent pool by 2030 to sustain the average economic growth of the two past decades. The global IT industry has been a big employer of young talent across the globe because of the increasing influence of IT in business transformation. The global meltdown is being seen as



an opportunity to transform across the world and they are looking at IT to lead this transformation. IT has become “glocal” — it has to transcend geographic and demographic barriers to deliver this transformation. Technology innovation is driving IT complexity and strict compliance norms and concerns of business continuity is driving a need for repeatable processes and assured performance. When talent hiring is taken into focus, development and deployment on a global scale, cannot afford to create artificial boundaries that global commerce does not support. Assuming that talent from a handful of countries can meet the new demands being made on Global IT is wrong besides being local is a critical factor that will drive our ability to truly partner with our customers where they are. The four parties who need to play a role in addressing this critical challenge are the Government, education institutions, industry, and the students themselves, who need to better understand the changing role of technology and

innovation in driving transformation. None of the four can make this work in isolation — it will take a well-coordinated approach. The real debate is not about who is smarter or how can we create trade barriers to protect jobs but how we invest in every country and ensure we create rich, employable talent that is globally available and will drive efficiency and innovation in our businesses. Every year, India produces more than 2.5 million university graduates, of which 20 percent are engineering majors and only 25 percent of these technical graduates and approximately 15 percent of other graduates are considered employable by the rapidly growing IT and ITeS companies, estimates NASSCOM adding India has 350 universities, 18,000 colleges and 6,000 ITIs, which every year come out with about 500,000 technical graduates, of which, 75 percent are not easily employable, and 2.3 million graduates, of which 90 percent are considered unemployable.

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The current state of affairs presents a compelling case for private-public partnership through industry-academia alliances to enhance talent development amongst the youth at the grassroots level. NASSCOM’S IT Workforce Development (ITWD) program was specifically designed to keep the issues and concerns of the industry as well as the challenges of the academia in mind. “NIIT is running the Executive MBA program in partnership with IGNOU. This is a high end program, with entry into the program restricted to mid – level executives displaying potential for career growth. It takes an applied view of management science, and covers many emerging and contemporary areas – such as Business Networking, Sustainability, Digital Marketing, Social Entrepreneurship. The Executive MBA program is designed to improve the productivity of existing managers and gear them to higher levels of performance,” said Shraman Jha, Senior Vice President, NIIT and Business Unit Head of NIIT Imperia. The role of ICTs in education is well recognised the world over. If we look at it from the perspective of employability, then the first information revolution in India was about the successful export of IT services where we leveraged low-cost developer resources. There are over 1.5 million software developers in India today, which has now become the largest developer community in the world. The second revolution is about where we need to learn how to use IT to power job creation, to leverage IT to accelerate education where we can actually educate 500 million plus youngsters below the age of 20 and the remaining 500 million, many of whom who actually need further enhancement of professional capabilities. This revolution will require several paradigm shifts. It will require IT companies to innovate for India instead of simply innovating from India. The Cisco Networking Academy initiative, for instance, partners with over 190 educational institutions in India delivering information and communication technology skills to improve career and economic opportunities amongst the youth in India. Besides Cisco, Intel and IBM have also helped bridge the ur-

“Our Executive MBA program is designed to improve the productivity of existing managers and gear them to higher levels of performance” Shraman Jha

Senior Vice President, NIIT and Business Unit Head of NIIT Imperia

ban-rural digital divide by taking technical education to tier II and III cities, including Kashmir, Orissa and Tripura. “The little modernisation that we have taken up is that ITIs will not be controlled by the state governments and will have a small institute management committee which have an industry partner, who is the chairperson of the society, and consist of five members from the industry, besides broad-basing the structure of the management and five members from the government and the principal becomes the member secretary. Therefore decision is made easier at every level of the education and the industries are directly not paying here as the government is paying 2.5 crore per ITI and it has actually revolutionised the face of the society,” said Sharda Prasad, Director General, Employment

and Training and Joint Secretary, Ministry of Labour and Employment, Government of India.

Employability = Academics + General Abilities + Corporate Knowhow These three parameters can be taken along the three dimensions of a cube. The enclosed volume of cube formed will symbolically represent the universe of employment. Within this universe, the students or employment seekers would be represented by a floating point and employers or corporate will be represented by a smaller cube (sub-cube). The current situation prevailing is where most employers know what they want and they are clear about the sub-cube they want to create. But, the sub-cube they create

“ITIs will not be controlled by the state governments and will have a small institute management committee which have an industry partner, who is the chairperson of the society, and consist of five members from the industry” Sharda Prasad

Director General, Employment and Training, Ministry of Labour and Employment, Government of India digitalLEARNING / march 2011


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rarely captures enough floating points within the universe of employment.

Quality India has 350 universities, 18,000 colleges and 6,000 ITIs, which every year come out with about 500,000 technical graduates, of which, according to NASSCOM estimates, 75 percent are not easily employable, and 2.3 million graduates, of which 90 percent are considered unemployable. These are statistics which can vary from panel to panel but they are essentially true. Most of the college graduates remain unemployable because of lack of job oriented training. If training has to deliver job-level skills in an increasingly globalised world, strong industry leadership and engagement with skills training, qualification and assessment framework is essential.

Capacity There is a shortage of capacity in the Indian education system. India today needs at least 1,500 universities, but has only 370. There are more than 550 million young people in need of education but do not have educational institutes to go to. India also needs around 1,500 IITs, 1,500 management institutes, and 1,500 medical schools. A million good schools are also required. But due to tight regulation by the government, private sector entry into the education sector has been stifled. Equally valid is the opinion that the country’s education system needs greater autonomy along with more inclusive

private sector participation.

Diversity In a country like India, it is also important to ensure equitable distribution and access to skill development opportunities. The employment exchanges are going to be drastically altered and are going to be converted into web-based employment portals. The state governments run them but the Central Government has now got in the mission mode, a programme under the National e-Governance Plan where all the 1,000 odd employment exchanges will be so altered that you can actually give vocational counseling and guidance to make sure that people are employed.

Towards a Knowledge Society The National Knowledge Commissionwas entrusted with the task of preparing a blueprint for reform of our knowledge related institutions and infrastructure. It focused on five key areas of enhancing access to knowledge, reinvigorating institutions where knowledge concepts are imparted, creating a world class environment for creation of knowledge, promoting applications of knowledge for sustained and inclusive growth and using knowledge applications in efficient delivery of public services.

Aligning Skills with Jobs If things progress as they are, India is certain to face a ‘talent gap’- the lack of right skills for the job required - of

“Basically we train corporate with the help of chosen professionals from itself the market so as to understand and deliver the proper need of the aspirants in their own way” Ambarish Datta MD and CEO, BSE



more than 5 million by 2012, as existing educational institutions do not impart employable skills. If training has to deliver job-level skills in an increasingly globalised world, strong industry leadership and engagement with skills training, qualification and assessment framework is essential.

Need for skilled manpower In many countries, building a workforce with higher order skills is an important part of improving the climate for investment, acquiring a competitive edge and generally maintaining an engine of growth. Higher education enhances earnings of the individuals and contributes to economic development and makes a significant contribution to reduction in absolute as well as relative poverty. More than 50 percent of our GDP is supported by service sectors and about 28 percent is through the manufacturing sector.

Soft Skill Programmes In the recent job fairs conducted at the University of Madras, though the employers came up with plenty of openings, the number of graduates who had required qualifications and skills in terms of analytical, verbal and interpersonal skills were only 4 percent. The remaining 96 percent of our graduates are unemployable. Such a high percentage of unemployable graduates awakened us at the university to think about providing the set of required skills to our graduates. Language skills and soft skills have become mandatory for postgraduate students at the University of Madras since 2008-2009 and this is extended to undergraduate students of affiliated colleges.

University-industry collaboration In good times, small and medium enterprises (SMEs) have always faced a dearth of qualified, committed manpower, as their capacity to match higher salaries and expenditure on re-skilling and training is limited. Some of the SMEs now see an opportunity to hire good talent that may help in boosting growth. They are more likely to get hands-on training and

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“To bridge the employability gap, we have designed a robust WorkForce Certification Model based on dual drivers of Industry and Academia” Sanjay Chandhoke

Senior Vice President, Education Business Group, Centum Learning Limited

“Our focus is on Retail, BFSI, Auto, Telecom, Hospitality and Media & Entertainment. If you look at current market scenario, these are the sunrise industries in India and have huge employability gaps. To bridge the employability gap, we have designed a robust WorkForce Certification Model which is based on dual drivers of Industry and Academia and would prove to be effective even during economic crisis and lower employment opportunities,” said Sanjay Chandhoke, Senior Vice President, Education Business Group, Centum Learning Limited.

Conclusion multi-faceted exposure to a variety of skills and experiences. There may be greater opportunities for taking on responsibility early on and individual input will have a visible impact on the performance of an organisation. Importantly, from a national perspective, SMEs employ far more people per unit of capital deployed than large enterprises. Yet, more often than not, there are no takers for SME jobs even in this day and age of job scarcity. But on the one hand, when India, in the higher education sector and the industrial sector, has worked in isolation from each other for over three decades, our universities over the last ten years have been found building relationships with industry and collaborating with them in designing the requisite curriculum for supplying employable graduates in the industry and business organisations. As industries require conceptual skills, analytical skills, verbal skills, interpersonal skills and technical skills, enhancing employability through imparting required skills has become the imperative of the higher education system. “Besides huge demand of ITI students in big companies like Tata, Mittal, and Birla, Bharat Forge has set up a huge workshop in Khed for forging and they approached us for affiliation after setting up the whole structure spending over seven crores. Not only Bharat Forge, but also Honda, Hyundai, Tata, Toyota have set up their workshops across the country and they are sending their trainers to skill people according to their needs and

demand-driven,” added Sharda Prasad. Further in association with industry, an industry internship programme has been made mandatory so that the graduates can understand the industry atmosphere and the industries can identify the talents and skills in our graduates and employ them when opportunities arise. “Over the years we train about 10000 people every year and provide certification to professionals as well as students. We work closely in association with ASEAN and SAARC countries where people from various parts of the world come and study with our inbound and outbound courses. Basically we train corporate with the help of chosen professionals from itself the market so as to understand and deliver the proper need of the aspirants in their own way. Our programmes, altogether 70, are short term and have been designed as per the demands of the market, including the latest one on Islamic finance. Basically these programmes are meant to erase the skill gap that’s presently is very high in the financial sector and upgrade each professional and newbie in knowing the market’s latest trend and techniques,” said Ambarish Datta, MD and CEO,BSE. The future of industry depends on the availability of trained graduates not only for its day-to-day working but also for innovative approaches on which the growth of industry finally depends. Improving of skills and capabilities as related to the requirements of the society is the basic task of universities.

The National Skill Development Policy, approved by the Cabinet, under the National Skills Development Mission aims at empowering all individuals through improved skills, knowledge and internationally recognised qualifications to enable them access to decent employment and to promote inclusive national growth. Apart from upgrading the existing government ITIs, the government has also launched the Skill Development Initiative Scheme to train one million people in the next five years and then one million every year. Training will be provided in demand-driven, short-term courses, based on modular employable skills and the cost will be borne by the Centre. The Planning Commission has also sanctioned the setting up of 5,000 Skills Development Centres under the Skill Development Initiative. In a move to widen outreach, the Initiative does not require Class eight pass; it has brought the educational qualification down to Class five. Non-governmental organisations (NGOs), which are engaged in nonformal education, can utilise this opportunity to skill their pupils after Class five. For any training, one should have the ability to read a little. The Prime Minister has announced the establishment of eight IITs, seven IIMs and five Indian Institutes of Science, Education and Research (IISERs) and 30 Central Universities. The outlay for education during the 11th Plan, which runs from the current fiscal to 2012-13, represents a four-fold increase over the previous plan and stands at Rs 2,500 billion. \\ digitalLEARNING / march 2011



Telecentre Initiative of IGNOU

Empowering Regional Youth through ICT Prof V N Rajasekharan Pillai, Vice Chancellor, Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU), in conversation with Dr Rajeshree Dutta Kumar and Ankita Verma, speaks about the Telecentre initiative at IGNOU and its potential impact.

Prof V N Rajasekharan Pillai Vice Chancellor, Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU)



What was the idea behind the decision of bringing in the entire telecentre initiative to IGNOU? For the grassroot development, Information Communication Technology is going to make a great impact. The National e-Governance Plan is strengthening the grassroot level organisations and technology is the major thrust for it. Department of IT (GoI) is also planning IT Literacy Mission. A committee has been constituted to define what IT literacy is and how ordinary people can become IT literate so that they can avail primarily government to citizen services, and also, how these rural centres can be equipped with broadband connectivity and radio services in the future. Government to citizen services is happening to some extent in a fractured way. Once IT kiosk centres come into place in each and every village of the country, there can also be units for promoting education, knowledge and skills. That led us to the collaboration with the International Telecentre Academy and develop programme for Telecentre Management. For this we had meetings with various telecentre movements which were supported by IDRC. So with the help of international expert committee we have developed a curriculum for training the telecentre managers who are grassroot level workers and who may not have formal qualification. They may be school dropouts, social activists, representatives of certain civil society organizations or NGOs. Looking at the diversity of such people who could be the potential managers of these telecentres, they would work with the agricultural workers, local traders, and different grass-


under telecentre management is how this particular activity of capacity building at block/grassroot level can contribute to the skill development. So the types of skill that is required for the youth in the next 10 years and how these skills are to be transferred, needs to be globally competent and acceptable. National Skills Mission objectives are also being propagated through these tele-knowledge centres. According to National Skills Mission initiative, around 500 million youths are to be provided with the necessary skills by 2022.

root level professions in the villages. We have developed content based on 4 modules with the help of expert committee. We have developed this into our curriculum. These 4 modules look at various issues related to education, healthcare, traditional knowledge system and awareness about the use of technology. Anybody can avail it. For those who do not have formal education of 10th or 12th level we are also providing a bridge course for them. How do you ensure a concrete shift from informal to formal education through this initiatives? After receiving a certificate one can get a diploma and then university degree depending upon their capability/worth. This also depends on the mandate of university as we are providing opportunities for large number of school dropouts, college dropouts and people without a formal qualification. Then may be 10% of them can obtain higher qualifications. Thus, we will give opportunities to the people at the base of the pyramid to come up to the top. What is your opinion about telecentres and how do you see India’s position in the entire telecentre movement in South Asia? In the name of telecentre movement, there are several organisations like Village Knowledge Centres supported by ISRO, Gyan Abhiyan of M.S. Swaminathan Research Foundation (MSSRF). The purpose is of every movement is the same. There are few organisations providing such capabilities in the different regions. But IGNOU’s telecentres initiative is first of its kind in the country. Under our telecentre management, Common Service Centres and Village Knowledge Centres are there. Community colleges also provide these telecentre management courses. We are expecting that in all 230,000 blocks in the country at least one telecentre manager can be formally hired. These are all village level knowledge workers. Prof M S Swaminathan’s Rural Virtual Academy is also trying to identify rural academy students. They are making the knowledge workers and ultimately they can also get formal qualifications through this route.

What is the role that telecentre.org is playing here? Telecentre have given some logistic support for preparing the contents. So the content development as well as the

We are expecting that in all 230,000 blocks in the country, at least one telecentre manager can be formally hired Can you elaborate little more on the global focus of this initiatives? This is for providing coordination for all activities. This telecentre programme that we are offering is not only invented for our country but it is meant for other countries as well. We have signed MoUs with several universities and telecentre academies. Therefore, the content which we have developed is generic in nature. It is 80% common for all developing countries and rest 20% other countries can contextualize and develop according to their requirements. Will you use the same model as you have for community colleges? We will not use the same model. Telecentre management is more focused. We can take the example of broadband connectivity and IT kiosks. The government to citizen services is already there like Panchayati Raj functionary’s capacity building, information about Right to Education Act, National Skills Mission. Another area which we have focused on

preparation of modules has been supported by IDRC. Rest of the activities of IGNOU is just like any other grassroot level programme. 11th FYP is coming to an end and 12th plan is getting rolled out. So what are the plans as far as telecentres are concerned and have you set any goals/targets for next few years? Telecentres are definitely complementary or augmenting to the 12th plan objectives. The major objective of 12th plan will be to connect education with employable skills. Through telecentres we will be providing modular skills to the people. We are also trying to provide, even those who are in the conventional system of education, some sort of specific skill into them. So there will be some sort of merger of fundamental knowledge and the ability to enhance the skills. Then there will be technology integration into all these activities. We are expecting to train around 5000 people as telecentre managers this year. \\ digitalLEARNING / march 2011



Fashion Design Courses@IGNOU Fashion industry is currently employing around 35 million people and has become a potential employment generating sector in India. In the coming future, Indian fashion industry is heading towards competing globally to be a fashion leader. By Urshla Kant


oday Indian designers are using wide range of clothing, fabrics, embroidery, textiles and looking forward to fuse the Indo-western gap in dressing sense. The variety available in costumes and garments had made India fashionable. Depending on the climate and availability of natural fibers, people are slowly giving more priority to their fashion needs and widening their thinking and their imagination towards fine tuning fashion in India. Today fashion is continuously evolving and we need new designers and manpower to redefine fashion in every step of life. No doubt, we are heading towards making International mark in the fashion sector and to create global market for our Indian fashion industry. This industry is expanding hugely and is expected to occupy a significant position in the Indian as well as global retail market. The designing styles and cos-



tumes of different people have changed fashion over the ages. India’s pride lies in the fact that this evolving fashion is also balancing and preserving our self esteemed culture. It is quite unbelievable that our traditional heritage has been greatly deposited through the elegant fashionable mode. It has been realised that the various areas of design, operations, merchandising, and marketing and retail need immense qualified manpower. The fashion industry has the ability to generate career opportunities for professionals to work with design houses, manufacturing companies, export houses, textile groups, fashion brands, retail chains, costume designers and to networking with entertainment as well as media industry. The understanding of elements, principals and concepts of fashion and textile design, along with appropriate skills both

technical and managerial is important for all the aspiring professionals to train fashion industry professionals and students well for the growth and development of industry. The real challenge before us is to merge right and relevant skills and to create well qualified graduates for the fashion sector in the coming times. With this vision, IGNOU taken steps forward for developing much needed academic programmes with the view to provide proper training with fashion industry through internships and active interactions alongwith a world class infrastructure experience, time tested leadership and dedicated faculty for the overall development of students and potential professionals. IGNOU has been making an attempt to disseminate quality education in fashion and design to a larger section of the population. The gradual change from the conventional learning system to the face-


digitalLEARNING / march 2011



to-face classroom teaching with the help of appropriate technological resources has given learner friendly and flexible approach to these programmes. For the first time in the year 2008, IGNOU has entered into the field of fashion education by starting diversified programmes i.e. B.A in Fashion Design, B.A in Fashion Merchandising and Production and B.A in Textile Design with specialisation in woven and knitwear stream. These are 3 years regular full time programmes offered in collaboration with Pearl Academy of Fashion in Delhi. IGNOU jointly with Pearl Academy of Fashion offers these programmes as 3 years regular full time programmes with an exit option: (a) after successful completion of first year courses of the programme a candidate shall be awarded certificate.

IGNOU has taken one step forward for developing much needed academic programmes with the view to provide proper training with fashion industry through internships and active interactions (b) after successful completion of 1st and 2nd year courses of the programme a candidate shall be awarded diploma and (c) after successful completion of all the three years courses of the programme a candidate shall be awarded a three-year B.A degree. Also from July 2010, IGNOU has launched four other graduate and post graduate programmes in Apparel Design and Merchandising; Fashion Communication; Fashion Retail Management and Apparel Production Management, in collaboration with Institute of Apparel Management (IAM) in Gurgaon. These programmes are future-proof and industry relevant with high level of balance between skills and knowledge to create a ‘New Generation’ of fashion professionals especially trained on state-of-art technologies including the “Fashion Innovation Lab” etc. The key objective of IGNOU-IAM Fashion & Design Management Centre is to create ‘industry-ready managerial cadre’ for the very challenging and demanding export and domestic industry as well



as for creating new avenues for design and merchandising professionals for the retail industry. In order to deliver contemporary and industry-oriented education and to adopt innovative, real life experiences and knowledge sharing approach, IGNOU has been supported by India’s most prestigious institutions of higher learning in fashion, design and retail (Pearl Academy of Fashion and Institute of Apparel Management) to help students acquire highly valued skills and competencies. Pearl Academy of Fashion was established in 1993 is an institution of high status and has been providing education and training for the fashion and related sectors. Institute of Apparel Management is India’s first Apparel Multi-varsity (multi-university under one roof), offering Indian and International pathways to students and is promoted by Apparel Export Promotion Council sponsored by Ministry of Textiles, Government of India. IAM was established in 2007 with an intention to create professionals for ‘Business of Fashion’ for

Fashion, Textiles and Lifestyle Industry. IAM is instrumental in training designers, design professionals, design managers, designer merchandisers, quality professionals, etc. with a broad base knowledge of applied management skills, competencies and understanding the dynamics of fashion and apparel business in global context. These institutes have a large pool of well qualified faculty members backed by a world-class infrastructure, comprising state-of-the-art machinery, equipment and resource centres to help students acquire highly valued skills and competencies. The students of IGNOU-IAM programmes have shown remarkable achievement and earn laurels to the university. Recently a team of students from Institute of Apparel Management, Gurgaon, led by Nandita Puri, a second semester student of IGNOU-IAM Programme-B.A. in Apparel Design and Merchandising (BAADM) programme participated in ‘Stylize’ competition (The Fashion Show) at ‘Indiafest’ in Goa on 4th and 5th February 2011 which was an initiative by Channel [V]. Our team held first position in the ‘Stylize’ competition and received a cash prize of Rs. 28,000 and other merchandise. They were shortlisted for the event based on their initial submissions and were invited to participate in the event being held at Goa and showcase their collection on the ramp on 4th Feb. 2011. It was a team of 10 students which included designers, models, backstage help and choreographer. When fashion has become an integral part of Indian social and business class, IGNOU has pledged to well train fashion merchandise, marketing executives, textile designer, costume designer, stylist and other apparel design positions. \\ Author

Urshla Kant Assistant Professor, School of Vocational Education and Training, Indira Gandhi National Open University

textile sector

textile sector

Countering Skills Deficit in Apparel Industry Less than 3 percent of the 12.8 million population joining the workforce every year have the opportunity for any kind of vocational or skill training. In this context, the “National Skill Deficit” is a reality and the Apparel Sector is one of the worst hit with acute skill shortage affecting the export units eroding fast India’s competitiveness in the global apparel geography By Dr Darlie Koshy


he Indian Textile & Clothing (T&C) industry is one of the largest and critical industries in the Indian economy in terms of foreign exchange earnings and employment generation. The industry contributes 4% to the country’s GDP and 14% of the country’s industrial production. The apparel exports contributed around US$ 11 billion to India’s foreign exchange earnings in 2009-10. The Indian T&C industry is also the largest employment generating industry in the manufacturing sector with direct employment of over 35 million people. It is also estimated that about 45 million are indirectly employed in the entire textile value chain. Apparel being at the end of value chain before the consumer, the value edition is the highest with US dollar 2 of 1 kg cotton

becoming 20 dollar US when converted as garments. Thus, the need of the hour is to integrate the Textile & Apparel sector i.e. the fibre to fashion value chain in a garment-led growth strategy and the skill transferability needs to put in place through the value chain. This requires a comprehensive and pragmatic vocational and skill training strategy in different textile-apparel clusters to fill the knowledge & training gaps so that the industry can move up the value chain with the help of skilled workforce. Elucidating the case of textiles and apparel sector, it can be seen that for the upstream activities of spinning, weaving, knitting and processing, the projected employment requirements are 5.5 lakhs, 1.57 lakhs, 0.92 lakhs and 1.76 lakhs respectively for the period co-terminus with the 11th Five

Year Plan. The downstream requirement for apparel sector is estimated to be in the range of 4 million to 7 million in the next 3 years or so. A CITI report has estimated the current work force in the textile and apparel industry to be around 35 million and has reckoned the same to move up to 47 million by 2015 including 5 million skilled workers and 2 million technical and other personnel. A CRISIL study indicates a requirement of 12 million work force by 2010 with 5 million in the core technology production activities and the remaining 7 million in support and auxiliary services. With such opportunities projected for the textiles & apparel sector, how do we train the displaced agricultural labourers, the youth and women to seek gainful employment in the textileapparel sector which is the largest emdigitalLEARNING / march 2011


textile sector

ATDC through the tie-up with IGNOU has set-up 25 Community Colleges and the courses in the Community Colleges will help the students to be able to bridge the employability criteria gap and already there are nearly 2000 students pursuing their studies under the system ployment generator after agriculture? It would seem that the apparel sector has not been factored in sufficiently by the policy makers or HRD ministry in various schemes for education, training and linked employment generation. Ideally, textile and apparel sector in a country like India should have got a prominent place as it has the capacity to generate massive employment, both in urban and rural centres and to offer employment locally, which will reduce the migration to metros. Nearly 20 years ago in Sri Lanka, the then Government provided attractive incentives of tax holiday for the unit as well as the mother company for setting up units in rural areas which have helped in shaping apparelled rural economies. Both the export and the domestic retail industries for fashion and apparel could have and certainly will, benefit from a clearer focus of skill development activities. The human resources especially skill training and development in this sector has been by and large given a go by until recently. With the advent of fashion education in the late 80s, there has been considerable improvement in the situation though not sufficient. The vocational and skill training education infrastructure have fallen behind the requirements and the industrial engineering / modern technology management, which are of paramount importance to apparel sector are found missing. An industry leader in garment export industry in Bangalore had to train in a span of 11 months 47,000 people to retain 6,000 people in their factories! With increasing competitive pressures on both time and costs, the skill deficit has only further added to the woes affecting the industry. Studies have clearly indicated the need for 5-7 million additional people have to be identified and trained if the industry has to make



rapid progress in the years ahead. The competition from China, Bangladesh, Vietnam, Cambodia and smaller countries like Sri Lanka are sniping away at India’s market share. As Mr. Ashroff Omar, Chairman of Brandix a leading Apparel Export House based in Sri Lanka with over 400 million US$ exports and also having set up a 1000 acre “Apparel City” in Vizag, AP, says “India is allowing other people to eat their lunch.”

Collaboration with IGNOU Given this scenario, it is important to contextualise the tie-up of Apparel Training and Design Centre (ATDC) & Institute of Apparel Management (IAM), the training & education arms of Apparel Export Promotion Council (AEPC) with IGNOU for mainstreaming apparel manufacturing and management related education. On the one hand, IGNOU’s timely initiative of Community Colleges have provided an avenue for advancement of rural youth through vocational education at their door step especially through employment linked courses certified by IGNOU. There is an array of 6 months certificate, 1 year diploma and 2 years Associate degree programmes under the system to shape a cadre of junior and middle level workforce to the Apparel Industry. ATDC through the tie-up with IGNOU has set-up 25 Community Colleges and the courses in the Community Colleges will help the students to be able to bridge the employability criteria gap and already there are nearly 2000 students pursuing their studies under the system. The IAM as an education Institute has a significant tie-up with IGNOU for collaborating and certifying the courses both at UG and at PG levels. IAM operates as a face-to-face College under the IGNOU system. The ATDC students

after completing their “Associate Degree” may have opportunities to pursue higher education through lateral entry in the IAM system. IAM focuses on key areas of export marketing, brand building and retail management. The export management revolves around courses in design, merchandising and technical subjects like CAD/CAM studio management etc. The supervisory, junior and middle management positions which are critical to the apparel industry’s success have found the IAM students appropriate for the job profiles. The apparel industry has welcomed the tie-up with the IGNOU and in fact the Ministry of Textiles have sited this as a “significant step” of far reaching importance. The industry looks at the students certified by IGNOU through both ATDC & IAM as noteworthy human resource development efforts. The next stage of evolution of Community College certainly involves around more open and distributed learning systems which incorporate other inputs critical to success in the market place as well. In the case of IAM, there are possibilities of research agenda being taken up to develop the IAM-IGNOU collaboration further. It is necessary to find new ways of Continuing Education and Special Certificate Programmes in various aspects of the business which will help the existing professional workforce in the small and medium enterprises to upgrade their skills, competencies and technical knowledge. The apparel industry needs to focus on Human Resource Development now more than never before as competition becomes intense and creativity and innovation assume paramount importance and hence it is clear that the IGNOU-ATDC/IAM tie-up is certainly a trail blazer for the talent & skill deficit affected apparel industry. \\ Author

Dr. Darlie Koshy Director General & CEO, Institute of Apparel Management (IAM) & Apparel Training & Design Centres

QAI ov



CA ties up with IIT-Mum, JGU

Canada’s world-famous Carleton University is set to sign memorandums of understanding (MoUs) with various Indian educational institutions during the visit of it president and vice-chancellor to India next week. Ottawabased Carleton is the only university in the world to have a full-fledged India-centric Centre of Excellence in Science, Technology, Trade and Policy to raise awareness about bilateral studies and public diplomacy, and

develop initiatives to build a better understanding of both countries. University president Roseann Runte, who is leaving for India on Friday, told the sources she would meet top Indian academics and sign MoUs with various institutions during her five-day visit which takes her to Delhi, Mumbai and Hyderabad. “We will sign MoUs with Jindal Global University near Delhi, Jai Hind College under Mumbai University, IIT Mumbai and Petroleum University. These MoUs are geared towards exchange of faculties, students and interns, joint research and programmes, and conducting joint degree courses,’’ she said. During

her visit to Hyderabad, Dr Runte would also meet the president of the Shastri Indo-Canadian Institute which is a binational organization that promotes understanding between India and Canada through academic activities and exchanges. Apart from meeting government officials in Delhi, Dr Runte would also call on Sam Pitroda, chairman of the National Innovation Council, to invite him for the excellence summit to be held at Carleton University in June as part of the Year of India in Canada. “Probably, Mr Pitroda is not in India next week, but I call on his office and formally invite him for the June summit,” she said.

USIEF announces Fulbright fellowship The US-India Educational Foundation (USIEF) has announced the opening of its annual competition for Fulbright-Nehru and other Fulbright fellowship opportunities for study, research, teaching and professional development in the US. Outstanding Indian students, academics, teachers, policy planners, administrators and

professionals in all disciplines can apply, an American embassy statement said on Friday. The India-US bilateral Fulbright agreement has resulted in a significant increase in the number of scholarships awarded each year. USIEF expects to offer approximately 120 Fulbright-Nehru fellowships for Indians in 2012.

SKIL pledges almost entire Everonn stake Nikhil Gandhi’s Skil Infrastructure, which has recently become the copromoter of Chennai-based education company Everonn Education, has pledged almost its entire holdings of 21.02 per cent in the company. As per the disclosure made by Everonn to the stock exchanges, Skil has pledged about 39.11 lakh shares out of its total holdings of 40 lakh shares, which translates into 97.78 per cent of its total holdings. The purpose of the pledge was not disclosed. Skil made an open offer for further 39.4 lakh shares or 20 per cent stake. The open offer, which was initially priced at Rs 536.16 a share was revised upwards to Rs 587.01 a share, following Sebi’s observation letter asking the acquirers to take into account the issue of optionally convertible debentures (OCD) while arriving at the issue price. Skil’s pledge represents 20.55 per cent of the number of shares outstanding of Everonn.

IndiaCan, Edexcel launch WorkFirst IndiaCan, a leading vocational training company launched WorkFirst, the first ever international level certification for vocational skills for entry level jobs. The certification would help first time job seekers get into the fast growing retail, sales and service sectors with a greater degree of confidence and certainty of employment. Developed by IndiaCan and accredited by Edexcel, WorkFirst certification will establish quality and proficiency benchmarks that will enable learners to find easier acceptability in the job market with greater chances of progress within their market sector. It will also help employers access manpower with certified job skills, improving the rate of selection of candidates as well as lowering the need for training, leading to substantial cost saving.

Everonn Education recovers on strong Q3 earnings

Everonn Education jumped 4.66% at Rs. 505 at 10:28 IST on BSE after consolidated net profit rose 56% to Rs. 18.95 crore on 44.2% increase in net sales to Rs. 115.27 crore in Q3 December 2010 over Q3 December 2009. The stock had slumped



13.47% to Rs. 482.50 in a weak market on Tuesday, 8 February 2011 when the result was announced during trading hours. The stock had lost 18.42% in the preceding three sessions to Rs. 482.50 on 8 February 2011 from a recent high of Rs.591.50 on 3 February 2011. Meanwhile, the BSE Sensex was almost unchanged for the day at 17,775.26. On BSE,

2.20 lakh shares were traded in the counter as against an average daily volume of 1.11 lakh shares in the past one quarter. The stock hit a high of Rs. 514.80 and a low of Rs. 476.55 so far during the day. The stock had hit a 52-week high of Rs. 756.45 on 7 October 2010 and a 52-week low of Rs. 334 on 26 May 2010. The stock had underperformed the market

over the past one month till 8 February 2011, falling 22.41% compared with the Sensex’s 9.73% decline. The scrip had also underperformed the market in past one quarter, sliding 27.10% as against 14.75% decline in the Sensex. The small-cap education service provider has an equity capital of Rs. 15.12 crore. Face value per share is Rs. 10.

vocational education & training

Reaching out to Peripheries IGNOU’s intervention in the form of the establishment of Institute for Vocational Education and Training (IIVET) could well be a benchmark for revival (indigenous knowledge) and survival (linking such knowledge with trades) of industry academia alliances By Ananya S Guha


ocational Education is oft talked about but the expression is replaced, at times euphemistically, by the terms Professional Education. ‘Vocational’ implies training for ‘petty’ manual skills: carpentry, weaving, food processing, work of a mechanic etc. Professional on the other hand signifies a more educational forwardness or cultural sophistication: Business Management, Computers or better still Information Technology. The challenges in an Open University like ours are many and impinge upon the very mechanisms and methodologies of a Distance Education and Open University such as IGNOU. These are: technology aided instruction, the use of broadcasts, telecasts and the internet for delivery services. However, in vocational education and, training face to face mode of instruction and especially skill based activities have also to be emphasized. Vocational education has to be viewed from different multi-layered practices. One is of course the hands on training component. The other is employment generation and sustainability, whether the training programmes or courses can lead to employment /self employment. If so there has to be follow up measures to see what the participants in a vocational training programme have achieved and whether there has been a progress in terms of employability and income generation. Also, whether any industry has employed any participant, especially when there has been in plant or in house train-

ing. Another perspective of VET is studying a course on vocational education in a college or a university with the hope that the certificate will lead to an acquisition of jobs. The industry-education alliance which is gradually becoming a force in the country, one reckons that this will play a significant role in the future, what with a Skills Development Council being setup under the aegis of and with the active support of the CII, will also, I hope, shape future events in this regard. Skill development is one of the components and outcome of VET but training programmes should also concentrate on unskilled workers thereby giving them an opportunity to learn and earn. The unorganised sector is also a catchment resource in areas such as retailing,

marketing and micro businesses. The history of VET is not very sanguine in India especially as EDPs and allied training programmes have not been followed up. Simply leaving a participant with a certificate to fend for himself/ herself has added to the plethora of the unemployed. However, with the Govt. of India’s accent on the Public Private Partnership model, one can only hope that such tie-ups will give a prod to the conscience of the industry and corporate houses, especially with Corporate Social Responsibility being such a major issue of debate today internationally, notwithstanding the polemic on ethics and CSR. Compared to the literacy of the country, the literacy of North East India is fairly better; thanks to the Mizoram digitalLEARNING / march 2011


vocational education & training

boom and this could be a marginal advantage. Yet literacy levels for women are strikingly low in some states and it is here that vocational education training programmes can intervene as basic literacy programmes to earn livelihoods. Livelihoods have also to do with living in good if not salutary conditions. Floods in Assam every year are cataclysmic but precious little is done to take long standing measures to combat this problem. Flood control management ─ how to live intelligently with floods, could well serve vocational and training needs of the common populace who finally bear the brunt of such disasters. VET in the North East Region can be integrated into a whole, a complex process since we have to trace it to components of agriculture and the current despair of the educated unemployed or even the plumber or the technicians eking out a living. This is of course true of the entire country but in a Region where industrial development is in backwaters then education is strength with the presence of some very good academic institutions in the Region. These institutions should come forward in partner-

ship whether they are general colleges or professional colleges to re-appraise vocational education in the context of the small industries and local habits mentioned above. More than having vocational education courses, short term training programmes will benefit the people keeping in mind the changing order of the ‘world’ market such as repair of mobiles and computer hardware. IGNOU’s intervention into the area of VET in the form of the establishment of the IGNOU Institute for Vocational Education and Training (IIVET) could well be a benchmark for revival (indigenous knowledge) and survival (linking such knowledge with trades) as well as looking into contemporary realities and needs keeping in mind the training factor. The target group is the youth in particular and the public in general, taking also into cognizance rural women. And of course the oeuvre of distance education technology is always there as a ready support system. Today the thinking of the younger generation is changing in an ethos which demands results and not only degrees. The degree bias in our educational

IIVET is initiating a two-month non-credit programme on Citizen Journalism and a certified Credit Programme on Folk Theatre and Performance of North East India 22


systems is tapering, at least those in the areas of the Liberal Arts or the Sciences. That is not to say that these degrees are of minimal importance, they are not, neither they can be. But certain dual objectives that of keeping options open and exploring possibilities have entered the domains of our educational system. It is some kind of a systemic drive which declasses the hitherto hierarchical structure of education today. Young boys and girls given an opportunity will prefer to study short term Diplomas in addition to pursuing their traditional degrees. It is often been commented that the motivation here lies in the enticing job-market. The younger generation today is conscious of the realities at hand, the compulsions of being a dilettante in a world which is rushing rapidly towards a technological explosion. So taking advantage of such a situation there are a plethora of correspondence courses and ‘Educational Shops’ are sprouting in every direction. The danger here is of course the quality control as it is called. There is also a need to train the trainers. India has very large untrained primary school teachers which is sad and does not augur too well for the educational future of the country. It is exactly keeping this in mind that the Indira Gandhi National Open University has initiated a Diploma in Primary Education/for primary school teachers at present. The functions of training the trainer, in turn generates a cybernetically related activity where the training process is ongoing. The onus is on Universities, Open Universities and Industries. In fact the linkage between the Universities and the Industries should be one such area of emphasis where the two work at tandem: one for the knowledge part, the other for logistics, practicals and hands on training.

IGNOU Institute For Vocational Education & Training (IIVET) Shillong The IGNOU Institute for Vocational Education & Training (IIVET), Shillong has made interventions in the following areas: Adopting the Tele Centre model in collaboration with BASIX India (Livelihood Division, B-ABLE) in the Common

vocational education & training

Today the thinking of the younger generation is changing in an ethos which demands results and not only degrees Services Centres of Meghalaya. Right now a cluster of 50-60 CSCs have been taken up to train the youth in Computer Literacy and Personality Development. The IIVET has also collaborated with Central Institute of Plastic Engineering Technology (CIPET) in Guwahati to train young men and women in Machine Operator and Injection Moulding. More than 30 youth have been trained and placed in different parts of India in the plastic industry in the state of Haryana and Maharashtra. IIVET is also collaborating with Rustomjee Academy for Global Career Mumbai to train school drop outs in Carpentry Shuttering. Around 35 youth from the states of Meghalaya and Manipur have been given free training and some of them are on the verge of coming back so that they are employed or self employed. IIVET has undertaken a one year certificate programme on Valuation in Real Estate Management (CVREM) in collaboration with Institute of Estate Managers & Appraisers Kolkata. Considering a vast demand for the Valuation and Real Estate industries this programme has been taken up. Fourteen students from different parts of the

country employed or self employed have been registered. This began in July 2010 and will end in July 2011. It is being implemented through Distance Education mode and on line teaching. IIVET has signed an MOU with the State Institute of Capacity Building Government of Sikkim, in the areas of certification for trades such as Hospitality, Animal Husbandry, Computer Hardware, Computer Software, Cultural and Traditions Crafts, Paper Bags, Paper Binding, Electrical Repair, and Foreign Languages (Chinese, Japanese, Tibetan etc), Tourist Guide, Eco-Village, Cooking and Catering, Cultural Tourism; House Keeping, Front Office Management and Food and Beverages. IIVET is also collaborating with Institute of Hotel Management, Sikkim for certification in hospitality related courses of a vocational nature. The students will also be certified in the Prior Knowledge scheme of IGNOU. The Indian Welding Society and IIVET have achieved a recent tied up in the profession of Welding. In September 2010 a three day training programme was held for practicing welders who were trained in the latest methods of welding technology. They were also certified under the Prior

Knowledge concept of IGNOU. More training programmes are to be held. IIVET has established vocational training in Nagaland in collaboration with Nagaland Gandhi Ashram and Regional Institute of e-Learning & Information Technology (RIELIT) (A Unit of DOEACC) Government of India, Department of Information Technology in Chuchuyimlang in the Mokochung district of Nagaland. Right now a two month training on Computer Hardware is being organised which is residential. IIVET has also initiated an MSW Programme of IGNOU in Chuchuyimlang through the aegis of the Mahatma Gandhi Institute for Education and Development IGNOU. There are about twenty students enrolled from different parts of North East India. IIVET has also taken up the role of promoting indigenous crafts such as Kouna and Chungtham crafts of Manipur made out of Water Reeds. A two month training programme to this effect has been conducted in the year 2010 from September to November in collaboration with Kasturba Gandhi Institute for Development, Imphal. Vocational Education and Training has to be understood at various levels right from Technical Vocational Education to Soft Skills, to Computer Literacy, to Communication Skills, to Aesthetic Skills and Indigenous Practices such as Weaving etc. Only then can we understand the various multi layer dimensions of Vocational Education & Training, keeping in mind the different target groups of our societies enunciated by the National Skills Mission Report. These mainly being: school and college drop-outs, domestic workers, street children, and the educated unemployed. Certification and Assessment is and will continue to remain one of our top priorities. \\ Author

Dr Ananya S Guha Officer on Special Duty, IGNOU Institute For Vocational Education and Training, Shillong, Meghalaya.

digitalLEARNING / march 2011



Train the Trainer programme provides trainings on Web 2.0. UNESCO, CEMCA and MAAC are partners ensuring standardised delivery of media education and providing financial aid to marginalised students.

Face to Face Programmes

IGNOU Prepares Media Personnel Established in 2007 with the mission of providing quality media education, the School of Journalism and New Media Studies caters to the needs of the booming media sector in India By Prof Shambhu Nath Singh


stablished in 2007, School of Journalism and New Media Studies (SOJNMS) at IGNOU was set up with the mission of providing quality media education and churning out skilled human resource for the ever expanding media industry. SOJNMS, as it is popularly known as, recruited ten expert faculty from diverse fields of media. It has opted for a judicious blend of on-campus and Open and Distance Learning programmes. This mix enables the School to reach out to all the segments of the society. It also helps to open up a dialogue be-



tween the teaching and learner communities, thereby enriching the content of both the modes. Hence, ODL continued along with the Regular Programmes and efforts are on for the launch of Online Programmes. The School took to on campus teaching in a big way, launching two full time Masters’ Degree Programmes.

Collaborative Partners Deutsche Welle Germany and SOJNMS are in an agreement to host skill development progrmmes in niche areas. The

Two full time Post Graduate Degree Programmes are being run by the School. Imparting practical training to the students chosen through rigorous entrance test and interview is the prime motive. Masters in Journalism (MA JMC) follows the curricula designed by UNESCO adapted to suit the needs and requirements of the Indian media. This degree is certified jointly by UNESCO and IGNOU. The Masters in Electronic Media Production and Management (MA EMPM) has a syllabus focused on production work. Camera, editing and scripting remain the primary focus areas. Students bring out lab journals, make documentaries and radio programmes. Internships and research dissertations enhance their skills even further.

Open and Distance Learning All the basic areas of mass communication are dealt with through the well prepared study materials and counselling at the Study Centres. Post Graduate Diploma in Audio Programme Production (PGDAPP) is offered in both English and Hindi. Prasar Bharti is the collaborative organisation that trains the students during a field Training Programme included in this Diploma. Productions, writing and editing aspects are covered in the study material painstakingly drafted by the experts and revised from time to time. Assignments and practical training help the students to be prepared for jobs in the field of radio. Commonwealth Educational Media Centre for Asia (CEMCA) offers hundred percent scholarships to the students pursuing the Certificate Programme in Community Radio (CCR). Extremely popular among the practitioners of Community Radios and the laymen alike, this Programme has recently been


launched in Hindi and will soon be offered in at least four regional languages including Marathi, Kannada, Tamil and Telugu, to reach the pockets of rural India in every direction.

Collaborative Programmes Certificate in Digital Film Making (CDFM) that can be extended to a Diploma in

soon launched. Need surveys and working out collaborative industry endeavors to give its students the best is what the School is looking at. It is also being planned and worked out to start on campus Masters in Journalism in all the SAARC countries based upon the UNESCO model curriculum to provide highly standardised skill enhancement to the budding media pro-

Post Graduate Diploma in Journalism and Mass Communication (PGJMC) is the most sought after Programme through the ODL mode. Offered though study centers all over India, it gets over a thousand students every year Computer Generated Imagery (DCGI) and a Degree Programme ie. BA in 3D Animation and Visual Effects as per the needs and demands of the student is being offered through many centers all over India. These programmes are run in association with the Maya Academy of Advanced Cinematics (MAAC). These target the skill enhancement in the demanding arenas of animation and film making.

Programmes under Development SOJNMS faculty is working towards staring Distance Learning Programmes to capture the expanding industry demands beyond Delhi. All India students from diverse socio economic backgrounds must be trained in varied media areas. Understanding this responsibility the following OLD Programmes are under development: MA in Journalism on the lines of the UNESCO draft of the syllabus and MA in Broadcast Media to cater to the growing demand of the burgeoning Voice Industry will soon be available to the students. MA in Online Journalism will be first launched on the Web to offer an Internet based study model. A Diploma in Television Journalism, PG Diploma in Science Communication, PG Diploma in Advertising, PG Diploma in Community Media are to be

fessionals in these nations. SOJNMS with UNESCO’s aid shall be the primary implementing body to ensure smooth running of these Programmes.

Research Activities SOJNMS has a Doctoral Programme that remains hugely in demand. Only a few are selected from amongst the hundreds of applicants and grilled through a written test and interview. They then go through academic course work before actually launching into the much coveted PhD. Research and Teaching Assistants (RTAs) have also been chosen to carry on the much demanded research activities in the field. The School has a Research Officer with rich experience and zeal. Workshops and seminars are regularly organised to offer a common platform to the academic cream from the discipline. Proposals to start a Research Journal to publish good work being done in the subject will soon be materialised.

Media Mapping The mission of establishing a well standardised media education scenario in India and abroad is being further taken forward through the Media Mapping Project that is under progress in collaboration with UNESCO.

Based upon well researched and prudently thought over criterion of media education, SOJNMS IGNOU and UNESCO are in the process of monitoring and grading the media study departments of India and the SAARC nations. Surveys, inspections and interviews will lead to a three tier grading of the institutes. Centres of Excellence, Potential Centers of Excellence and Centres of Reference, will be decided based upon the mapping. A lot of media training departments have welcomed this endeavor and are collaborating to give media education the much needed and lacked criterion of standardisation. SOJNMS being the convener of this mapping exercise is presently engaged in setting up the parameters for evaluation. True to its mission of raising the standard of media education and providing resources to meet that enhanced standard, the School draws upon an eminent panel of media professionals to expose the learners to the realities of the media world, after a thorough theoretical grounding provided by the faculty members. Working in tandem, the team of in-house faculty, experts and guest faculty provide the learners a rich and hands-on learning experience. To meet the demands of the industry, SOJNMS networks with market leaders in the industry and offers cutting-edge technology programmes to equip the learners to compete successfully in the profession. School of Journalism and New Media Studies at Indira Gandhi National Open University may be a new establishment, but with the pace that it is treading forward, it will soon be the name to reckon with in Media Education. \\ Author

Prof Shambhu Nath Singh Director School of Journalism and New Media Studies (SOJNMS) IGNOU

digitalLEARNING / march 2011





Translation has helped knit India together as a nation throughout her history. Ideas and concepts like ‘Indian literature’,‘Indian culture’,‘Indian philosophy’ and ‘Indian knowledge systems’ would have been impossible in the absence of translations with their natural integrationist mission By K Satchidanandan


he role of translation can hardly be over-emphasised in a multilingual country like India with 22 languages recognised in the eighth schedule of the constitution, 15 different scripts, hundreds of mother-tongues and thousands of dialects. One can very well say that India’s is a translating consciousness and the very circumstances of their real existence and the conditions of their every day communication have turned Indians bilingual if not multilingual. One can even add without exaggeration that India would not have been a nation without translation and we keep translating almost unconsciously from our mother-tongues when we converse with people who use a language different from ours. Our first writers too were translators. Indian literature is founded on the free translations and adaptations of epics like Ramayana and Mahabharata. Upto the nineteenth century our literature consisted only of translations, adaptations, interpretations and retellings. Translations of literary works as well as knowledge-texts: discourses on medicine, astronomy, metallurgy, travel, ship-building, architecture, philosophy, religion and poetics from



Sanskrit, Pali, Prakrit, Persian and Arabic had kept our cultural scene vibrant and enriched our awareness of the world for long. Most of our ancient writers were multilingual: Kalidasa’s Shakuntala has Sanskrit and Prakrit; poets like Vidyapati, Kabir, Meerabai, Guru Nanak, Namdev and others each composed their songs and poems in more than one language. Translation has helped knit India together as a nation throughout her history. It brought, and still brings languages closer to one another and introduces to one another diverse modes of imagination and perception and various regional cultures thus linking lands and communities together. Ideas and concepts like ‘Indian literature’, ‘Indian culture’, ‘Indian philosophy’ and ‘Indian knowledge systems’ would have been impossible in the absence of translations with their natural integrationist mission. Translation also plays a role in extending the scope of language and reframing the boundaries of the sayable. New terms and coinages necessitated by translation create new vocabulary and contribute to greater expressibility. One thus learns not only to understand foreign literature and philosophy through the mother-tongue,

but also to speak about modern knowledge, from quantum physics to nano-technology and computer-science to molecular biology in the regional language. Translation strengthens democracy by establishing equality among different languages and questioning the hegemony of some over the others as it proves that all ideas and experiences can be expressed in all languages and they are exchangeable in spite of their uniqueness. It also enables the weaker sections of the society to be heard as they can speak in their own dialects or languages and then get translated into other languages that are more widely spoken and understood. Thus translation contributes to the empowerment of the marginalised or deprivileged sections like the poor, women, dalits, tribals, minorities, the disabled and others. Translation also helps fight colonial prejudices. For example, by translating our works of literature and knowledge into English, we prove to the world that the coloniser is in no way superior to us as we too have a long history of great writing and research. The British had translated from India only what suited their taste; but now the empire is writing back , telling them what they have to read to understand our


peoples and cultures, thus changing their old ‘orientalist’ conceptions of India. No doubt translation also promotes the growth of indigenous literature and knowledge by bringing into our languages the great wealth of other literatures and cultures. By translating masterpieces from other Indian languages as also from foreign ones, we enrich our own literatures. Thus we also raise our writing standards: this happens especially when we translate great masters of world literature like Shakespeare, Homer, Dante, Vyasa, Valmiki, Kalidasa and Bhasa or more contemporary writers from Tolstoy, Dostoevsky, Kafka, Beckett, Lorca, Eliot and Thomas Mann to Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Mario Vargas Llosa, Orhan Pamuk, J. M. Coetzee, Pablo Neruda, Octavio Paz and others. These exchanges also create new movements and trends. We are living in an age of translations and the avenues for translators are constantly expanding. Some of these areas and vocations are indicated below: Literary translation: There are many institutions here and abroad dedicated to literary translation. Translating foreign literature into Indian languages, Indian literature into foreign languages and Indian literature in one language into other Indian languages are all gainful activities in every sense. Sahitya Akademi, Ntional Book Trust, regional literary associations and publishing houses both in English and the languages are on the lookout for capable translators. There is a new interest in Indian literature abroad as the young non-resident Indians who do not know their languages are eager to read their literatures in translation in the languages they know and also as foreign readers are eager to know what is happening in Indian literature. The recent spate of literary festivals all over the world from Berlin to Jaipur and book fairs like the ones held annually at Frankfurt, Paris, London, Bologna, Abu Dhabi etc have contributed to this rising fascination. The Government of India has also recently responded to this new interest by launching a new mission, Indian Literature Abroad (ILA). Big Indian publishing concerns like Penguin, Macmillan, Orient Longman, Oxford University

Our freedom struggle and later democratic struggles for change had received great impetus from the translations of the works of Victor Hugo, Tolstoy, Rousseau, Gandhi, Tagore, Emile Zola, Maupassant, Gorky, Premchand, Subramania Bharati Press, Harper-Collins, Hatchett etc as well as smaller houses are encouraging translations of literary and discursive works in a big way. Knowledge Translation: The National Translation Mission, a brain-child of the National Knowledge Commission intends to translate textbooks and classical works in areas like sociology, history, geography, geology, medicine, chemistry, physics, mathematics, linguistics and political science into the Indian languages in order to raise the standard of education done in mother tongues and to render accessible current and cuttingedge knowledge so far available only in English to the rural poor and the backward sections of the society. The Commission is looking for competent translators from English into all the Indian languages and there is evident scarcity in the area. Media Translation: The print, electronic, visual and auditory media- newspapers, magazines, radio, television, cinema etc- need plenty of translators from one language into another. Many media houses publish papers and journals or run television channels in several languages at the same time and they need quick yet communicative translations of news, serials, film scripts and programmes. Dubbing and subtitling are other areas – especially in films and serials- where translation skills are vital. Advertising is another important area where effective translations play a crucial role. Interpretation: We are living in an age of expanding tourism, both domestic and foreign. People of all classes have begun to travel more than ever before for pleasure as well as education. These tourists, some of whom are also schol-

ars and writers and tourist industry in general- are on the look-out for efficient translators in different languages who can be their interpreters during their exchanges in other countries and regions. Machine Translation: Machine translation programmes are getting slowly perfected and they need skilled linguists and translators to develop their corpora and lexical tools. The machine translations also require human intervention in the forms of the choice of the proper and contextually relevant meanings from a list of possible meanings, structural corrections in syntax and sentence and final editing. These are only some of the areas where there is a felt dearth of quality translators. It is in this context of the speedy expansion of translation into a major industry that The School of Translation Studies and Training at the Indira Gandhi National Open University has developedand is still developing- its research and post-graduate courses and various postgraduate certificates and diplomas that enable the young to face the challenges of the profession, develop their translation skills, get gainfully employed and simultaneously contribute meaningfully to the growth and spread of knowledge and culture in our country. \\ Author

K Satchidanandan Director, School of Translation Studies and Training, IGNOU

digitalLEARNING / march 2011



Maidan Garhi, New Delhi

Social Commitment with Prudence

the growth story

Impressive Growth in Receipts…

The four-year period from 2006 to 2010 has witnessed remarkable growth in every sector, starting from revenue to students inflow, from regional centres to collaboration with various developmental institutions. The bulk of IGNOU’s expansion has come about from notably the modest tuition fee that the University charges its students. IGNOU was one of the first Universities in the country to implement the recommendations of the Sixth Pay Commission. The non-plan expenditure towards staff welfare also shot up from ` 9.23 crore to ` 57.02 crore. These expenses are towards contributions for the new pension schemes, bonus, pension, gratuity, leave, encashment, leave salary and honorarium.

Powered by Student Fees…


– 110068, India, www.ignou.ac.in

academic growth Academic Programmes Have Increased…

And So Has Faculty Strength…

IGNOU Schools • School of Agriculture • School of Education • School of Foreign Languages • School of Humanities • School of Law • School of Sciences • School of Tourism and Hospitality Service Sectoral Management • School of Translation Studies and Training

• • • • • • •

And The Number of Consultants…

School of Social Sciences School of Management Studies School of Inter-Disciplinary and Trans-Disciplinary Studies School of Gender and Development Studies School of Engineering & Technology School of Computer and Information Sciences School of Continuing Education

• • • • • •

And The Number of RTAs…

School of Extension and Development Studies School of Health Sciences School of Journalism and New Media Studies School of Performing and Visual Arts School of Social Work School of Vocational Education and Training

Highlights and Achievements •

University unfailingly reported an excess of receipts over expenditure Student enrollment has doubled in four years from 1.5 million to over 3 million UNESCO declared IGNOU as 2010’s largest institution of higher education in the world Fees from students virtually doubled in four years from `158.52 crore to ` 312 crore Share of non-plan administrative expenses to total expenditure fell from 28.24 to 17.14 percent University ably managed higher

• •

payout on salaries on account of Sixth Pay Commission Bulk of University’s expansion came about from internal accruals Largest number of governmentsupported schemes in the Social and Rural Development Sectors The bulk of total receipts has increased to ` 448.55 crore(2009-10) from ` 286.54 crore(2000-07) which now contributes a healthy 88 percent of internal revenue generation Regional centres has gone up from 59 to 62, while study centres has risen from 1468 to over 3000

Programmes like Akashdeep (Air Force) and Gyan Deep (Army), generated revenue of almost Rs 14 crore; similar for Navy in pipeline Besides Gyan Darshan- 24x7 TV channel and Gyan VaniFM radio station, a two-way teleconferencing, interactive radio counselling and relay educational programmes coming up Payments of wages and salaries went up from ` 35.68 crore to `86.12 crore Non-plan expenditure towards staff has seen a hike from ` 9.23 crore to ` 57.02 crore



IGNOU, National Council of Rural Institutes sign MoU

The Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the National Council of Rural Institutes (NCRI), Ministry of Human Resource and Development (MHRD), to launch an Internship/Skill Development Certificate Programme, involving ‘hands-on-experience’ for the students. The MoU was signed by IGNOU Registrar (Admin) U.S. Tolia

and NCRI Member Secretary Upamanyu Basu in the presence of IGNOU Vice Chancellor V.N. Rajasekharan Pillai, Department of Higher Education Secretary Vibha Puri Das and Director of the Student Service Centre at IGNOU Dr. Jayshree Kurup. “IGNOU has various programmes, which have practical components. Internships have now been made mandatory in programmes like Master’s in Rural Management, which are modular in nature. Keeping this aspect in mind, we thought to collaborate with the NCRI, giving students an

HRD ministry constitutes task force to examine deemed university applications

The Human Resource Development (HRD) Ministry has constituted a task force to examine applications from ‘institutions that need to take corrective measures to several criteria for satisfying the Deemed University status’ regarding rectification of the deficiencies mentioned in the Report of the Committee constituted to review functioning of in-


stitutions deemed to be universities. The central government had constituted a committee of experts to review the functioning of the existing institutions ‘deemedto-be-universities’ vide its notification number F.9-26/2009U3A dated June 7, 2009 so as to satisfy itself of the justification of their continuance as institutions ‘deemed to be universities’. The Review Committee (committee of experts) had submitted its report to the government on October 20, 2009 which had been accepted, in principle, by the government.


opportunity for six to eight weeks to do an internship, to be provided by NCRI itself,” said Prof Pillai. Elaborating upon the responsibilities of the National Council of Rural Institutes, NCRI Chairman Dr. S.V. Prabhat said, “NCRI will identify the rural institutes/NGOs, evaluate their strengths (infrastructure, faculty, past experience, etc.) and come up with a list of them for adoption in order to establish learning/study/ practicum centers for the implementation of short-

term internship/skill-centric/ application-oriented training modules.” While lauding the efforts of NCRI and IGNOU, Das said, “This programme will lend value to those who already have it. In short, it will be more like giving back to the community.” According to the MoU, “The programme has been designed to provide a value addition to the existing academic programmes or to promote skills of the youth with the objective of improving the potential for self employment and greater employability in the job market.”

Symposium on trends in biochemistry inaugurated at AMU Inaugurating a National Symposium on ‘Current Trends in Biochemical, Biomedical and Environmental Sciences’ organized by the Department of Biochemistry, Vice Chancellor P.K. Abdul Azis of Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) said that it is quite appropriate in the present day scenario where interdisciplinary research is the norm and boundaries between various disciplines are

getting blurred. Prof. Azis said that the Department of Biochemistry has produced distinguished scientists and entrepreneurs and these alumni are working in the United States. He pointed out that AMU had decided to establish central instrumentation facilities with modern equipment to boost more research activities He hoped that the symposium will promote scientific exchange and

also encourage more collaborative and inter-disciplinary research at AMU. Organising Secretary of the symposium Qayyum Husain, in his welcome addresses said that the first batch of M.Sc. Bio Chemistry passed out in 1959. “Since, then 56 students have obtained M.Sc. and more than 200 candidates awarded have gone to developed countries on post-doctoral assignment,” he said.

Global standards required in agriculture education – Pawar Minister for Agriculture and Food Processing Industries Sharad Pawar has called for evolving global standards to enhance quality and relevance of agricultural education and research in the country. Addressing a two-day conference of vice chancellors of agriculture universities and directors of ICAR institutes here today, Pawar said, “Requisite models of public-private partnerships must be evolved for educational activities as well as for development, application and flow of technologies from lab to the market place and for strengthening of National Agricultural Research and Education System infrastructure through active interface with the industry.” He stated that, “In order to effectively address the emerging needs of agricultural sector, we require highly competent human resources. In this context, Global schools, demand-driven curricula, student centered and problem solving approach in curriculum delivery, effective co-ordination of multi-commodity and multi-disciplinary research in entire production to consumption chain of agricultural commodities and capacity building through training at the national and international level, are some issues which need priority attention.”

event report

International Conference on Digital Libraries and Knowledge Organisation


anagement Development Institute (MDI) in association with Indian Association of Special Libraries and Information Centres (IASLIC) and INDEST-AICTE Consortium, Ministry of HRD, Government of India had successfully organized the International Conference on Digital Libraries and Knowledge Organization (ICDK 2011) during 14 to 16 February 2011 at MDI Gurgaon. International organizations such as UNESCO, South Asian Studies Council of Yale University and Goethe-Institute (Max Mueller Bhavan) were also partners in organising this conference. The conference has brought together over 300 delegates from all parts of the world. Around 50 participants from outside India. The galaxy of international experts and academicians from the domain of digital information systems and knowledge organization processes who attended the conference as speakers, preconference workshop resources persons include names like Prof. Gary Marchionini, Dean & Cary C. Boshamer Professor, School of Information & Library

Science, North Carolina University; Prof. Fausto Giunchiglia, Department of Computer Science, University of Trento, Italy; Prof. Mitsuhiro ODA, Department of Education, Aoyama Gakuin University, Japan; Prof. ARD Prasad, Indian Statistical Institute Bangalore and Prof. John Rose of University of Waikato, New Zealand among others. The conference was inaugurated by Prof Surendra Prasad, Director, Indian Institute of Technology at a function organized at Epicentre Auditorium, Apparel House, Gurgaon on Monday, 14th February 2011. Prof. V.K. Gupta, Director MDI welcomed the delegates. The conference had six pre-conference tutorials on cutting-edge digital library topics by international experts. There were 24 invited talks and over 90 research papers were presented during the conference. The main themes of the conference were: (1) Case studies of digital libraries and institutional repositories (2) Digital preservation strategies (3) Semantic web applications (4) Digital library support for e-learning (5) Knowledge management (6) Web 2.0/3.0 and

social media application in information services (7) Knowledge representation models (8) Open access initiatives (9) Web retrieval tools and techniques among others. The valedictory function was organized on Wednesday, 16th February 2011 at MDI campus. Prof. Mushirul Hasan, Director General of the National Archives of India delivered the valedictory address. Dr. Jagdish Arora, Director, INFLIBNET welcomed the delegates. Prof. V.K. Gupta, Director, MDI presided over the function. Dr. Antony Jose of MDI was the Conference Chair of this three-day international conference. As an outcome of the conference, two international journals (International Journal of Computer Applications and Emerald’s journal Program: Electronic Library & Information Systems) will bring out special issues with selected papers from the conference. Apart from that, Edited book(s) with reputed international publishers are also planned covering selective papers from the conference. \\ digitalLEARNING / march 2011



IGNOU Going Full-throttle in Tourism & Hospitality The IGNOU School of Tourism, Hospitality Services Management has come up with not only training people but also providing excellent placements in leading organisations in the country for aspirants in the Tourism and Hospitality Sector By Harkirat Bains


he training cell of the School of Tourism, Hospitality Services Management (SOTHSM) of Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) at the Regional Centre Bhopal in collaboration with Tourism Department, Government of Madhya Pradesh is an initiative and way forward to develop and design vocational training programmes for human resource development in the tourism sector.

The Preparatory Steps At the very basic level a detailed project report for training 320 students in housekeeping, front desk operations, food and beverage was prepared and submitted to Madhya Pradesh State Tourism Development Corporation. Further to that the project was sanctioned under the scheme of Capacity building for service providers. An MOU was signed between the Madhya Pradesh State Tourism Development Corporation (MPSTDC) and Indira Gandhi National Open University for the development of the certificate programme and diploma in Hotel operations on Monday 05th January 2009 by the registrar of the IGNOU and the Principal Secretary Madhya Pradesh State Tourism Development Corporation in the presence of Hon. Vice Chancellor and State Tourism Minister. The project allowed a detailed picture of the expenditure on faculty fees, food, tool kit, uniform, study material and administrative contingency. Nevertheless, the study material was prepared by a group of experts but was essentially approved by the Tourism department. The local needs of the hotel industry were



ascertained and contents were tailored to meet its needs. This was critical to make the training employment oriented.

The Areas Of Training The course was focused to customise it for an industry-specific and job-oriented programme. In consultation with the stakeholders the certificate courses were prepared in following three sectors: • Certificate in Front Office Operations (CFO) • Certificate in Housekeeping Operations (CHO) • Certificate in Food & Beverage Service Operations (CFBO) Nine books were developed at the Regional Centre level in self instruction mode by the subject experts drawn from various institutions on; • Understanding Tourism • Functional communicative skills and

personnel grooming • Destination Madhya Pradesh • Front office operations Part-1 • Front Office operations Part-2 (Practical manual) • Housekeeping operations Part-1 • Housekeeping operations Part-2 (Practical manual ) • Food and beverage service operations Part-1 • Food and beverage service operations Part-2 (Practical manual)

Special Features of the Project The course was designed specifically to which includes 60 days of intensive class room sessions and intensive Practical Industrial training in core areas for 60 days in the finest hotel of the Madhya Pradesh. Facilities extended to the students include, a low fee structure Rs.3000/-


per student, free study material and training kits, lunch and refreshments during class room training, two sets of uniforms (including shoes), stipend Rs.1500/- every month during hotel internship. In the admission process the eligibility criteria is 10+2 in any stream with a minimum 45% marks for Certificate in Front Office Operations (CFO) and Certificate in Food & Beverage Service Operations (CFBO) and 10th with a minimum 45% marks and the batch size- 40 trainees/batch /programme. The Study Centres of the course are Madhya Pradesh Institute of Hospitality Training (MPIHT) Bhopal, for CFO and Institute of Hotel Management (IHM) Bhopal for CFBO and CHO.

Curriculum and Faculty These certificate programmes are finely designed for a single stream to create an expertise in a specific stream which may help the student to focus for the selection of the functional area in the industry. The faculty was identified from the Institute of Hotel Management (IHM), MPIHT, Frankfinn Finishing School and

managers of reputed hotels. SOTHSM finalised the time table, assigned classes to faculty and monitored the conducting of the contact sessions. Preparation of assignments, guiding students for project work. • Log books for hotel training maintained by trainees and verified by manager/trainer. • Evaluation at the end of the classes. • Grading of students on the basis of their performance. • Certification by IGNOU R.C, Bhopal. • 80% attendance in classroom and internship was mandatory. Total number of students certified under Certificate in Front office Operations( CFO), Certificate in Housekeeping Operations (CHO) and Certificate in Food and beverage Service Operation(CFBO) is 87, 43 and 45. Of these according to the records maintained in the placement cell of IGNOU & MPIHT 80% of the students got job offers. These placements were effected in reputed companies like PVR, ITC Groups of Hotels, Barbeque nation and in reputed three star category hotels both inside and outside Madhya Pradesh.

These courses are designed with a multi-dimensional focus which generates the skilled personnel’s for the growing tourism and hospitality sector of the state and facilitate the unemployed youth of the state to enhance their skill and avail the benefits of the jobs opportunities in the tourism and hospitality sector in the state and other parts of the country. This course not only provides the basic technical knowledge about the hotel industry, but also helps in the improvement of personality and communicative skills of the students, which help these students to enter the booming tourism sector. \\ Author

Dr Harkirat Bains Associate Professor School of Tourism and Hospitality Service Sectoral Management Indira Gandhi National Open University, Bhopal

digitalLEARNING / march 2011


corporate diary

IndiaSkills, a joint venture in vocational training formed between a leading training and education service provider in India (Manipal Education) and one of the world’s largest provider of workrelated qualifications, assessment and certification. City and Guilds has been specifically created to make an impact on India’s vocational training sector. Sheena Joseph, in conversation with Harish Menon, CEO of IndiaSkills, finds out more about the venture

IndiaSkills Venturing into Vocational Training Could you provide us with a background of why the venture was conceptualised? IndiaSkills is a joint venture in vocational training formed between City and Guilds. It has been specifically created to make an impact on India’s vocational training scenario by upgrading the quality of vocational skills training and benefitting the future of both the individual and the industry. It seeks to bridge the employbality gap across various sectors.



How have the training centres been distributed in India? Can the students avail distance learning facilities as well? We have 50 vocational training centres in all four regions (North, South, East and West) providing skills training and are expanding our network to 500 centres over the next five years. On-hands traning is a key part in any high quality skilling course and we place a strong emphasis on our practical training sessions. We have

also worked with our distance education partners SMU DE to launch a Pro-Degree programme in distance mode which gives job ready graduation in terms of B Com degrees with skills courses built into the same in each semester. This is available in Financial Planning and Supply Chain streams. Students taking our vocational courses at our centers are always better positioned to further their learning through signing up for distance learning programs once they start earning and working.

corporate diary

How is the content for the curriculum developed? Are the certifications recognised by any professional body? Developed with industry inputs, our courses are innovatively designed to suit the specific job requirements of the industry and our curriculum reflects the requirement of all connected stakeholders - industry, learners and government. All learner support material is developed by IndiaSkills’ Subject Matter Experts (SME’s) who have a high degree of industry exposure either in terms of training, consulting or actual employment. All stages of qualification and learning content development are monitored and approved using the principles and processes of City and Guilds and Manipal Education. This is supported by a robust quality system that ensures vocational training centres have the required infrastructure as well as certified trainers and robust processes resulting in high quality delivery of the qualifications. The best-in-class assessment methodology, perfected over 130 years by City and Guilds to achieve a comprehensive competency based system, certifies that the learner is job ready and productive. How has IndiaSkills contributed towards skilling the Indian youth in Banking, Financial Services, Insurance (BFSI) sector? We have developed a specific course for students and BFSI industry employees to enhance their skills and better their career options. It covers essential subjects like Financial Planning, Financial Market, and Depositories and Key Depository Services, Banking and Banking Products, Insurance and Insurance Products, Mutual Funds and Relationship Management. The unit on insurance gives the student in-depth knowledge on the insurance industry and products while the relationship management unit imparts key grooming, selling and customer service skills. The course module is delivered by experienced trainers through a combination of classroom lectures and practical training sessions that ensures the candidate is “ready-to-work” right on successful completion.

The student who successfully completes the course will have a sound knowledge of the financial system, products and services available in banking and insurance principles. The industry experienced trainers also gives practical training for students in relationship and marketing skills – a quality which every single company needs in their employees. The course also prepares the student for taking up various related certifications like NISM – Series V-A, Mutual Funds Distributors Certification as well as appearing for the licensing examination of Insurance Institute of India. Why is it important to provide skills training in the retail sector? India’s retail market is expected to be worth about US$ 410 billion, with 5 per cent of sales through organised retail. According to a McKinsey and Company report organised retail in India is expected to increase from 5 per cent of the total market in 2008 to 14 - 18 per cent of the total world retail market and reach

Is certification by India Skills also supplemented by industry related training in the hospitality field? All IndiaSkills courses are developed based on industry inputs and places due importance on practical sessions. The Hospitality practical sessions are conducted in a simulated hotel environment created in our labs at the centre which match the best standards. What are the future growth areas that you forsee in the Indian economy (which may have a parallel requirement for skilled manpower)? A consumption driven economy, growing middle class and huge disposable incomes mean that - Retail, Hospitality and BFSI will be the fastest growth sectors on the service side, with about 20 million trained manpower need projected in the next five years by the National Skills Development Report 2009. The same report projects a demand of over 15 million skilled manpower in Construction. Specialised sectors such as Auto and Hair and Beauty are pro-

Developed with industry inputs, our courses are innovatively designed to suit the specific job requirements of the industry US$ 450 billion by 2015., meaning that the opportunity in India remains immense. The sector is expected to grow rapidly—up to US$ 535 billion in 2013, with 10 per cent coming from organised retail, according to the report released by A T Kearney. By the end of 2011, India is expected to have an addition of around 3,200 supermarkets, 280 hypermarkets, 400 department stores and around 20,000 exclusive brand outlets. This would generate another 10-15 million jobs in retail and support services by 2012. The retail sector needs to recognize vocational education at the same level of a formal education, partner with skills training organisations to train their employees and ensure that a minimum percentage of entry level employees are skilled by mandating skills certification.

jected to need around 5 million skilled resources. With existing education streams not catering to this or being sub-optimal in terms of both quality and quantity, the biggest demand- supply mismatch will be seen here. Any new collaborations that India Skills will be entering into in the near future, in terms of Public Private Partnerships? We have not actively considered this space currently as a big possibility, but we do have specific projects where we have partnered government bodies or NGOs to drive a skills agenda. So while a typical Public-Private Partnership in the capital investment model is not on cards as of now, we are very involved in on-ground engagements and might look at the model in the future. \\ digitalLEARNING / march 2011


budget overview

Union Budget 2011-12

Education Overview By Sheena Joseph


he Union Budget 2011 -12 saw high priority being given to secondary education keeping in mind India’s demographic dividend and opportunity of seventy percent of the India’s population being of working age by 2025. The allocation of higher education has been proposed for ` 52,057 crore, an increase of 24 percent over the current year.

Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan The Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan project has been an important tool for promoting elementary education. The budget provides for more positive measures by proposing an allocation of ` 21,00 crore, a 40percent increase from the previous year’s allocation of ` 15,000 crore. A modified scheme of ‘Vocationalisation of Secondary Education’, which has been a centrally sponsored scheme, will be put into operation from 2011-12 to

perk up the employable skills of the youth The budget saw renewed emphasis being given to the promotion of education among the backward section of the population. While post metric scholarships have already been available, there has been a welcome introduction of prematric scholarship scheme in the 201112 budget. The scholarship scheme has been introduced for disadvantaged students belonging to the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes studying in ninth and tenth standard.

stitutions has been proposed to be done by March 2012, as the time for the creation of the core will extend till March 2011. In order to promote innovations, the National Innovation Council under Sam Pitroda has been instituted to chalk out plans for promotion of innovations in India. Activities for setting up of the State Innovation Councils in every State and Sectoral Innovation Councils aligned to Central Ministries are also underway.

National Knowledge Network

Skill Development

The budget has proposed that the National Knowledge Network (NKN) will connect 1500 higher education and research institutes through an optical fibre backbone. 190 institutes will be linked through NKN in the present year. The proposal of connecting all 1500 in-

Emphasising on the success of the National Skill Development Council (NSDC) in achieving its target of the creation of skilled workforce, an additional `500 crore has been allocated to NSDC for carrying forward its mandate of creating employable skills to the youth.

They speak on Budget 2011-12 An increase in the number of scholarships for SC/ST students is definitely in line with inclusive higher education and social mobility. Prime Minister’s national skill mission is given ample priority. Minority education is also being advanced. As anticipated , overall it has been a good budget. Prof V N Rajasekharan Pillai Vice Chancellor, Indira Gandhi National Open University Increased allocation in RTE is a good sign and states will be able to implement it more effectively… SS Jena, Chairman, National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS)



Budget 2011 has infused an additional 500 crores into the National Skill Development Fund (NSDF). This is a welcome measure… Dilip Chenoy CEO & MD, National Skills Development Corporation …every sector in India is challenged with severe crunch of skilled workforce and initiatives by the NSDC will no doubt help fill the gap by training about 10 lakh workers in the next 10 years. Sanjaya Sharma CEO, TATA Interactive Systems

We are very pleased with the i ncreased allocation for education in this budget. A jump of 40 percent in funds for Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan is indeed welcomed… Shantanu Prakash MD&CEO, Educomp Solutions Ltd

…This is a balanced budget and meets our expectation. However, we expect continued focus on education sector with more allocation in the next five year plan starting next financial year. Sanjeev Mansotra Chairman& MD, Core Projects & Technologies The Centre has given grants to an important area of Sarva Siksha Abhiyan which shows increased focus to primary education. Ashank Desai Co-Founder, Mastek

Budget 2011 provides a number of measures to promote inclusive growth, which in my opinion, is crucial to sustain India’s development ambitions… Naresh Wadhwa President& Country Manager, Cisco India & SAARC

Connectivity of higher learning institutions through National Knowledge Network will help the common man gain access to all information and take informed decision on career plans. Anil Goyal Director, Mexus Education

…RMSA (Rashtriya Madhyamik Siksha Abhiyan) should also have been given prominence like the Sarva Siksha Abhiyan (SSA). Srikanth Iyer President & CEO, Edurite Technologies Pvt Ltd

Read more… www.digitallearning.in/Union-Budget2011-12.asp.

Highlights • Allocation of higher education has been proposed for ` 52,057 crore, an increase of 24 percent over the current year

• ` 10 crore each for setting up Kolkata and Allahabad Centres of Mahatma Gandhi Antarrashtriya Hindi Vishwavidyalaya, Wardha

• An allocation of ` 21,00 crore for Sarva Shiksha Abhiyaan, a 40percent increase from the previous year’s allocation of INR 15,000 crore

• ` 200 crore as one time grant to IIT, Kharagpur

• Pre-matric scholarship scheme introduced for disadvantaged students belonging to the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes

• ` 20 crore for IIM, Kolkata

• National Knowledge Network (NKN) will connect 1500 higher education and research institutes through an optical fibre backbone

• `10 crore for Centre for Development Economics and Ratan Tata Library, Delhi School of Economics, Delhi

• ` 50 crore grant each to upcoming centres of Aligarh Muslim University at Murshidabad in West Bengal and Malappuram in Kerala

• `10 crore for Madras School of Economics.

• ` 100 crore as one-time grant to the Kerala Veterinary and Animal Sciences University at Pookode, Kerala

• ` 20 crore for Rajiv Gandhi National Institute of Youth Development, Sriperumbudur, Tamil Nadu • ` 200 crore for Maulana Azad Education Foundation

• Additional ` 500 crore allocated to NSDC for carrying forward its mandate of creating employable skills to the youth.

digital LEARNING

MARCH 2011



Automotive Industry Set for Global Competition

The growth in Indian Automotive Industry has grown at a CAGR of over 14%. The size of the automotive sector in 2008-09 was estimated to be around `1,910 billion. It is expected that an additional 2- 2.5 million employment opportunities per annum will be created in the next decade By Vishnu Mathur


he liberalisation of the Indian industry saw significant growth in the Indian Automotive Industry. Today, the Indian Automotive Industry is a significant contributor to the Indian economy, contributing nearly 5% to the country’s GDP and about 17-18% to the kitty of indirect taxes to the Government, while investment outlay stood over `83,500 crore in 2008-09. The evolution translated into a clustered growth owing to high dependence of the industry on integrated supplier network. The nucleated growth further gained support from favourable policies of those particular States wanting to promote industrialisation in their respective regions. As a result, certain key



centres of production with high concentration of Auto-Original Equipment Manufatures (OEMs) and Auto-component manufacturers emerged, namely Pune, Gurgaon, Chennai and Bangalore supported by upcoming smaller clusters like Pitampur and Pantnagar. All this has been in keeping with the Government of India’s Automotive Mission Plan (AMP) 2006 - 2016 which envisaged that “India would emerge as the destination of choice in the world for the design and manufacture of automobiles and auto-components. The Output of the automotive sector would be US$ 145 billion contributing to more than 10% of India’ GDP and providing employment to 25 million persons additionally by 2016.”

Generating Employment for the Youth The Automobile segment, comprising of the OEMs, is at the topmost Tier of the Automotive Industry with a wide network of Tier I, II, III level suppliers supporting the OEMs for end product production. In terms of activity, manufacturing is the most key function in the Automobile segment, owing to nearly 60-70% of the manpower engaged in this activity at the manufacturer’s end (direct employment). Indirect employment generated by this sector is considerable as personnel are employed in functions such as sales, finance, insurance, etc. Further, the automotive landscape in India has several underlying support systems which, though not directly linked to the industry, are support areas or “enablers” of growth. Key enabler segments for the core segments of the Automotive Industry include auto insurance, financiers, mechanics, and auto dealers etc. The enabler segments are associated with providing indirect employment to personnel in the Auto Industry and employment in these industries constitutes about 60% to 70% of the total employment in the Automotive Industry in India. The automotive industry, on account of its backward and forward linkages, is a significant generator of employment both direct and indirect. It is estimated that the Indian Automotive Industry provides direct and indirect employment to over 13 million people. Demand for minimally skilled people, which includes Industrial Training Institute (ITI) diploma holders and school educated workmen is expected to be around 12~15 lakh per annum; demand for manpower at the next level – that of supervisors on the shop floor -- is expected to be around 5~6 lakh per annum; demand for engineers (B.E., M.Tech., MS), working in managerial grade, is expected to be around 2-3 lakh per annum; and the demand for executives, including engineers and doctorates, is expected to be around 0.6-0.75 lakh per annum. The annual availability of manpower from various educational initiatives (ITI, Polytechnics, and Engineering Colleges), numbering around ten thousand, is not in excess of 15 lakhs, with the maximum


number being churned out by the Industrial Training Institutes.

The Skills Gap in Automotive Sector Major skill gaps are to be found at all levels within the automotive industry today – workmen, supervisory, managerial, and executive -- but they are nowhere more glaring than at lowest level in the chain of employment. The major skill requirements will be at the level of minimally skilled and supervisors on the shop floors, the supply of which is contributed by ITIs and polytechnic colleges. In the Indian context, it is the ITIs and polytechnic colleges that impart skills in various vocational trades to meet the skilled manpower requirements for technology and industrial growth of the country. However, the level and content of vocational training in India is inadequate and as per industry estimates, the current skill gaps in the Indian automotive industry are around 70% - the skill gap includes deficiency in manpower and skills. The key reasons for skill gaps today include outdated syllabi as well as equipment and machines, poorly trained, unmotivated and uninspiring teaching faculty, and a lack of a robust regulatory and accreditation framework that allows for high standards for certification. The automotive fraternity has attempted to address the shortage of skilled manpower in recent times by various methods, including continued in-house training, the adoption of Industrial Training Institutes, partnership with engineering institutes and polytechnics in and around their plants, the setting up of technical institutes within their own plants and delivery of training through e-learning modules. However, these efforts have been geared towards meeting the immediate needs of their own growth trajectory rather than a concerted effort to root out the problem that plagues the collective. The automotive market is on the cusp of a seismic shift in vehicle technology. As the global car park doubles to one billion over the next 15 years, market forces and consumer preferences will drive vehicle innovation that will dwarf

the changes over the previous three decades. These changes are occurring across all areas of the vehicle, from powertrain through to electronics and driver-assist systems. While manufacturers and suppliers continue to push new technologies to gain a competitive advantage in the marketplace, consumers are increasingly looking for refinement of the driving experience. Unfortunately, the Indian vocational system is yet to adopt these technology developments and impart skills on them. In this changed manufacturing environment, the skill gaps that exist today will become all the more pronounced

At the national level, SIAM is a member of the National Skills Development Corporation (NSDC), floated by the Union Ministry of Finance with a corpus of Rs.1,000 crore, aimed at enhancing the skills of students to meet the growing demand for efficiency in industry. ASDC proposes to complement the existing vocational education system and address the skill gaps through several activities including: • Conducting research – Building up skill inventory database for the Indian automobile industry skill-wise region-wise, reviewing international trends in skill development and

Auto Industry and employment in these industries constitutes about 60% to 70% of the total employment in the Automotive Industry in IndiA. the current skill gaps in the Indian automotive industry are around 70% - the skill gap includes deficiency in manpower and skills and the Indian auto industry is expected to face severe shortage in manpower, both in terms of numbers as well as in the quality of the personnel employed, especially in terms of knowledge and skills which is not appropriately matched to the requirements of the automobile industry in India.

SIAM’s Role in Addressing the Challenge The current trend has led to the automobile and component manufacturers and the automobile dealership fraternity to deliberate on means and ways by which to address the problem of skilled manpower shortage. The industry realises the criticality of skill development for the automotive industry and both Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) and Automotive Component Manufacturers Association of India (ACMA) have formed Human Capital Groups to evaluate how industry could participate in skill development initiatives.

identifying skill gaps and technology to be taken up for teaching. Improving the delivery mechanism –Updating existing modules, developing new modules and partnering with educational institutions to train trainers and upgrade skill sets of existing industry employees, dealers, mechanics and drivers. Building quality assurance – Setting up a robust and stringent certification and accreditation process for Indian automotive skill development institutes to ensure consistency and acceptability of standards. \\ Author

Vishnu Mathur Director General, Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM)

digitalLEARNING / march 2011




Educomp, Zeebo Inc. Launch First Wireless Educational Platform Educomp Solutions Limited and Zeebo Inc. announced the proposed formation of a new joint venture in India and shared their plans to introduce a version of Zeebo’s 3G-connected education and entertainment system for the 2011 Indian market. Zeebo India will be a joint venture of Zeebo Inc., a Qualcomm funded company, Educomp and Lakshya Digital, India’s largest interactive content development studio. Together, the three companies will tailor Zeebo’s technology and develop relevant content for use by Indian school going children, both at home and in the classroom. “This partnership will enable us to provide a wide variety of new content and services for education, distance learning and interaction among Indian children, parents and teachers,” said John F. Rizzo, president and CEO, Zeebo Inc.

Dell launches printers in India Dell recently announced the launch of printers in India, introducing a comprehensive range of printing devices for home offices, small and medium businesses and workgroups. Dell’s single and multifunction printer lineup is engineered to reduce total cost of print by providing increased product reliability with comprehensive warranty and maintenance coverage. The range of printers being launched include the 1250C, the world’s smallest single-function A4 color laser-class printer and a host of monochrome printers including the multifunction 1133 and singlefunction printers - 2230d, 1130, 1130n, 2330d, 2330dn. Designed exclusively to meet the needs of small and medium organizations and small workgroups of large businesses worldwide, the single function and multi-function devices deliver outstanding print quality, fast printouts and optimal energy efficiency without compromising affordability. Offering lower initial printer procurement costs and lower operational costs over time, these award-winning, reliable products provide improved printer output capacity and one of the best standard warranties in the business.

Edutech launches “iGNITE” mobile science labs for CBSE curriculum Edutech- a leading educational solutions company has launched Mobile Science Labs for CBSE curriculum. Developed on the Spark science system from PASCO Inc, a world leader in datalogging systems for science education, it comes packed with more than 75 experiments that are aligned to CBSE curriculum. The iGNITE Science Learning System is a

fully integrated science solution, providing students a portable hand-held device for anytime, anywhere science discovery. With a large full-colour touch screen and sensors, the iGNITE Science Learning System was specifically designed with collaborative learning in mind — the entire student group can actively participate in the learning process. The system comes with preloaded content for more than 75 experiments that provide discovery- based lab activities, incorporating science content, data collection and analysis, and assessments.

Hitachi Launches LCD Projector for Education, Corporate Users Hitachi Digital Media Group has released a new LCD projector called the iPJAW250N. The projector provides complete interactive feature and all the advantages of the latest Ultimate Short Throw series. The LCD projector combines the Hitachi Starboard Soft Duo software to provide full interactive experience on a flat surface. It includes an integrated sensor that works by utilizing ultrasonic and infrared waves. The projector delivers a brightness of 2500 lm with a WXGA resolution and a contrast ratio of 2000:1. In addition, the iPJ-AW250N fulfills the interactive requirements of education and corporate users. The iPJ-AW250N provides ease of installation and operation and offers enhanced performance in any environment. It comes with an easily installable wall mount that creates fine adjustments and accurate setup. In addition, the LCD projector comprises a Hitachi Perfect Fit that includes an eight-point adjustment with four sides and corners.



TCCS, QAI Partner to Bring Customized Trainings for the BPO/ITeS Industryto India TCCS (The Call Centre School), the Tennessee based premier organization dedicated to the professional development of individuals in the call center industry has announced its advent into India in partnership with QAI, a global workforce development and consulting organisation. TCCS and QAI will offer a comprehensive curriculum of certifications and training programs to cater to the needs of all personnel in the call centre industry in India. These training programs can be delivered in instructor-led mode via public seminars or private on-site programs. The gamut of offerings from TCCS cover the skill development and capability enhancement of all professionals starting from the frontline track through the supervisory up to the leadership position. Some of these trainings and certifications include the Certified BPO Customer Service Professional, Certified Transaction Monitoring and Coaching, Certified People Management Professional, Certified Workforce Planning Professional, Certified Operations Manager.

tech focus

Scientific Assessment    Tools for Measuring Skills Among Workforce The business environment of today has become exceedingly competitive and the key economic sectors require manpower which is trained and skilled to meet the job requirements. Ascertaining the qualities, skills and attributes of managers becomes all the more imperative in this context. Assessments tools can provide an objective input on the knowledge, skill, and behavior of the individual, thereby minimising subjectivity, and helping organisations focus their efforts, and investments on building and managing their workforces By Sheena Joseph


ccording to a survey on talent shortage done by Manpower Inc in 2010, it was found out that 31 per cent of employers worldwide are finding it hard to fill up vacant job positions. The situation is similar in India with the talent shortage figure standing at 16 per cent. The trend reflects a mismatch of talent and potential job positions. Training and skills development are important in this context. It also highlights the need for assessment tools which will help employers ascertain and match skills of the labour force with that of the position. The labor force can be both skilled and un-skilled. But whatever the case may be in todays market scenario, quality is the buzz word in all levels of works. “Professional assessment tools are required to measure the skill set among the labour force and decide on proper training to be given to overcome any drawbacks found. Also the assessment tools are useful for identifying and appreciating the productivity of every individual”, says Subramanian N, Managing Director, TRS Forms & Services. According to Aditya Bhalla, Innovation Practice Head at QAI Global, India’s economic growth rate has generated a new demand for skilled workforce that can match the performance benchmarks set by the customers. Both private and public en-

“India’s economic growth rate has generated a new demand for skilled workforce that can match the performance benchmarks. Assessment tools reduce the management overhead and provide the confidence in the ability of the labour force” Aditya Bhalla

Innovation Practice Head, QAI Global

terprises are under tremendous pressure to provide better customer service and reduce time to market of innovative services and products. “Professional assessment tools reduce the management overhead and provide the confidence in the ability of the labour force to take up challenges of the new age work environment”, he says. A major problem with workforce management for organisations today is in attracting, hiring, allocating, engaging, and retaining the right people for the job. From an employer’s perspective, it is critical for her to understand the fitment

level of an individual to be hired. There is a direct correlation between skills and productivity. Hence a skilled workforce holds a promise of a more productive business. From an educator’s perspective, the first step in the chain of learning would be assessing the current skill and knowledge sets in the learners to be trained or coached. Sharad Talwar, CEO, IndiaCan elaborates that in order to assess an individual’s skills and knowledge levels, especially when it is a large population to be assessed, observations and generic digitalLEARNING / march 2011


tech focus

“In order to assess an individual’s skills and knowledge levels, observations and generic interactions are not enough. The answer lies in a scientific measurement of knowledge, skill sets and attitudes ” Sharad Talwar

Innovation PracticCEO, IndiaCanl

interactions are not enough to credibly pass judgment on an individual’s capabilities. “The answer lies in a scientific measurement of knowledge, skill sets and attitudes to be able to peg an individual at an identified rung of learning or competency.” Here is where a professional assessment tool comes in handy. It helps to systematically document what an individual knows and can do, identify KSA gaps and help devise a learning and career plan for an individual.

stand and highlight skills of individuals in dexterity, hand-eye coordination, and creativity and to understand mechanical aptitudes. Values assessment tests ascertain the expectation of the job seeker from the

Types of Assessment Tools Several skills assessment tools help managers and their employees to evaluate gap in skills, recognise and expand skill areas in need of development, and develop those areas into a specialised development plan. Assessment tools can be broadly categorised into tools for assessing ability and aptitude, personality, and communication skills. Assessments in these three buckets can be used across verticals and industries to hire the right candidate, says Prashant Banerjee, Marketing Head, Pearson Clinical & Talent Assessment. Individuals and students seeking jobs can make use of the career assessment tools to ascertain the career path they may be aptly suited for. These tests are mostly based on multiple choice questions. Aptitude or skills test are meant to ascertain the availability of specific skills in an individual that may match the career options that the individual can choose. Questionnaires are designed to under-



particular job. These may involve work environment, monetary expectations, working conditions and other related aspects. Having an understanding of the job seekers’ job priorities can be one of the most important career assessment tools. Career tests for ascertaining personality types are mostly psychologically based and can be helpful in career assessments. Counselors often use the Meyers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) for ascertaining career skills. The MBTI includes questions that relate to personality characteristics such as introversion vs. extroversion and thinking vs. acting on emotion. The IT industry has been in the forefront in adopting these assessment tools. “Currently there is a lack of awareness of the existence of these assessment tools in non-IT sectors. The adaption rate will grow only with increased awareness”, says Bhalla. Talwar adds that a well researched assessment tool can help identify and assess both generic as well as sector specific skills of a set of people. Generic skills may include reading, writing, mathematical ability, problem solving, reasoning, attention to details etc. Sector specific skills include functional skills specifically required for the job.

Tools for Measuring Pre-hire and Post-hire Qualities

“Professional assessment tools are required to measure the skills set among the labour force and decide on proper training to be given to overcome any drawbacks found” Subramanian N

Managing Director, TRS Forms & Services

The assessment tools available for measuring pre-hire and post hire qualities among workforce are designed to assess three dimensions of competency – knowledge, skills and application. The modes and instruments used for assessment differ depending on the seniority of the resource and the role played by the resource. “Simply put, for a given role, we at QAI identify the skills required, proficiency level, and degree of use of the skills, and create an evaluation design for the organisation based on their work profile. This work profile is then provided as an input for creation of the assessment, and a set of evaluation criteria are designed and agreed upon.” Upon the agreement, the online tool available with QAI enables the creation, administration, and reporting the results at an individual and an organisational level. The different modes

tech focus

“Assessment tools can be broadly categorised into tools for assessing ability and aptitude, personality, and communication skills. These three areas can be used across verticals and industries to hire the right candidate” Prashant Banerjee

Marketing Head, Pearson Clinical & Talent Assessment

of assessment include online assessment, case study or scenario based assessment, interview assessment, role playing and group exercises based assessment and finally project based assessment that incorporate many of the earlier techniques. HR managers can use this as a prehiring filter or gate criteria as well as use it as a career planning tool for existing staff. The most commonly tools used by corporates now a days are personality profilers and skill analysis instruments. A lot of emphasis is being placed on behavioral aspects like communication, being a team player, interpersonal skills along with aspects like the ability to do problem solving, decision making and learning agility. Post hire measurements are typically done based on the learnings and training done at work. The commonly used tools are 360 degree surveys, peer and

“At present, certification and assessment in the skills sector is either non-existent or unorganised and scattered across few industries” Preeti D’mello

Regional Director Indian Subcontinent, Edexcel International

supervisor feedback, functional tests etc. Several assessment tools help organisations perform a pre-training and post-training assessment to compute the return on investment made in skill development programmes. The assessment tools also help staff perform a self-evaluation of the competency areas.

Skills Assessment: Challenges and Opportunities The vocational education sector in India is at a nascent stage of evolution and fairly unorganised, says Talwar. Coupled with this there is a lack of awareness about the courses and job opportunities. In the absence of a structured competency framework mapped to specific job skills, measurement becomes subjective. Additionally, the vocational aspect

is still not focused on skill development – knowledge driven education seems to be the key driver in most places. Assessment and certification is being done randomly and needs to be homogenised. Assessments need to be well-researched and psychometrically sound for them to produce valid and reliable results upon administration, says Prashant Banerjee. Tools for employability assessment open up several avenues where they can be productively used. For Subramaniam the main challenge is to get the right input at the right time. Aditya Bhalla highlights that traditionally, the focus of assessments have been in the areas of basic aptitude, communication, and standard technical skills like programming. Challenges faced by the companies are strategic and operational. Strategic challenges include the existence of a well-defined competency framework, and a common body of knowledge, lack of evaluation and appraisal design, and absence of alignment with the performance appraisal and learning systems of the organisations. This is compounded at an operational level by lack of appropriate tools and content for the evaluation purpose. “This creates a culture of nonacceptance for the assessment, which is the major challenge”, he asserts. The second major challenge is the strong belief and concern that assessment methods cannot be comprehensive. This is true to a certain extent but can be solved through a structured design and use of multiple assessment methods like exam, interview, and observation. “This is absolutely possible and has been done by QAI in the areas of Software Testing, Project Management, Innovation, Quality Assurance, and Product Design”, he adds. Developing a structured competency frame work for each sector at multiple levels needs to be created, followed by developing certification based assessments and then linking it to employability. A learning plan can be devised for different levels of competencies within the competency framework. “We must build up a defined framework for placement of skilled resources based on their specific skill sets”,concludes Talwar. \\ digitalLEARNING / march 2011


policy matters

Employability Skills and Vocational Education India’s transition to a knowledge-based economy requires a new generation of educated and skilled people. The competitive edge will be determined by its people’s ability to create, share, and use knowledge effectively. India requires a knowledge economy to develop workers - knowledge workers and knowledge technologists - who are flexible, analytical and will be the driving force for innovation and growth By Dr S S Mantha


t is a well known fact that technical education plays a vital role in human resource development of the country by creating skilled manpower, enhancing industrial productivity and improving the quality of life. To achieve the goals of a knowledge economy, India needs a flexible education system: basic education to provide the foundation for learning; secondary and tertiary education to develop core capabilities and core technical skills; and further means of achieving lifelong learning. This should facilitate quality learning. With more than 8000 institutes in the degree sector, 2500 in the polytechnic sector, and more than 1.9 million seats at the entry level in the degree



stream, 0.5 million in the polytechnic stream, we have one of the largest technical education systems in the world. A host of ITI’s in every State also cater to vocational education and skill building.

Reforming the Education System Today, a student who wishes to get into a technical education programme can do so. A few problems like finding the finances can be facilitated through a good student loan model. The Government’s model of providing the same through setting up of a finance corporation is laudable in this context. However the near total inclusivity has also put undue and tremendous

pressure on the system to respond to the new expectations like finding a suitable placement for almost 1 million youngsters graduating from our Institutes every year currently and growing to 2.0 million in three years to come. It would also be worthwhile here to note that a student with 50% minimum eligibility at the qualifying examination also gets into this system along with the student at the top of the ladder. A normalisation of the process caters to common denominator and hence a fall in standards. Our examination systems being what it is will also cater to common denominator that only aids in propagating more mediocrity in a system that is already mediocre. Hence we have a system that is ex-

policy matters

tremely difficult to be high on quality metrics. The industry would obviously employ the best of the lot. In the absence of an industry profile, the available job market in absolute numbers, and the available graduates, the mapping would always be incongruous. New institutes, programmes and new courses are all based on perception and whims of a few entrepreneurs, who prefer to set up institutes in the areas they choose with scant regard to the demographic needs. The affiliating universities and the State Governments do not help the cause by not preparing the perspective plans for the regions in their jurisdiction. This results in a highly skewed growth of technical education with no bearing on either industry needs or that of the country’s needs. The net result of the above understanding is that there are a large number of graduates who are unemployable. Are there enough jobs for every one graduating before raising the bogie of un-employability is a million dollar question which no one wants to answer? Though many institutes provide quality education comparable to the best in the world, many of our institutes are now fully short of facilities at all levels, be it in infrastructural or faculty both in required numbers and quality.

Need for Skilled Manpower Two greatest concerns of employers today are finding good workers and training them. The difference between the skills needed on the job and those possessed by applicants, sometimes called the skillsgap, is of real concern to human resource managers and business owners looking to hire competent employees. While employers would prefer to hire people who are trained and ready to go to work, they are usually willing to provide the specialised, job-specific training necessary for those lacking such skills. Most discussions concerning today’s workforce eventually turn to employability skills. Finding workers who have employability or job readiness skills that help them fit into and remain in the work environment is a real problem. Employers need reliable, responsible workers who

can solve problems and who have the social skills and attitudes to work together with other workers. Employability skills are those basic skills necessary for getting, keeping, and doing well on a job. These are the skills, attitudes and actions that enable workers to get along with their fellow workers and supervisors and to make sound, critical decisions. Unlike occupational or techni-

employers i.e., industries and service sectors so that a meaningful mapping can be made on the availability against the need. The gaps would also throw up some interesting data like no job opportunities in certain areas and no candidates available for certain jobs. The National Engineering Eligibility Examination (NEEE) on the lines of GRE general and advanced could be a good

Though many institutes provide quality education comparable to the best in the world, many of our institutes are now fully short of facilities at all levels, be it in infrastructural or faculty both in required numbers and quality cal skills, employability skills are generic in nature rather than job specific and cut across all industry types, business sizes, and job levels from the entry-level worker to the senior-most position. Finishing schools are generally expected to build greater self – confidence, demonstrate self-direction, enhance communication skills, strengthen people skills, develop leadership skills, display a professional image and strengthen attitudes. A finishing school should create a skill based curriculum, identify the needy students through tests or personal choice, conduct training programs preferably at the end of 6th, 7th, and 8th Semesters, for (1, 1, 2 months). The emphasis should really be on developing skills in reading, writing, science, mathematics, oral communication, listening, learning, reasoning, creative thinking, decision making, problem solving, responsible, self confidence, self control, social skills, honesty, integrity, adaptability, flexibility, team spirit, punctuality, being efficient, self directed, good work attitude, well groomed, cooperative, self motivated and self management.

Profiling the Employment scenario The employment sector needs to be profiled to provide information on job opportunities in various sectors in terms of numbers and the projected growth. There is also a need to identify potential

student accreditation metric that can be used by the industry for placements and our education system to determine the learning gaps in our current teaching learning process. There also seems to be a concerted move to bring in technical education that is imparted through a conventional mode into the ambit of distance learning. A B. Tech or a M. Tech or even a technical diploma that is offered in the conventional mode is sought to be offered through the distance mode conveniently forgetting that applied sciences are supported by 40% to 50% practical component, rigorous training and conceptual learning. Falling standards in the regular mode of delivering technical education would go for a free fall if we were to institutionalise this model. A country that survives on basic tenets of democracy would find no way of differentiating the degrees awarded in the conventional mode and the distance mode and would make no discrimination in the principle of equal opportunity to employment paving the way for a free fall in standards. Undoubtedly today we have access to other learning models than the synchronous ones. We have good CBT’s and many are being developed. Having said this, I believe that teaching is a performing art. Teaching conceptual courses that need training on real machines cannot be substituted by CD’s and Computer learning. digitalLEARNING / march 2011


policy matters

CII & BCG STUDY According to a study conducted by Confederation of Indian Industry and Boston Consulting Group (CII & BCG) India has a large population base of 1.14 billion with demographic shift in favor of working age group (15-59 years) while the overall population is projected to grow at 1.4% over the next five years the working age is expected to grow at 2.15%.

109 million persons will attain working age during the period of 2007-2012. The net addition to workforce is, therefore, expected to grow to 89 million If the present trend continues, 109 million persons will attain working age during the period of 2007-2012. The net addition to workforce is, therefore, expected to grow to 89 million of which around 13 million are likely to be graduates/post graduates and about 57 million are likely to be school drop outs or illiterates. A significant share of incremental demand is likely to be for skilled labour - graduates and vocationally trained people are expected to account for 23% of incremental demand by 2012. The study further estimates that India is likely to increase deficit of 5.25 million employable graduates and vocationally trained workforce by 2012. Hence focusing on vocational education is of primary importance. For this majority group, access to secondary education and VET is crucial and for most of them secondary education and VET will be the last stage of their formal schooling. An effective school to work transition for these young people, made possible by higher quality secondary and tertiary education and VET, will improve their employment prospects and lifetime earnings.

ness of VET outcomes in improving the match between education and training demand and supply. Across the country, we also need to achieve better levels of employability for the workforce and to improve access to training, especially for vulnerable labour market groups. Frequently, accreditation and certification are used synonymously and what is called accreditation in one country might be called certification in another. They are both about external verification of quality but they have a slightly different focus. Certification is about compliance with the standards, rules and criteria as defined by a methodological framework for quality assurance, such as the ISO-9000xx standards. This GER is a summation of individual GER’s in various disciplines like Arts, Science, Commerce, Engineering, Fine Arts, Social Sciences, Liberal Sciences etc. If the maxim is to increase the overall GER, we need to increase the supply side of all these disciplines or reduce the dropout rate. An objective function model created for GER estimation and solved as an optimisation problem would throw up interesting possibilities.

Importance of Effective Quality Assurance

Role of AICTE

Efficient quality assurance models can play a decisive role in modernising Vocational Education and Training (VET), and improving performance and attractiveness, achieving better value for money. However there has to be a realisation about the need to increase VET responsiveness to changing labour market demands, increasing the effective-



AICTE is currently in the process of working a bridge between providing competence based skill modules in addition to basic content modules - both at the school and the University level, so that a child can choose a mode of education that is interesting to pursue and valuable to be practiced for a career. This also needs to provide the child full multiple entries and exits to a formal edu-

cation system from a vocational mode and vice versa and an opportunity to be placed gainfully with an appropriate job. If around 5000, i.e, approximately 50% of the AICTE approved institutions conduct any of the VE courses under various programmes like engineering, technology, management, computer applications, pharmacy, architecture and hotel management, every week in the evening for 3 hrs, for a year or 45 weeks, 0.4 million can be trained raising the GER by 4.1% or 33% of the current GER, with no extra inputs required for infrastructure. CII and other bodies can work on a viable model to make this happen. Finally we need to rely on the human capabilities approach developed by the economist Amartya Sen in the paper published on “capability approach and the brokering of learning provision for young adults development, quality of life and freedom”, wherein he explores the key ideas in the capability approach of: capability, functioning, agency, human diversity and public participation in generating valued capabilities. He then considers how these ideas relate specifically to education, before arguing that participatory action research might be a methodology for implementing and evaluating capabilities in education as a way of doing fairness and equality in education. It is time we imbibed an approach to education and skill development which is human and Indian in essence, perspective and content in that it serves our needs of effective and qualitative education, employability, self employability and reemployability. Such an approach would certainly be globally competitive and participative too. In a fast changing world, we need to stand tall, upright and be counted. Effective skill based technical education for employment is the key and the vehicle. \\ Author

Dr SS Mantha Chairman, All India Council for Technical Education

finishing school

IGNOU’s Finishing School Employability Initiative The shortage of skilled labour and employable talent pool led to IGNOU’s Finishing School Initiative where attempts have been made to address the issue by collaborating with country’s best training partners By Neeta Kapai


globally acclaimed fact today is that scientific and technological capability of human resources is the major source of strength for all round economic growth and nation building. Consequently, success of an industry would depend on the quality of its work force. Currently, though India is brimming with employment opportunities across industry domains and verticals, there is a tremendous shortage in terms of skilled manpower. It is also euphoric about its demographic dividend since its working-age population (15-59 years) largely consists of youth (15-34 years) who can contribute as potential economic drivers of our country. As per an ILO report, in the next 20 years, only 19 percent Indians will be above 65yrs compared to 39 percent in the US, 53 percent in Germany and 67



percent in Japan with an estimated manpower increase of 135 million by 2050, according to United Nations; India will enjoy this demographic sweet spot only up to 2035. Hence converting this demographic dividend into a development dividend is inevitable and possible only by linking education to employability, aptly supported by 270 million appropriate jobs and placement opportunities. India’s rich demographic dividend is as much an opportunity as it is a challenge. By 2026, our country is estimated to harbor a working population of 800 million youth of which, only 30-35 percent is expected to be employed by the agriculture sector with the remaining to be absorbed by other emerging market driven sectors. The direction and pace at which education and formal skills training is imparted to our growing young

population, will define whether it is an opportunity or a bane. In other words, ‘Education for Employability’ will be the key indicator and growth enabler. Indian economy is going through a growth spurt with several sectors posting large manpower requirements at entry-level and lateral-levels. Supply of employable human resources to certain high growth sectors such as IT, Banking, Finance and Insurance sectors is happening at a much slower rate resulting in demand-supply challenges to meet recruitment targets due to mismatch between skills acquired by job aspirants and skills required in that sector. While domain-specific employable skills require continuous upgrading, they differ across industries. Generic employable skills on the other hand are though common to all industries, require

finishing school

continuous practice and refinement. One of the major objectives of higher educational institutes of today is therefore to provide learners an enabling environment to mature and transit from learning to workplace scenarios. In other words, education must make available an ecosystem that offers ample opportunities for its learners to practice and transform themselves by translating their knowledge into skills and competencies as per industry demands and expectations. A recent survey among students has shown that 75 percent of students study for employment (that is learning is for earning) without being aware of their aptitude and the need to be skilled in generic and domain specific skills. English communication skills and soft skills for workplace integration are critical yet lacking in most students. Efforts are being made by 17 different government departments and agencies to address this issue in accordance with PM’s National Skills Mission that mandates 500 million skilled labors by 2022 through convergence of education world with the job world. IGNOU is nurturing a talent pool of three million learners, a significant contribution to our workforce. In tune with widely accepted fact that current education system is incapable of equipping its learners with generic skills, IGNOU decided to achieve the ‘Dearing Objective’ of exposing our learners to key transferable skills during the course of their academic association with us to become a part of the knowledge society and Lifelong Learning. IGNOU believes that students who understand the difference between Employment and employability have the best chance to succeed in life particularly at their workplace. Lifetime employability means possessing domain knowledge along with soft skills emphasising on an attitude that seeks continuous improvement in personal performance for all round productivity. Companies are ready to dole out performance- linked monitory incentives to a workforce that has a quest for continuous improvement of their skill sets. This scenario coupled with shortage of skilled labor and employable talent pool led to IGNOU’s Fin-

Recruiters and employers assess the employable skills of each job aspirant against a template set by the industry, with stated competencies/performance indicators for various job profiles ishing School Initiative where attempts have been made to address the issue by collaborating with country’s best training partners to impart industry endorsed employable skills to our graduating students. The partnership has resulted in adopting a bouquet of eight programmes under the Finishing School Initiative. Out of these eight, two programs offer employable skills in the IT Domain, one in BPO Skills and the remaining five are Generic, Professional and Soft Skills for all types of work places be it Corporate Office, Back office or Customer Facing set ups. The delivery mode is flexible and modular, in- sync with the philosophy of ODL system, but unlike it in terms of transaction of teaching learning process since it is offered in a blended manner with Face to Face (ILT), Print and Computer based. (On-Line).The programs are standalone backed with 100 percent Placement Assistance and can be pursued along with regular under graduate and post Graduate programs. Placement opportunities are available to students who have completed their graduation or any higher degree as per eligibility criteria. Besides instructorled programmes from NIIT, Finishing School programmes are offered through virtual as well as mobile platforms too. “The IGNOU-VMock online platform enables candidates to practice for job interviews and improve via feedback. The virtual platform strategy enables learners to know themselves, create their own video persona, answer career specific mock questions and take feedback from friends, alumni and IGNOU mentors already available on Facebook, LinkedIn and other social networks. It is a boon for all job seekers since it effectively takes care of their last-mile to employability” To sharpen interview skills with effective spoken English communication

skills through mobile technology enabled platform we have collaborated with HK Webguru that has pioneered the use of mobile phone and land phone as a medium for live instructor led training for employability enhancement and career counseling. This innovation allows us to cater to the training needs of learners across the country irrespective of their location as long as they have access to a phone. Today the penetration of phone in the country has crossed 50 percent which means that 500 million Indians have easy access to a phone. A vast majority of them use mobile phones as mobile phones have become extremely affordable with India having one of the lowest call charges worldwide and the largest variety of low cost handsets. Therefore with this understanding of employability and industry demands, IGNOU has made a foray into the country’s skills scenario with its Finishing School Initiative where all programmes are designed to improve English language skills, handle job interview with ease coupled with essentials like business etiquette, importance of core corporate values and handling conflict to be offered through intensively planned delivery modes of short durations to enable its learner population get transformed into job ready candidates for varied industry sectors. \\ Author

Neeta Kapai Deputy Director RSD and Head/In-charge, Campus Placement Cell (CPC), IGNOU

digitalLEARNING / march 2011


event report

Learning in the 21st Century

Expanding Access to Higher Education

From left to right: Rajasekharan Pillai, Sharda Prasad, R.P. Singh, Prof Metri, N Ravishankar, M.P. Narayanan

The digitalLEARNING Higher Education Summit aimed to bring together key educationists and corporate at both national and international level for deliberation and interactions that would lead to knowledge sharing, identification of policy, practices, imperatives and future action plan By Ankita Verma


igher Education Summit 2011 was organised by digitalLEARNING on 5th February 2011 with the aim of stimulating discussions and debate on key issues pertaining to higher education in India. The one day event focused on providing a platform through which best practices can be shared on all of the key issues in higher education. After the welcome address by Dr M P Narayanan, President of Centre for Science, Development and Media Studies, Dr Ravi Gupta, Editor-in-Chief, digitalLEARNING Magazine, provided an overview of the in highlighting the importance of information and communication technology in the future of higher education and helping it attain the resources it needs to deliver what the institution demands.



Creating Quality and Excellence in Higher Education: Policy and Practices In his inaugural address, Professor V N Rajasekharan Pillai, Vice Chancellor, Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) emphasised on the need that skill education should be of global standards. There is a need to address the question of how ICT in education can increase employability issues of the country for which Government of India has started a massive education programme called National e-Governance Plan. Education should be linked with employment in a systematic way. Even in engineering education over 60% of graduates are unemployed mainly be-

cause of the non-linking of quality of education with practice on the field. To address these kinds of issues, independent initiatives needs to be promoted. So the appropriation of workforce is very important for growth and enhancing knowledge skills. N Ravishanker, Joint Secretary, Department of Information Technology, Ministry of Communication and Information Technology, Government of India in his address focused on the comprehensive techniques that can be used for imparting education through ICT. The programmes like e-infrastructure and National Knowledge Network Programmes facilitate interlinking of academic organisations for collaboration, the focus of which should be on quality and excellence.

event report

Sharda Prasad, Director General, Directorate General, Employment and Training, Ministry of Labour and Employment, Government of India highlighted the need to lessen the gap between skills and education. There is a need to take care of quantitative as well as qualitative education in the country which should be relevant to the needs of society. The focus should be on universalising education to create skilled manpower which should be based on the requirement of the industry. Professor B A Metri, Dean, Management Development Institute focused on five key points for creating excellence in education: leadership to develop global education system; autonomy to develop; building intellectual focus; faculty development programme; national and international accreditation. Today one of the major challenges to manage education is regional leadership. Dr R P Singh, Vice Chancellor, Sharda University talked about the challenges and opportunities of private education in India. There is a need to build skills not only for graduates and post graduates, but also for people who are not well educated. After the first session there was a formal launch of virtual platform for career preparedness to enhance employ-

ability of learners. There were brief presentations by N. Subramanian CEO TRS Forms and Services Private Limited and Dipanker Bhattacharya India Education Programs, AUTODESK on the ways to digitise learning in twenty first century.

Improving Equity and Enrollment: Vision and Strategies for Higher Education Institutes The session was moderated by Professor V N Rajasekharan Pillai, Vice Chancellor, IGNOU. In his introductory remark Professor Pillai emphasised on the fact that along with quality we have social commitment. The first panelist for the session Dr D N Reddy, Vice-Chancellor of Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University, talked of the importance of promoting digital learning across the country, providing access, equity and quality of education, knowledge creation, innovation in ecosystem, and capacity building. The key challenge is to emphasise on lifelong learning and relevance, removing boundaries, and scaling up resources. Innovative use of ICT, industry investment, generating revenue through consultancy and government allocation should be increased to at least 2% are

some of his recommendations. Dr Rajneesh Arora, Vice Chancellor, Punjab Technical University emphasised that education should be imparted in local language. The language barrier at school level leads to lower enrollment in technical education. He emphasised on the need for schools of excellence which can self finance to reduce burden from students. Professor M P Jaiswal, Dean, Research, MDI Gurgaon focused on Research and Development issues in India. He opined that we have strong potential of innovation research and should focus on this area. In the end he suggested that MHRD should be scrapped for effective research and development growth. Dr Sarabjit Singh, Principal, Apeejay College of Engineering addressed the issue of increasing the intake of students. To draw larger number of students they are adopting liberal art culture where student can enroll and change to any stream at any point of time. It is a flexible credit based system where credit is given to self learning, off-campus work done and other activities by a student.The capacity of faculty and quality can be enhanced through sharing knowledge and the issue of retaining students can only be addressed if environment is innovative and conducive to self learning.

Prof V N Rajashekharan Pillai Vice Chancellor, Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU)

Prof B A Metri Dean, Management Development Institute

Dr Rajneesh Arora Vice Chancellor, Punjab Technical University

N Ravishanker Jt Secretary, Dept of IT, MoCIT, Government of India

Dr R P Singh Vice Chancellor, Sharda University

Prof M P Jaiswal Dean –Research, MDI Gurgaon

Sharda Prasad Director General, DGE&T, Ministry of Labour & Employment, GoI

Dr D N Reddy Vice-Chancellor of Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University

Dr S S Jena Chairman, National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS)

digitalLEARNING / march 2011


event report

Shakila Shamsu Joint Adviser (Education), Planning Commissiony

Prof Pankaj Gupta Director, Symbiosis Institute of Business Management

Dr Seema Parihar Joint Director, Developing Countries Research Centre, University of Delhi

Girdhar J Gyani Secretary General, Quality Council of India (QCI)

Dilip Chenoy CEO, National Skill Development Corporation

Prof A K Bakshi Head of the Department of Chemistry, University of Delhi

Prof S S Mantha Chairman (Acting), All India Council for Technical Education

Prof Prem Vrat Prof of Eminence and Founder Director, IIT Roorkee

Prof Rajeev Shorey President, NIIT University

International Academic Partnerships for Expanding University Outreach Shakila Shamsu, Joint Adviser (Education), Planning Commission, Chair, emphasised on internationalisation of higher education in the era of liberalisation, privatisation and globalisation. She highlighted that there is a need to address the issues regarding international institutional arrangement like problems of fly-by-night operator, quality of foreign education, nomenclature of degrees/certificates they intend to offer (should be in sync with the laws of the land), regulatory framework that they would be governed with. According to Girdhar J Gyani Secretary General, Quality Council of India (QCI), quality of education cannot survive in close market. The role of government should be restricted to legislation and thereafter it should select the areas for regulation. Professor S S Mantha, Chairman (Acting), All India Council for Technical Education believes that AICTE is more of a facilitator and less regulatory. There should be common denominator for regulatory guidelines. AICTE provides opportunities for institutions to create



new programme of collaboration with foreign university. It also facilitates offshore campus learning and provides students from abroad, Indian degrees from the institutions they are affiliated to. Professor Pankaj Gupta, Director, Symbiosis Institute of Business Management also spoke about the institutional collaboration with foreign universities. Now institutions from abroad have good partners in India but need of the hour is to capture these opportunities. Deepanker Bhattacharya, Senior Manager of India Education Programs, AUTODESK stated that they are working with Stanford University on the concept of Integrated Project Delivery based on information modeling. They have also associated with National University Singapore to introduce the concept of sustainability. They have recently started design-centric curriculum course entirely based on project learning because of huge demand from industry which is not getting enough skilled manpower.

Solving the Expanding Examination Assessment Needs of Universities The session was chaired by Professor Prem Vrat, Professor of Eminence and Founder Director, IIT Roorkee. As the

size of technical university is expanding there are challenges which needs to be addressed. Most of the technical universities have addressed these problems through ICT. Professor Rajeev Shorey, President, NIIT University commented about the employability issues and said that according to a NASSCOM report there are about 6 lakh engineers out of which only 25% are employable. The main reason is the mushrooming of engineering colleges. In India, intake is more than 5,70,000. But still employability is poor because of quality of education. So, there is a need to leverage ICT in a technology based campus, create international pool of visiting faculty, tap minds across the globe that supervise and teach cutting-edge courses. He then reiterated the need to get best practices from the industry, introduce the best models from other countries, need for innovation and focus on intellectual property, and need to focus on quality so that quantity will follow. According to Professor A K Bakshi, Head of the Department of Chemistry, University of Delhi, education component includes curriculum, teaching and learning. The big challenge is setting quality question paper as exam paper should be able to differentiate the caliber of students.

event report

ICT has to be supplemented with training programme to be successful. Sri Ram Kumar from TRS talked of exam assessment through technology solutions. He also spoke at length about the benefits of e-assessment where user can ingest the question, documents, and candidates can take tests at their convenience. Mukesh Gupta, Secretary General, SRDE’s Association of Higher Education Institutions raised the issues that plague the expansion of higher education like gaps between rural and urban areas and expanding higher education institutions in terms of numbers. But the major challenges which need to be addressed are human resources, lack of coordination among universities, core competency areas (examining bodies) which should be given to agencies suited for it, requirement of learning oriented exams, over reliance on exams, and how to reduce the gap between demand and supply. To address these issues he suggested that we need to look into the commitment of the team involved in exam process, transparency and accountability for the development of education system.

Professional Training to Upgrade Competency of Workforce: Bridging the Skills Gap The session was chaired by Dr S S Jena, Chairman, National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS). He contextualised the

The distinguished delegates at the summit

There is a need to address the question of how ICT in education can increase employability issues of the country for which Government of India has started a massive education programme called National e-Governance Plan discussion by highlighting the need for concrete mechanism for bridging the existing gap between skilled labour force and industry. Dilip Chenoy, CEO, National Skill Development Corporation observed that about 240 million people are required in different sectors and there is a gap of 40-50 million skilled people in market. The skill education should be based on the requirement of public-private-partnership in industry-academia. So, skill centric learning is required and the only way to solve it is through public-private partnership. Dr Seema Parihar, Joint Director, Developing Countries Research Centre, University of Delhi said that four things should be taken into account - students, teachers, women, and challenges in real time situation. We should look for learnability and capability opportunities. Dr Manoj Kulshetra, Associate Professor, School of Engineering, IGNOU with regard to construction industry opined that the construction is the sec-

ond largest economic activity in India, and yet it is a neglected sector. He proposed solutions like making it mandatory to engage certified and trained manpower in projects; establish physical infrastructure for training as a joint endeavour of industry and government; create awareness on how training would enhance quality of products and safety as well as standard of workers; create training fund through imposition of a cess on works contract; Linkage Program using open learning and distance mode of education in the modes of Parttime/Short Seminars; open learning and distance education etc. Harpreet Singh, President of Higher Education, Educomp Solutions Limited also highlighted common skill gaps across different sectors-business communication, basic IT, managerial and technical skills, and have identified sales and customer services as common lacunae. The skill requirements in 21st century are to move towards acquiring jobs of creating and thinking; agility and adaptability; oral and written skills; and change in teaching method pedagogy as it cannot be lecture driven. According to Raghav Mittal of UPTU Watch, engineers from UPTU have performed significantly better than national average. Their main focus is on regional agenda as to how technology management can reach entire state of Uttar Pradesh. The event highlighted the key issues that need to be addressed to make learning in twenty first century universal in nature. The discussions on varied aspects covered the areas like quality of education, creating excellence, improving equity, accreditation, and competency of workforce. It focused on how quality of education could be enhanced as per the industrial requirement. \\ digitalLEARNING / march 2011





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