India's education system has had a distinct bias towards skills and government is making efforts to integrate education with skill development, Rajya Sabha was informed today.
Replying to a question, Minister of State for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship Rajiv Pratap Rudy said for the first time, the HRD Ministry has integrated itself with the Skill Development Ministry and children from schools will now move towards open education on skill development.
"It is a harsh statement to make. Education has had a distinct bias towards skill. Because in the entire education system, skill has been there. But all of us who have become big in the system have been through education. The bias of education against skills has been perpetuating.
"Through National Open School, I am happy to say that for the first time in the history of the country, Ministry of HRD has integrated itself with Ministry of Skill Development and children will now move towards open education," he said.
He also announced that the government has decided that "even students passing out of ITIs will have grand functions and convocations where they will wear robes and come out and say that we are also part of the integrated system".
Lamenting that "we have missed a policy framework", Rudy said government has evolved a policy of opening up training skilled centres in PPP mode across the country to fill up gaps in 2,500 blocks in the country which did not have a single training institute so far.
"There is also a proposal for setting up of 1500 multi- skill training institute in unserved blocks/areas with active participation of industry/private partners for which meeting of Expenditure Finance Committee has been conducted on April 19," he said in a written reply.
He said while Palamu district in Jharkhand had only one ITI, there were as many as 200 ITIs in Jaipur alone. "There are 2,500 blocks across the country which do not have a single training institute. This is a very major concern," he said, adding that the government is opening up new ITIs with funding from National Skill Development Corporation.
"We have made a proposal in this regard and we are taking it to the Cabinet," he said.
Rudy said that in the school system, "a mistake has been committed and we are trying to build up an integrated system where children are skilled in schools. We are trying to build a framework to provide the world skilled workforce".
He also lamented that against one crore apprentices in Japan and China each, India offers only 3 lakh, which needed to be increased.
Rudy said there are 13,000 training institutes in the country, with over 10,000 in the private sector. However, 8.5 lakh seats were lying vacant in engineering colleges in the country and private colleges are being shut down. "We have information that 2000 engineering colleges have shut down and that is a matter of great concern," he added.