CII to help Delhi varsity empower students

July 6th, 2008 - 12:52 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, July 6 (IANS) The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) has joined hands with Delhi University (DU) to empower students to fill a serious skills shortage to ensure India’s competitive edge. The CII will run the programme, called the Professional Skills Project, at DU’s School of Open Learning from July 7. The pact was signed in March.

The CII is looking at students already acquiring functional skills, especially in three high-growth segments: Information Technology, Automotives, and Retail.

According to Vijay K. Thadani, chairman of the CII National Committee on Education, though students acquire firm knowledge under the university education system, it is also necessary to impart functional skills to make them productive and respond to the demand for 40 million skilled workforce globally.

He said the private sector is keen to partner the government and provide industry-based skills to students.

“These courses will also empower students to benefit from the growing opportunities in the industrial sector and address the skill shortages faced by Indian industry,” the industry lobby said.

“This underlies our efforts to make India a knowledge economy based on human skills and equitable opportunity. Our objective for this partnership with the DU is to bridge the gap between demand and supply of skilled workforce,” the CII said.

The course curriculum has been developed in consultation with industry and will be delivered using advanced methodologies including case studies, interaction with experts, case simulation and hands-on experience through a two-month internship programme with industry, the CII said.

It said several industries in India faced a skilled workforce crunch, which retarded growth.

In India, more than 10.4 million students enrol in various universities each year. “Though enrolments in academic institutions are significant, the percentage of people having marketable skills is very low,” the chamber said.

Compared with the rest of the world, only five percent of the Indian working population in the age group of 20-24 years have vocational skills.

In contrast, South Korea has 96 percent of their population technically skilled and the number is between 60-80 percent for industrialized countries, the CII said.

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