Discerning Unemployability-II

Firstly I thank readers of my previous blog, Discerning Unemployability, for their advice and encouragement. In this blog, I would be penning the various steps taken by the stakeholders of Unemployability and understand where is the gap. The most critical stakeholders are:

  • Government
  • University
  • College
  • Industry

Government Initiatives to address Unemployability: The google Unemployability on government of India website and found this:

It’s sad that government is not measuring and setting itself targets to improve Unemployability issue. However government is taking steps that addressed unemployability. Government in 2011 declared a full 24% increase in budget allocation. Special grants were doled out  for educational institutions in West Bengal, Kerala and Tamil Nadu – Rs 200 crore for IIT-Kharagpur, Rs 20 crore for IIM-Calcutta, Rs 100 crore for Kerala Veterinary University, Rs 20 crore for Rajiv Gandhi National Institute of Youth Development are some of the prominent sops. Allocations to achieve the objectives of the Right to Education (RTE), which has been aligned with the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, were hiked from Rs 15,000 crore to Rs 21,000 crore. The Centre is now focusing on ” vocationalisation” of secondary education, which will enable students to pursue job-oriented courses at the plus two level.

Unemployability comes under HRD ministry. Funding here has seen a hike of 17 per cent, up to Rs 52,057 crore from last year’s Rs 43,836 crore. With HRD minister Kapil Sibal ushering in major reforms in higher education, an allocation of Rs 50 crore has been made to this end. The UGC’s allocation has gone up by 26 per cent as its budget rose from Rs 3,626 crore to Rs 4,556 crore. The government has made a separate allocation of Rs 10 crore to set up 374 ” model degree ” colleges in the states. Investment in technical education has been hiked by 32 per cent.

Funding for the eight new IITs was hiked by 100 per cent to Rs 500 crore from Rs 250 crore last year.

Investment in the seven new IIMs has more than doubled from Rs 25 crore to Rs 60 crore. But most of last year’s funds could not be spent by the new management institutes and was later scaled down to Rs 13 crore.

Model followed by Government seem to be like this:

For any such problem to be addressed, we need the following:

  • Funding
  • Measurement of the problem
  • Body accountable to solve
  • Regulating funding based on success of the Body

Government has done a commendable job of allocating funds for the assignment but the other three points have been completely missed. Yashpal Committee Report and Knowledge Commission Report suggest some improvement mainly by empowerment of universities. But I see no steps being taken in that direction. Government should firstly realise the depth of problem; create a committee consisting of industrialists, academicians and scientific community that proposes a mechanism and body that deals with this problem by publishing a methodology to measure the issue across regions and ensure improvement on a quarter by quarter basis. It would perhaps be appropriate to form a committee consisting of personnel from UGC/AICTE and industry body such as NASSCOM lead by an Industrialist.

UGC & AICTE Initiatives to address Unemployability:

The route chosen by UGC to address unemployability is “If we improve teachers, Students will improve, Employability will improve. This although may seem right at first glance but has several assumptions that perhaps is creating the current issue of unemployability.

AICTE has done a better task but clearly there are several shortfalls there too.

I clearly see the need for a paradigm shift. UGC and AICTE seem to be taking a role of creating environment that is conducive for growth of colleges and governing Universities. However inapt universities aren’t in a position to utilise this conducive environment and perhaps there is a need for UGC and AICTE to play greater role. UGC & AICTE should take role of a strict quality ensuring body. AICTE and UGC should be held accountable for unemployability issues. Government has empowered both UGC and AICTE sufficiently however UGC has chosen to not take role of a governing body but take role of a facilitators.

Current System:

Colleges on Unemployability:

In order to understand what colleges are doing to address unemployability, let me study colleges in krishnagiri district and understand if they have unemployability as one of their aim/objective to address. They may be doing so by committing to employability of their students.

List of colleges in krishnagiri:

Number of Engineering Colleges:

  2. Er Perumal Manimekalai College of Engineering
  3. Government College of Engineering, Bargur

Number of Science and Arts college:

  1. Arignar Anna College of Arts and Science
  2. Gonzaga College of Arts and Science for Women
  3. Government Arts and Science College for Women
  4. M.G.R.College(Arts & Science)
  5. Sri Vidiya Mandir Arts & Science College

The colleges haven’t mentioned their student’s placement success or employability of their students in their website. However they do speak about campus placement cell, which seem to be just a support function with literally no accountability.

Industry’s initiatives to address Unemployability:

In order to understand what companies are doing to improve the Unemployability issue, let me pick the top 10 INDIA’S BEST COMPANIES TO WORK FOR presuming these companies have excellent HR practices and would have industry best practices to address Unemployability.

Google India Pvt. Ltd: Google as an organisation is extremely sensitive about education system. They have a wing called “University Relations” that supports academic research through giving. Google Research Awards are for world-class, full-time faculty pursuing research in areas of mutual interest. Google RISE Awards (Roots in Science and Engineering) promote and support science, technology, engineering, mathematics (STEM) and computer science (CS) education initiatives. The Google PhD Fellowship Program gives recognition to outstanding graduate students doing exceptional work in computer science, related disciplines, or promising research areas. Finally, Google Code University provides tutorials and sample course content so computer science students and educators can learn more about current computing. I believe the last initiative is the best to address Unemployability. Click here to read more.

Intel Technology India Pvt. Ltd: For over a decade, Intel has been working with countries, communities, and schools worldwide to bring the resources and solutions needed for advancing education. Intel collaborates with governments, policy-makers, and local vendors to turn their vision into reality. Technology that brings quality education to more people, while sustaining local communities and economies—that’s our unwavering commitment. Click here to read more.

Makemytrip India Pvt. Ltd: Make my trip has a unique method to support Unemployability. Makemytrip runs a corporate mentoring program with NGO Udayan Care, which supports orphaned, abandoned and abused children. These kids at Udayan Care  visit Makemytrip every month and have mentors who guide them. Makemytrip has taken a task that is very apt with its size. Click here to read more.

American Express India Pvt. Ltd: In the US, they have a unique approach to support leadership enhancement programs. They seek the best methods, programs and partners that provide current and future nonprofit leaders with practical opportunities to learn and build leadership skills. They are especially interested in proposals that cultivate leadership opportunities for diverse communities within the nonprofit sector or that focus on innovative leadership development programs for emerging leaders of world-class institutions. Click here to read more.

Marriott Hotels India Pvt. Ltd: I could not find Marriott much into education support . However they do run their institute in the UK but its not for global skill up gradation but for people with work permits in the UK.

Classic Stripes Pvt. Ltd: The trust instituted by Classic Stripes provides educational help and utilities to 25,000 students and 350 schools, in the areas of Vasai, Manor-Palghar and Thane. It has begun an ideal high school and junior college named Tatyasaheb Musale Vidyalaya at Ichalkaranji in the Kolhapur District, equipped with facilities such as computer and science laboratories and a modern sports ground. This trust has also provided computers, classrooms, bore wells, etc. to mentally retarded and handicapped students in Kolhapur, Ichalkaranji and Thane. Though these are good but these are not scalable. However any help is good and any good school can help address Unemployability in that region. Click here to read more

Scope International Pvt. Ltd: Scope hits nail on the head! They experience the issues of Unemployability and are trying to address it directly by suggesting improvement in course and introducing more courses as part of graduation. Click here to read more

Sure, the top rated companies are doing something about education and Unemployability. However its impact needs to be studied. Also we need to find ways and impress the companies that are not rated highly on HR practices to involve themselves in education in the form of CSR. An NGO that acts as enabling body providing credible methods and efficient continuity plans to corporate will act as a catalyst in addressing Unemployability. In my next blog, I would write the methods for such an NGO and governing principles to make it successful and scalable.


For third part of Discerning Unemployability click: http://bit.ly/198MSQ8

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