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For years, the three streams of India’s basic collegiate education broke up the country into distinct academic islands: the masses pursued humanities; the ones with shining score cards took to the sciences and the rest who wanted to pick up tools of trade, opted for commerce. Now students can venture into a fourth dimension: bachelors in vocation education.
From the upcoming academic season, colleges across the country will offer a bachelors degree in vocation education, thus underpinning a stream that has always languished for the want of a formal degree. Sensing the gap in the system, the move to offer the B.Voc is largely in response to the hungry local manufacturing industry’s requirement for top-grade workforce, and partly because several graduates from the existing traditional streams were jobless and deemed unemployable. “Our standing committee has cleared the proposal to offer the bachelors in vocational education and once the commission clears it, any college in India which is affiliated to a university, can offer this programme”, said in-charge chairman of the University Grants Commission Ved Prakash. We need to prepare large workforce and it is time we build capacity at graduate level. Vocational education, or life skills, as it was sometimes derided as, mostly attracted the lowest rung of the society, the ones ready to dirty their hands. They eventually went on to earn a diploma and then work on factory floors. While ripping that perception and lending this course the much-needed academic might and respect, the UGCs decisions biggest apostle is industry. The move was initiated by the All India Council for Technical Education which has identified 10 sectors like entertainment, telecom, construction, printing and publishing and suchlike that needs specialized graduates. These courses will provide vocational skills and general education, thus providing vocational graduates with multiple pathways, said AICTE chairman S. S. Mantha. The USP (unique selling point) of the course is that students can leave the course any time and come back to it to pursue further studies, he added. While the UGC is yet to drawn up a detailed regulation for the new programme, there are plans to allow students to shift from B.Voc to arts, science or commerce, thus not punishing students for signing up for the new course.
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Courtesy: Times of India
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