Towards a Knowledge Society

The National Knowledge Commission (NKC), constituted in June 2005, was entrusted with the task of preparing a blueprint for reform of our knowledge related institutions and infrastructure. It focusesd 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.

The National Knowledge Commission (NKC), constituted in June 2005, was entrusted with the task of preparing a blueprint for reform of our knowledge related institutions and infrastructure. It focusesd 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.

To increase the flexibility of Vocational Education and Training (VET) within the exiting mainstream education system, the NKC has suggested the following steps:

  • Aspects of general education (such as numeracy skills, etc.) should be retained in VET as far as possible, to enable students to return to mainstream education at a later stage.
  • Courses in training institutes and polytechnics  should have distinct tracks for students of different educational attainments.
  • Entry requirements for certain trades should reflect the requirement of the trade (as appropriate, for instance, the entry requirement  of students should have passed Class X could  be relaxed to Class VIII in some cases). Students should be permitted multiple entry and  exit options in the vocational education stream.
  • Links should be established between the vocational education stream and school education as well as higher education.
  • Courses devoted to certain skills training at the primary and secondary level should be introduced in all schools.
  • Vocational training should be made available in various literacy and adult education schemes.
  • Schemes for lifelong skill up-gradation, through short training programmes, should be introduced.
  • There should be a provision for generating a cadre of multi-skilled persons

The existing Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs) and Industrial Training Centres (ITCs) are widely recognised to face problems such as poor quality trainers, lack of flexibility, outdated infrastructure, etc.

Measures to strengthen the current institutional structure and improve the existing institutions are:

  • Extent of functional autonomy must be increased, the ITIs should be given more power to strengthen and adapt their training programmes to better meet local market needs.
  • Indicators of internal and external efficiency should be developed (by the proposed National Institute) to incentivise good performance.
  • Modules on literacy, numeracy, communication skills, entrepreneurship and other general skills relevant to workplace requirements must be introduced in all courses.
  • Different tracks within courses for different  levels of specialisation should be introduced.
  • Students should be offered incentives such as  tools, membership of trade associations, etc., as  part of their degree/ diploma.
  • Industry and trade involvement should be enhanced not only at the internship stage, but  also at the time of examinations and placements.
  • Curricula should be constantly monitored and  updated.
  • The skills and courses offered should be reviewed periodically. The number of skills currently offered needs to be increased.
  • Teaching should be conducted in English as well  as local languages.
  • Infrastructure should be regularly upgraded.
  • Quality of teaching must be drastically improved.

In today’s world, access to knowledge has become the source and manifestation of disparity. NKC’s recommendations, which focus on expansion in educational opportunities and special provisions for the disadvantaged, specifically seek to create an inclusive society.

Finally, to accelerate the course of development in the country, efforts have to be made to nourish innovation, entrepreneurship and to address the skill requirements of a growing economy.

The real challenge, according to the Commission, is to create an appropriate environment to engage and empower local communities and various other stakeholders, and at the same time build effective and sustainable models of collaboration, including public-private partnerships, as also partnerships between academia, industry and local communities at large to bring about generational changes in our knowledge institutions and infrastructures.

Recommended Articles

cover

Atmanirbhar Lets Down MSMEs

While it is understandable that the spending power of the government currently is limited, then it is only desirable that the felt-needs are addressed first that will make or break...

  • MSMEs don’t have money to pay salaries; need emergency funds

    Majority of the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) don't have money to pay salaries to their employees for April month and they have not been able to avail the...

  • Integrate National Water Policy

    India is poised to play a major role in the comity of nations. There are imbalances between availability-demand, population expansion, rapid socio-economic growth and climate change bringing water issues to...

  • Digital Transformation of Defence

    Digital Transformation in defence sector is on the move. Public Private partnerships are nurturing and the industry is gearing up with newer technologies. India’s defence segment is now ready to...

0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x