The second meeting of the Association of Indian Skills Universities (AISU), a body created by the Skills Universities in India was held at Gurugram on December 30 to discuss and formulate guidelines for skills universities in India.
The meeting was organised at Haryana Vishwakarma Skill University (HVSU) by Association of Indian Skills Universities (AISU). The meeting was conducted by Brig (Dr) Surjit Pabla, President AISU and Vice Chancellor of Bhartiya Skill Development University (BSDU), a founder member of AISU. Professor Raj Nehru, the Vice- Chancellor of HVSU welcomed the Vice Chancellors and other members and informed them about the urgent need for the meeting called on a short notice.
Dr Pabla stated that the UGC has constituted a committee to make guidelines for skills universities and since these norms are likely to be formulated by a committee which may not have any representatives of Skills Universities, it may not be appropriate for the skills universities.
So the AISU has met to chalk out a strategy to have its representatives included in the UGC committee and other government committees to ensure that they can guide the authorities accordingly and come up with efficient norms which would help in enabling robust skill universities to skill the unskilled.
The AISU members will also be meeting skill development authorities in Pune on January 11 before they send their recommendations to the UGC.
For nomenclatures of degrees, at present in skill degrees only Bachelor of Vocation (B.Voc) and Master of Vocation (M.Voc) are included in the UGC list of degrees that can be awarded by Indian universities. But since the word vocational is not seen aspirational and does not excite students to enrol into skill courses, it was debated whether B.Skill and M.Skill with the name of skill discipline in brackets, as recommended by Prof Lalit K Panwar, Vice Chamcellor RILDSU Jaipur, will be a more preferable name for skills degrees. After discussing some more suggestions made by members, it was decided that B.Skill and M.Skill should recommended to UGC for inclusion in the UGC List of Degrees. Till the UGC includes these in its list, the present nomenclature i,e, B.Voc and M.voc will be used.
The members also suggested that Skill University’s territorial jurisdiction limit needs to be waived. Skill Universities should be allowed to start-off campuses in the other regions to facilitate and integrate with the on-the-job training besides having live virtual classes. The AISU will soon form a committee to recommend the modalities on the virtual classes, which will be submitted to the UGC.
Members also recommended that Skill Universities should have the flexibility to enrol students from Class 9 onwards. Presently the UGC’s educational criterion for admission is 10+2 from a recognized board. The Skills University would also accept students from Open Schooling and RPL (Recognition of Prior Learning floated by the MSDE).
Unlike other Universities, there must be guidelines regarding the structure of a Skills University given that it deals with multiple sectors, trades and job roles. AISU has prepared Norms for Skills Universities. These were presented by Brig Pabla to the members and it was decided to send these norms to the UGC and MSDE after the meeting at Pune on 11th January.
It was decided that AISU will be open to taking membership from skill universities and conventional universities, which are offering skills programs.
Dr Pabla informed that BSDU, Jaipur will offer skills programme leading to skill certificate, skill diploma, advanced diploma, B.Voc and M.Voc in all skill areas. It will not offer the regular programs offered by the normal universities. He stressed that a Skill University should be multidisciplinary like the conventional universities. It should necessarily offer Postgraduate and Doctoral programs.
“Our faculties will include automotive skills, electrical skills. Informatics, Photonics and Robotics, Woodwork and interior fittings, Office administration, Polymechanic skills, healthcare and paramedics at present and more faculties will be added in the coming years. We have tied up with 25 different industries where our students will have practical exposure and enhance their skills. We aim to offer industry integration model where students earn and learn. Skills education is necessarily industry related. On completion of skill certificate, a student should be industry ready, Dr Pabla stated,” Dr Pabla asserted.
Others who participated in the meeting included Colonel (retired) R K Gosain, Provost, BSDU, Dr Sunil Gupta, Registrar, HVSU, Dr Anurag, Pro-VC, Centurion University of Technology and Management (CUTM), Jayant Joshi, President, Rajendra and Ursula Joshi Charitable Trust (RUJCT), Vikrant Pande, Provost (VC), TeamLease Skills University (TLU), Dr Ashok Shrivastva, Dean, HVSU, Dr Raj Singh, Joint Director, HVSU, Ms Chanchal Bhardwaj, COE, HVSU, Ms Simi Samasundaram, Deputy Director, HVSU, Dr Dalip Raina, Assistant Professor (Management), HVSU, and Sanjay Bhardwaj, Deputy Director, HVSU.