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Skill orientation of higher education is a priority area

Vellore: The immense demographic dividend and potential of the youth can be productively channelized for growth and development of the country only when the higher education system is provided a “job orientation”, one that enables the youth to contribute constructively to the growing economy. The Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare Shri J P Nadda stated this while addressing the South Zone Vice Chancellors Conference at Vellore Institute of Technology, at Vellore today. Shri J P Nadda stated that skill upgradation and skill orientation of higher education in the country is a priority area for the government led by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi. A higher education system needs to equip the youth with tools for the job market, he said. The focus of the government is to empower the youth of the country with productive skills in order to realise their immense potential in nation building. That is the purpose of the government embarking on a skills development programme by different ministries, the Health Minister stated. Reminiscing the levels that higher education in the country touched at Nalanda and Taxila, the Health Minister stated that the government is committed to strengthening and improving higher education in the country to touch the glory it enjoyed in the past. But merely quality will not be the focus, he informed. In a country teeming with a large number of youth, quantity will also be a priority area for the government in its endeavours, he added. But a balance needs to be struck between quantity and quality of higher education, as generally it is observed that the quality suffers in the quest for quantity. Both need to be provided in an optimum balance, Shri Nadda said. Numbers are also important, provided they do not lead to deterioration in quality and standard of higher education. Quoting the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, the Health Minister stressed on the need for Skills, Scale and Speed for the betterment of the youth of the country. Also, reiterating the thoughts of the Prime Minister, the Health Minister stated that the present worldwide ranking of universities is based more on western criteria. The focus should be more on the quality of research and the quality of the content of the courses, the Minister stated. Shri Nadda stated that there needs be Indian norms of ranking of universities. The Health Minister, Shri Nadda in his address highlighted the need for a sturdy and effective regulatory mechanism. Such a regulatory framework will ensure that the highest standards of quality are met by the higher education system in the country. In addition, it will also take care that the cost of higher education is not such that it becomes unaffordable and beyond the reach of the common man. The government is committed to working on a regulatory mechanism which will meet the challenges of providing quality higher education at affordable costs to empower the youth in the country with employment-oriented skills, Shri Nadda said at the conference. Also present during the function were Shri Vajubhai Vala, Governor of Karnataka and Dr. G.Viswanathan, Chancellor, VIT University, Vellore.

About Sanjay Trivedi

Sanjay Trivedi is honorary editor of Asia Times. He is senior Indian Journalist having vast experience of 25 years. He worked in Janmabhoomi, Vyapar, Divya Bhaskar etc. newspapers and TV9 Channel as well as www.news4education.com. He also served as Media Officer in Gujarat Technological University.

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