According to Smriti Zubin Irani, Minister of Human Resource Development, education is not a challenge but an opportunity. The Minister was speaking at a session on ‘Which Comes First: Employment or Employability?’ at the India Economic Summit organised by the World Economic Forum and the Confederation of Indian Industry in New Delhi.
The minister said that there is a need to rejuvenate the teaching profession and bring back the respect that this profession once enjoyed.
She further said that currently the Indian education system does not have a system of credit transfers between institutions. This was a major issue for students who have been forced to take a break in their education due to unforeseen circumstances. It is for this reason that the Government of India is now announcing a scheme for credit transfer on November 11. The scheme is expected to cover students from Class 9 to Post Graduation. Depending on the feedback received, it may also be extended to PhD courses as&n bsp;well.
The minister also announced that the government was encouraging universities to set up placement cells so as to encourage dialogue between students and employers on the skills sets required. She mentioned that the Government was experimenting with Massive Open Online Courses reach out to a larger number of students in the country.
Addressing the gathering, Uday Kotak, Executive Vice Chairman and Managing Director, Kotak Mahindra Bank, highlighted the need to bring back the respect and dignity to the teaching profession in India. He observed that previously, education policies focused on the creation of education hardware, school buildings, etc. He was of the view that there now needs to be an equal emphasis on the creation of education software, teachers, teaching tools, methods, etc.
Shobana Bhartia, Chairperson and Editorial Director, HT Media and Co-Chair of the India Economic Summit stated that there was a talent conundrum in the country with jobs without people and people without jobs. To address this issue there is a need to adopt disruptive innovation such as online teaching models. Highlighting the experience of the Bridge University which her company has set up, she stated that they had adopted a hybrid model where a large part of the teaching is done online and some part of it is cl assroom interaction.
Addressing the event, Arundhuti Gupta, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Mentor Together India said that career choices in India are left to chance. She was of the view that instead of finding people unsuitable for employment just as they are entering the workforce, there is a need to mentor them over the long term, preferably from adolescence onwards.