AICTE to launch vocational courses soon

Institutes can now enroll a maximum of 500 students

Students in polytechnic, engineering and other colleges can now pursue vocational courses, with the All India Institute of Technical Education on Tuesday launching a national curriculum framework for in the upcoming academic session.

The programmes to be offered under the scheme will be industry specific. It will offer vocational courses in information technology, media, entertainment, telecommunications, mobile communications, automobile, construction, retail, food processing, tourism, hotels, jewellery designing and fashion designing among many other sectors that have been identified for implementation.

Since the courses to be offered will be “sector specific”, industries will be roped in to impart vocational education to the students.

“We will start the process of identifying industries or their associates shortly to implement the programme,” Human Resource Development Minister Kapil Sibal said while launching the National Vocational Educational Qualification Curriculum to be implemented in polytechnic, engineering and other colleges from 2012–13 academic session.

The All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) will seek to provide the requisite statutory approvals to any institutions wishing to conduct these programmes throughout the country. The institutions can choose a maximum of 500 students in any five sectors with 100 in each sector.

The scheme envisages seven levels with each certificate level offering a course of approximately 1,000 hours. Each 1000-hour course will be made up of a certain number of hours for vocational competency based skill modules and the rest for general learning simultaneously integrated and providing a diploma for vocational education. After the certificate level five, the course will lead to a degree in vocational education.

A minimum class ten qualification is required for one to take up the courses. “There will be no age bar for those willing to take the courses,” Sibal said. The courses will also be launched later in schools with the first level starting from class nine.

A student can choose to avail of competency based skill learning along with general education in this scheme without losing the possibility of changing course and moving at any certificate level into a formal system of education and vice versa. “This would ultimately provide a full multi-entry exist system between vocational education, general education and the job market,” the HRD Minister said.

According to ministry, the programme is expected to cater to at least five million students for vocationals and diplomas every year, which can help provide self-employment or meaningful employment, if even one-third of the institutions are approved to conduct these programmes.

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