India to have community colleges with US help

The US will help India to set up 200 “community colleges” across the country in its endeavour to develop a more skilled workforce.

The India-US Higher Education Dialogue on Tuesday saw the All India Council for Technical Education signing a Memorandum of Understanding with the American Association of Community Colleges .

The framework developed by the Ministry of Human Resource Development for establishing community colleges in India is largely based on the US model.

“We are only borrowing the concept and not going to replicate what is happening there in the US,” Human Resource Development Minister M M Pallam Raju told journalists after co-chairing the India-US Higher Education Dialogue with American Secretary of State John Kerry. He was replying to a query on workability of the US model of community colleges in India.

“It is a relevant model. Over 100 years, the US has fine- tuned that model. It has become much more than impacting skills,” said Raju.

He also said skill development and vocational education should be an “integral part” of the education system and business and industry could play a very important role in the endeavour.

Kerry stressed on India and the US jointly working towards increasing skills of students to meet the challenges of the future. “We need to make sure that next generation of innovators and entrepreneurs have the skills and training,” he said.

The Ministry of Human Resource Development embarked on the project to set up 200 community colleges to address the mismatch between demand and supply of skilled workforce.

 The community colleges are expected to offer low-cost and high-quality education locally, encompassing both vocational skills development as well as more traditional coursework, thereby providing opportunities of multiple entry and exit from the job market to the higher education sector and vice-versa.

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