Introduction:

Education plays an important role in the overall development of a human being as well as the nation. It is a unique investment in the present and for the future. Every country develops its own system of education to express and promote its unique socio-cultural identity besides meeting the challenges of time to leverage the existing potential opportunities. India, at present, is recognized as one of the youngest nations of the world with over 50% of population under the age of 30 years. It is estimated that by 2025, India will have 25% of the world’s total workforce. In order to harness the full demographic dividend, India needs high quality educational system which is affordable, flexible and relevant to the individuals, as well as to needs of the society as a whole. Today, the country faces a demand – supply mismatch as the economy needs more ‘skilled’ workforce as also the managers and entrepreneurs than produced annually. In fact, majority of the contemporary institutions of higher learning remain almost disconnected with the requirements of the workplace. The higher education system has to incorporate the requirements of various industries in its curriculum, in an innovative and flexible manner while producing well-groomed graduates. UGC introduced two schemes known as – Community Colleges and BVoc Degree Programme in universities and colleges during the XII Plan. However, there is a need for taking integrated initiatives towards knowledge acquisition and up-gradation of skilled human competencies in universities and colleges to address the emerging needs of the economy so as to ensure that the graduates have adequate knowledge and skills to get appropriately employed or become entrepreneurs and, thereby, meet the economic and industrial needs at the regional and national level. Government of India, taking note of the requirement for skill development among students developed National Vocational Education Qualification Framework (NVEQF) which was later on assimilated into National Skills Qualifications Framework (NSQF). Various Sector Skill Councils (SSCs) are developing Qualification Packs (QPs), National Occupational Standards (NOSs) and assessment mechanisms in their respective domains, in alignment with the needs of the industry.

In view of this, the UGC implemented the scheme of Community Colleges from 2013-14 in pilot modes on the initiative of the MHRD. However, realizing the importance and the necessity for developing skills among students, and creating work-ready manpower on large scale, the Commission decided to implement the scheme of Community Colleges as one of its independent schemes from the year 2014-15. The Commission also launched another scheme of BVoc Degree programme to expand the scope of vocational education and also to provide vertical mobility to the students admitted in Community Colleges for Diploma programmes to a degree programme in the Universities and Colleges. While these two schemes are being implemented, it is also realized that there is a need to give further push to vocational education on an even larger scale. It is therefore proposed to establish as many as 100 ‘Deen Dayal Upadhyay Centres for Knowledge Acquisition and upgradation of Skilled Human Abilities and Livelihood (KAUSHAL)’ during the XII Plan period. These Centres would take-up the vocational education to new levels and offer courses beyond BVoc Degree too. These Centres would also embed and follow the guiding principles of NSQF, QPs, and NOSs for their programmes and would not focus on skilling alone but also develop entrepreneurship traits. The Centres may endeavour to maintain a pyramidal structure of student enrolment with respect to Diploma, Advanced Diploma, BVoc and further studies.

Eligibility: There may be three types of learners getting admission to the first semester of skill-based courses under NSQF:

Category – 1 : Students who have already acquired NSQF certification Level 7 in a particular industrial sector and opted for admission in the skill based courses under NSQF in the institutions recognized under Community Colleges/BVoc Degree program/DDU KAUSHAL Kendras in same trade with job role for which he/she was previously certified.

Category – 2 : Students who have acquired NSQF certification Level 7 but may like to change their trade and may enter into skill-based courses in a different trade(candidate has to take up Skill Bridge course during semester I/II).

Category – 3: Students who have passed Bachelor degree examination with at least second class from a recognized University.

Candidates who have passed an equivalent examination from any other University or examining body and are seeking admission to the Master of Vocation course, will be required to provide necessary eligibility certificate.