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~ Wadhwani Foundation to enable widespread adoption of vocational education by leveraging technology such as online training platforms that maintain quality and relevance and are integrated with classroom and workshop training ~

~ To successfully introduce and integrate skills into higher education under the Community College scheme, the B.Voc. Program and DDU – KAUSHAL Program from academic year 2015-16 onwards ~

~ Collaboration and support is aimed to catalyse Government of India’s broad policies and new initiatives on skill development and entrepreneurship ~

Ranchi, 24 August, 2015: Department of Higher Education (DHE), Department of Human Resource Development (DHRD), Government of Jharkhand (GoJ) and the Wadhwani Foundation recently announced a strategic partnership which aims at providing Skills integrated Secondary & Higher Education through Community Colleges and B.Voc. Program in Jharkhand state.

Key areas of this collaboration include successful introduction of skills integrated in secondary education from class 9th to 12th and skills integration in higher education which will facilitate improved employability of students, development of policies and systems for regular review of all the program components and processes, increased adoption of the program by leveraging technology, development of institutional mechanisms and capacity building within the university and its affiliated institutions, and encouragement program for more colleges to adopt and offer courses under Community College scheme, B.Voc. Program and DDU- KAUSHAL Program.

Smt. Aradhana Patnaik, IAS, Secretary, DHRD, Government of Jharkhand said, “The main aim of this project is to link work with education, create relationship between general education and vocational education, enhance knowledge and skills, encourage flexibility in education and increase skills availability for industry. GoJ is committed towards skill development for the youths of Jharkhand and in this context we are initiating various skilling led programs at different levels of education system. We have entered into partnership with Wadhwani Foundation who have experience in skill development initiatives at various levels to provide program management and technical support, and we are sure that we will be able to achieve considerable progress in this field.”

It is estimated that India will have 25% of the world’s total workforce by about 2025. However, in order to harness the full demographic dividend, India needs an education system which is of high quality, affordable, flexible and relevant to both the individuals and society as a whole.

Shri Manish Ranjan, IAS, State Project Director – Secondary Education, DHRD, GoJ said, “This MoU will prove to be a catalyst for the vocational program at school level. We have introduced and integrated vocational NSQF compatible courses at all 53 selected schools in 13 districts of Jharkhand for this academic year and this will be a milestone in years to come with addition of more schools to the program, leading to the employment of the youths of Jharkhand. This effort of the Govt. will be supported by Wadhwani Foundation for program management and technical support.”

Elaborating on the strategic partnership aimed at catalysing GoJ’s program of training and inducting post-secondary students into knowledge workers for the global economy, Shri. Dr. D. N. Ojha, Director-Higher Education, DHRD, GoJ said, “We have entered into a strategic partnership with Wadhwani Foundation for skill development programs at university and college level to provide technical support to various schemes launched by Central Govt. on skill development like Community Colleges and B. Voc.”

Commenting on this strategic partnership with GOJ, Manish Mohan, Executive Vice President- Skills Development Network [SDN], Wadhwani Foundation said, “Wadhwani Foundation’s SDN is developing and implementing major skills initiatives through multi-media enabled technology solutions for maximising job creation. Despite having immense potential, Jharkhand urgently needs skilled work force. With this partnership, we have an opportunity to work towards providing skills integrated secondary & higher education to build high-class skilled work force in Jharkhand which is both highly employable and entrepreneurial in nature. Today’s landscape is filled with enormous opportunities and we will need to harness the right skills to tap these opportunities. The Foundation’s new partnership with DHRD and DHE will go a long way towards strengthening the business ecosystem of Jharkhand, ultimately providing a foundation for rebuilding its economy.”

Wadhwani Foundation (WF) aims to accelerate India’s economy through five high-impact initiatives, one of which is developing a skilled workforce to meet the demands of economic growth via education. The objective of the Skill Development Network (SDN) Initiative is to help overcome skills deficit of India’s mid-level, white-collared, knowledge workers by promoting industry-driven short-cycle education.

The Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) has announced programs to mainstream skilling in High Schools. In addition, UGC has announced a Community Colleges scheme and B.Voc. Program, to train millions of post-secondary students to become knowledge workers for the global economy. This industry-linked skill development focused programs are aligned with the Government notified, National Skills Qualifications Framework (NSQF). Given the current high-paced growth and dynamic investment climate in India, the demand for knowledge workers with high levels of hard and soft skills will only increase.

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