PATNA, India — A big leap in the job oriented education system in Bihar was signaled by signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Aryabhatta Knowledge University (AKU), Patna and Wadhwani Foundation for skilling youth on Industry-driven employability oriented training through Community Colleges.
It is estimated that by about 2025, India will have 25% of the world’s total workforce. In order to harness the full demographic dividend, India needs an education system which is of high quality, affordable, flexible and relevant to the individuals, as well as to the society as a whole. To overcome the existing skills gap in the country, the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) announced programs to train millions of post-secondary students to become skilled workers for the global economy. On a pilot basis, the Ministry decided to start 200 Community Colleges across the country. Bihar received approval for 15 community colleges affiliated to AKU, last year. AKU has since been desirous to enter into a MoU with Wadhwani Foundation for supporting them in effectively running these colleges.
Wadhwani Foundation has worked closely with Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) to establish the National Framework for Vocational Education and has been instrumental in planning the roll of out pilot community colleges roped in by Aryabhatta Knowledge University (AKU) to support implementation & manage this initiative. In the first lot, 15 community colleges have been selected in the State of Bihar which is in the process of getting 15 more community colleges to cover the remaining districts in the next academic year.
The chief guest for the program Shri Sanjeevan Sinha, IAS, MD, BSEIDC, Patna said “Today is the beginning of the new milestone in the history of Bihar. We are proud to be part of this history. This partnership between AKU and WF will ensure that the objective by which Community Colleges were launched in the state will be achieved and accomplished. WF expertise and guidance to all the colleges will bring in quality and scalability. I’m thankful to Wadhwani Foundation for extending their support to the State through AKU. I’m sure that Community College now will be a success and is in the safe hands”.
The community colleges will offer students who have passed class XII with need-based, industry specific, market driven courses catering to the demands of the local job market. The Community College model, by and large, will be accessible to a large number of individuals of the community and offers a flexible and open education system that has a synergistic relationship between the community, community college and the job market.
The MoU was signed in the presence of dignitaries attending the event which included Vice Chancellor, Shri (Dr.) Uday Kant Misra, Shri (Dr.) Sanjeevan Sinha, MD, BSEIDC, Patna, Ms. Rekha Menon, National Program Manager & Program Manager – Bihar, Mr. Vishal Raj, Wadhwani Foundation, Principal & Coordinators of Community Colleges of Bihar and academia of Bihar.
Ajay Mohan Goel, Director, Wadhwani Foundation’s Skill Development Network (SDN), expressed his sincere gratitude to AKU for giving the Foundation an opportunity to participate with them for the implementation of the Pilot Community College and said “Wadhwani Foundation is happy to support and work with AKU and Bihar State for enriching the Higher Education Programs with locally and nationally relevant skill development curricula. Starting of Community Colleges is a major milestone in making higher education relevant to all stakeholders and economic acceleration of the country.”
While AKU would be responsible for affiliation of the community colleges, accreditation of courses, framing syllabus & curriculum, assessment plan with SSC/Industry and other relevant stakeholders, conduct of examination and certification; Wadhwani Foundation as the ‘Program Management and Knowledge Partner’ would support in creation of curriculum & assessment guidelines, orientation of officials, principals and faculty of the community colleges, organizing train-the-trainers program, and providing master training material & personnel.
Wadhwani Foundation will also leverage its competence in achieving quality and scale through widespread adoption of technology such as the massive online training platforms and help build industry collaboration / linkages, assessments, placement etc.
The objective is to create model community colleges, best practices and re-usable material related to running of community colleges, and provide inputs to policies & schemes on community colleges to MHRD, UGC and Planning Commission.
About Aryabhatta Knowledge University
Aryabhatta Knowledge University (AKU) was established by Government of Bihar for the development and management of educational infrastructure related to technical, medical, management and allied professional education in the state. The objective of AKU is to achieve excellence in teaching, research, and extension work in these areas. AKU’s mission is to offer innovative and socially relevant job oriented courses with a view to enhance the employment prospects of the learners, to make quality education available and affordable to all the students of the nation in general and state in particular.
About Wadhwani Foundation
Founded in 2003 by U.S based philanthropist, Dr. Romesh Wadhwani, the Foundation’s primary mission is economic acceleration of emerging economies. The Foundation first embarked upon its mission in India by leveraging India’s human potential. Subsequently, the Foundation has expanded into the US & other countries.
India is expected to add 250-300 million people to the workforce by 2022. Large scale job creation became the primary imperative for the country. Also, if this growing population could be adequately skilled the impact on economy could be unprecedented. Hence, catalyzing and demonstrating scale and sustainability in job creation and skill development in India is the primary target areas of focus for the Foundation.
During the last decade, Wadhwani Foundation has launched five niche, high impact Initiatives in India. These include promoting entrepreneurial and employment skills, creating opportunities for the disabled, encouraging innovation, and catalyzing policy changes to support economic activity.
In the US, to address the persistently high youth and displaced-worker unemployment issue, Wadhwani Foundation launched the ‘Race to a Job’ initiative in 2012. This Initiative leverages technology to bridge the gap between the skills acquired in academic institutes and those required by the industry for mid-skills jobs in the country.
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