India is a large and populous country of youths. About 54 percent of its population is below 25 years of age. On one hand young people of this country are facing the problem of suitable employment, on other hand enterprises are facing problem to get suitable workforce requiring certain skills of adequate level. Therefore, the major challenge beforeIndiahaving so many youth is to develop skills in them and gainfully employ them in economic activities so that rapid economic development ofIndiacould take place. Young population is big asset of a country as their hard labour contributes immensely towards growth of economy of the country. However, if the youths of the country are not properly skilled, they become unemployed or underemployed, and in turn become a liability to society and nation. Unemployed youths also become source of many social problems including crimes. Therefore, it is an imperative that more employment is created by developing skills in the youths. A skill in workforce makes labour more productive and goods and services produced become more competitive. This becomes even more important when global economy is intertwined and goods and services flow across the globe in a competitive business environment. Therefore, developing and honing skills becomes even more important in order to compete in global market as it improves efficiency of production of goods and services by reducing the cost and delivery time, and improving the quality of goods and services produced making it globally competitive.
In India, about 45 percent of children drop out of school between age group of 15 to 18 years of age. With the conventional kind of school education available inIndia, it is very difficult for these drops out children to get a suitable employment except as unskilled labour. Moreover, the present school education does not develop any skill with which these school drops out could start any enterprise on their own. Considering the reality of drop out students and need for equipping them with some vocational skills so that they could be gainfully employed in economic activities, the present education system needs to be tuned to meet the requirements of creating employment by developing skills.
The school education should be made compulsory and fully state funded up to eighth standard. From sixth to eighth standard, there should be one compulsory vocational subject for all the students such as painting, book binding, carpentry, plumbing, masonry etc. These courses should be same from sixth to eighth standard, so that a student can develop adequate skills in three years in the chosen vocational subject. Here more focus to be given on practical classes and less on theory classes. Moreover, vocational courses offered in a particular region must be aligned with the employment potential and opportunity in that region. For example, North Eastern States may start vocational course on furniture and other products made of bamboo, similarly course on sericulture and silk fabric weaving may be started in Southern Indian States besides other vocational courses. Similarly, at ninth and tenth standard similar vocational courses may be made compulsory. This may be the upgraded version of same vocational courses taught during sixth to eighth standard or may be some new vocational courses that requires some extra academic knowledge and maturity. This will reduce the burden of setting up new institutions for skill development such as ITIs (Industrial Training Institutes) and Polytechnics.
In such cases even if, a student drops out of school after eighth standard of education, he will have some skills to take employment or start a small business of his own. Industry will also get sufficiently skilled worker. Many people who do not join a vocational course like ITI (Industrial Training Institutes) due to stigma attached to it that it provides with category of job and in later years of life get frustrated due to unemployment and underemployment will also get trained in vocational course and develop their skill to get an employment.