Skill India : ITI Quality and Sharad Chandra Committee

What are Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs) ?

  • Industrial Training Institutes and Industrial Training Centers are post-secondary schools in India constituted under Directorate General of Employment & Training (DGET), Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, Union Government to provide training in various trades.
  • The ITIs were initiated in the 1950s.
  • In a span of 60 years, until 2007, around 1,896 public and 2,000 private ITIs were set up.
  • However, in a 10-year period from 2007, more than 9,000 additional private ITIs were accredited.


What explains this huge private sector scale-up?

  • The Kirit Somaiya committee says that it is not efficiency but a disregard for norms and standards.
  • The National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) today has more than 6,000 private training centres.
  • Private training partners have mushroomed at the rate of five a day (mostly with government support).
  • Meanwhile, the lack of a regulator for skill development, with teeth, has led to poor quality affiliation, assessment and certification.
  • The Somaiya committee report outlines instances of responsibility outsourcing, no oversight, connivance and an ownership tussle between the Central and State governments.
  • Now the future of 13.8 lakh students (on an average, 206 students per ITI) studying in these substandard ITIs is at risk, as these institutes can be closed any time. - Skill India ITI Quality and Sharad Chandra Committee

Way Forward: Sharda Prasad Committee recommendations:

  • We need better oversight, with a national board for all skill development programmes.
  • The core work (accreditation, assessment, certification and course standards) cannot be outsourced.
  • Like every other education board (such as the CBSE), a board is required in vocational training that is accountable.
  • Since we have the NCVT as a legacy, it should be used as a kernel to constitute the board.
  • We should also have a mandatory rating system for the ITIs that is published periodically.
  • A ranking of the ITIs on several parameters such as the one done by the National Assessment and Accreditation Council in tertiary education can be replicated.
  • There should be one system, with one law and one national vocational education and training system. The silos in which vocational training happens in India is unfortunate.
  • We need to create a unified national vocational system where the ITIs, NSDC private vocational trainers and vocational education in schools, and the other Central ministries conducting training gel seamlessly and can learn from, and work with each other.
  • A unified legal framework can facilitate such a unification. The absence of a law has only weakened regulation and monitoring.
  • What we need is a national vocational act that replaces all scattered regulations — recommended in the 12th Five Year Plan.


Micro-institutional reforms

  • Staffing and salaries need reform.
  • ITI teachers need training.
  • Shortage of staff is there.
  • Lateral entry in higher posts in skill development.
  • Institutional reforms such as moving the office of the Directorate General of Employment (the arm that has all data on employment) from the Ministry of Labour to the MSDE would help.



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