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Govt abandons plan to open vocational university



The government of India has scrapped Labour Ministry’s proposal to open a national vocational university to better regulate the more than 11,000 industrial training institutes in the country.

Labour and employment minister Bandaru Dattatreya had announced the plan to open the university in his home state, Telangana. “It will be an umbrella body,” the minister had said on 4 December, adding that the renewed thrust on skill education in the country had necessitated such an initiative.

Reportedly, at an inter-ministerial meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in January, the proposal was abandoned.

After the meeting, the labour ministry was told that instead of opening a varsity it should allow states to establish skill or vocational universities.

“We will not open the university as planned earlier,” confirmed Alok Kumar, director general of employment and training (DGET) at the labour ministry. DGET controls the skill development initiatives of the ministry and all industrial training institute (ITIs). India has more than 11,500 ITIs with a capacity of nearly 1.6 million. Kumar said the states should join the skill mission.

“We will coordinate with others who wish to do so at the state level. We can provide assistance and guide them on quality parameters,” he added. The first government official cited above said that a university would have helped streamline the quality, put uniformity in structure and improved its engagement with students, reported Live Mint.

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