Colleges in dilemma over proposed professional components in UG Arts, Commerce Courses

Colleges in dilemma over proposed professional components in UG Arts, Commerce Courses
Abhay Anand | Jun 22, 2018 - 4:21 p.m. IST
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NEW DELHI, JUNE 22: With the intention to tackle shortage of professional skills, the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) is planning to introduce professional skills to the Arts, Science and Commerce streams at undergraduate level from the year 2019-20. Bachelors of Arts, Bachelors of Commerce and Bachelors of Science streams will undergo a makeover with the proposed inclusion of necessary professional skills.

The three streams will include components on soft skills, Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and discipline-specific professional skills to the course structure to make them job-oriented.

Union Minister of HRD Praksh Javadekar responding to media queries recently said that B.A., BSc. and B.Com will become professional courses with about 1000 hours of specialised content integrated into these programmes.

Many of the studies have suggested that only about 25-30% of Indian graduates are considered employable by the organized sector. Almost 75% in Germany, 80% in Japan, 68% in UK, 47% of the workforce in China receive some kind of skill training, in comparison only about 10% of the Indian workforce received such training.

As a part of the initiative, a suggested 1000 hours of additional courseware will be added to the curriculum. To increase the employability rate, 250 hours of soft skills and 250 hours of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) will be included. Additionally, two job-oriented discipline-specific professional skills of 250 hours each are to be incorporated.

However, there is not much clarity in educational institutions over the method of implementation of the new scheme. The educationists hope that that industry experts are roped in from the beginning towards the curriculum development and pedagogy. “If implemented, this would be a very good opportunity for the students, but my only concern is that this should not turn out to be like the B.Voc introduced earlier. Though the latter was introduced with great enthusiasm, but there was no taker from the industry or also among students. The new proposal shouldn’t be something that might dilute the scope of the main course in the name of professional skill development,” observes Rev. Dr. F. Andrew, S.J. Principal, Loyola College, Chennai weighing the odds.

Many colleges are still in for a ‘wait and watch; till the Ministry rolls out the scheme. Dr. M. Arokiasamy Xavier S.J., Principal, St. Joseph’s College, Tiruchirappalli says,“We have not received any directives yet on this regard. Since it is in the conceptual stage, we haven’t planned anything further in this regard.”

(with inputs from safvana yasmine)

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