Skilling India – Skill India Mission,PMKVY, NSDC, etc.

Skill University


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: UGC Act of 1956, NAAC regulations

Mains level: Paper 3- Issues with employment and skill developement

This article highlights the utility of skill education in India. There are several benefits in its adoption. But it would require several regulatory changes. So, what are these changes?Read to know…

3 issues with our university education

  •  The differential lockdown outcomes for skilled and unskilled workers highlight our university system’s pre-existing conditions. These are-
  • 1) Broken employability promises.
  • 2) Poor employer connectivity.
  • 3) Poor return on private investment that frustrate parents and students.

4 ways in which skill university differs from traditional university

  • A skill university differs from a traditional university in four ways.
  • 1) It prays to the one god of employers; for governance, faculty, curriculum, and pedagogy.
  • 2) It has four classrooms; on-campus, on-line, on-site, and on-the-job.
  • 3) It offers modularity between four qualifications; certificates, diplomas, advanced diplomas, and degrees.
  • 4) And it has four sources of financing — employers, students, CSR, and loans though employers contribute more than 95 per cent of the costs.
  • Fro example,  in the case of Gujrat government’s skill university, 97 per cent of the university’s budget comes from employers.

5 ways in which the universities are broken globally

  • First is broken promises.
  • The world produced more graduates in the last 35 years than 700 years before.
  • Second is broken financing.
  • More than 50 per cent of $1.5 trillion in student debt was expected to default even before the COVID pandemic.
  • Indian bank education loans have high NPAs.
  • The third is broken inclusiveness.
  • The system works for privileged urban males studying full-time, but today’s students are likely to be female, poor, older, rural, or studying part-time.
  • Fourth is broken flexibility.
  • Employed learners will cross traditional learners in three years, but they need on-demand, on-the-go, always-on, rolling admissions, continuous assessment, and qualification modularity.
  • And finally is broken openness. 
  • Google knowing everything makes learning how to learn a key 21st-century skill.
  • Yet too many universities are stuck in knowing.

Let’s look into the regulatory changes needed for the Skill University

  • Skill universities are a scalable, sustainable, and affordable vehicle to massify higher education by innovations in finance.
  • But they need regulatory change.

Following are the 3 types of regulatory changes needed

1. Changes needed in the  UGC Act of 1956

  •  Clause 8.2.6 needs to be rewritten to equalise four classrooms -online, on-site, on-campus, and on-job-and section 22 (3) to recognise apprenticeship linked degree programmes.
  • The UGC Teacher Regulations of 2018 need rewriting: Clause 3.3.(I),(II) to redefine the qualifications, roles and numbers of teachers required, and clause 4 to recognise industry experience as a teaching qualification.
  • The UGC Online Regulations 2018 need to be rewritten: Clause 4(2) and 7(2)(3) to allow innovation, flexibility, credit frameworks, and relevance in online curriculums.
  • Clause 7(2)(2) to allow universities to work with any technology platforms.

2. Changes needed in NAAC IQAC regulations

  • Criteria 1 and 1.2.2 to include work-based learning and work integrated learning.
  • Criteria 1.1.3 to include life skills and proctored/evaluated internships.
  • Criteria 2 and 2.3.1 to integrate online learning with university programmes.
  • Criteria 2 and 2.4.1, 3 and 6 need to be modified to recognise teachers with industry experience, and include industry-based research.
  • Criteria 4 and 4.1.2 to include industry workplaces and online classrooms as campus extensions.
  • Criteria 5 and 5.2.1 needs to be rewritten to incorporate apprenticeships.

3. Changes needed in Apprenticeship Act of 1961

  • Clause 2, 8, 9, 21 and 23 of The Apprenticeship Act of 1961 also needs to be modified to allow and lift the licence raj for degree-linked apprentices and recognise skills universities.

Consider the question “Skill universities, which would go a long way in increasing the employability in India are need of the hour. In light of this, examine the issues that the skill education faces and suggest the changes our education system needs to impart the proper skill education.”


Covid crisis has amplified the problems with our education system. So, the adoption of skill universities will help us improve the skill of our youth and achieve more inclusive employment, employability and education.

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