NITI Aayog, a public policy think tank of the Government of India, has recently released a report titled “Transforming Industrial Training Institutes” in January 2023. In this report, NITI Aayog made several important recommendations for future modifications to the ITI ecosystem, along with a thorough list of suggestions for reforming ITIs.
Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs)
Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs) have been essential to the country’s economic growth, particularly in terms of supplying skilled manpower to the industry. The demand of the industry is for properly trained skilled manpower, which is often met by practical skill training provided by ITIs.
Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs) were established in 1950 under the Craftsmen Training Scheme. Currently, they operate under the Directorate General of Training (DGT), Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MSDE), Government of India. The ITIs offer a variety of vocational/skill training courses that cover a wide range of economic sectors with the goal of delivering skilled labour to the industry as well as empowering them for self-employment. The training courses at ITIs have been created to impart fundamental skills and knowledge in the trades, thereby preparing learners for employment as skilled or semi-skilled employees or for self-employment.
However, over the past few years, ITIs have taken a back seat in terms of coping with the changing pace and needs of the industry. With technological advancements and digital transformation of the industry, there is a need to revamp the ITIs with the development of industry-relevant curriculum, infrastructure, etc.
To transform ITIs into aspirational vocational training institutes, NITI Aayog’s report on “Transform Industrial Training Institutes”, provides a detailed examination of various vicious loops in the ITI ecosystem. Along with making recommendations for future modifications to the ITI ecosystem, the report also offers a thorough list of suggestions for reforming ITIs using a seven-pronged approach that addresses improvements in administration, curriculum, reporting, monitoring, resource mobilization, and other areas.
To know about the recently released report from NITI Aayog, “Transforming Industrial Training Institutes, January 2023”, please visit the link – https://niti.gov.in/sites/default/files/2023-02/ITI_Report_02022023.pdf
Important recommendations to transform Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs)
1. Governance and Administration
- Separate Board for Vocational Education for Better Credibility and Recognition: For ITI graduates to access various vocational education opportunities, academic education, and the labour market, there is a need for robust vertical and horizontal progression pathways. It is suggested to enhance the current role of the National Council for Vocational Educational Training (NCVET) as a National Board for Skill Development (NBSD), which can be the vocational education counterpart of the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), to improve the credibility and recognition of vocational education. The Board can integrate ITI and SSC certifications and serve as a one-stop shop for exams, assessments, and issuing national-level certificates in line with the National Skill Qualification Framework (NSQF) for skill development courses across the country.
- Centralized Admission Process: Admissions to government ITIs are currently done at the state level through their respective portals. It is recommended that admissions be done through a national-level, centrally managed portal, following the Joint Seat Allocation Authority (JOSAA), utilized for engineering admissions across the country, to further simplify the process and assure transparency.
- Demand-based Course Allocation: For the purpose of allocating seats to ITI courses, DGT should undertake a skill demand assessment per state and district. Courses provided in ITIs should be based on assessments of local demand and employability, with strong connections to the local industry.
- Upgrading the Training of Trainers: There are only 33 NSTIs and 18 IToTs with a joint capacity to train 12,000 instructors for instructor training. The annual ToT capacity is required for about 20,000 instructors. ITI principals should be granted the authority they need to hire guest faculty in order to meet the immediate need for qualified trainers.
- Specialized Funding Scheme for Uplifting Poor Performing ITIs: According to the guidelines, a total of 500 ITIs—400 government and 100 private—can get performance-based grants of INR 1000 crore for the project.
- Financial and Administrative Autonomy: To properly oversee the everyday activities of ITIs, the ITI Principal should have a certain level of financial and operational autonomy. Autonomy is needed for aspects such as recruiting guest faculty, discarding old equipment, increasing the financial cap for bidding on old equipment, purchasing new equipment and machinery, building maintenance, and so on.
- Private Training Partner (PTP) Model for Funding: About 80% of the seats in PTP institutions are filled by state quotas with extremely low fees paid by the candidates, while the other 20% are filled through IMC quotas with fees paid by candidates at market rate. For 80% of the seats, the government funds the training partners. These ITIs are among the highest-rated in the country. As a result, it is suggested that this model might be adopted by other states.
- Facilitating tie-ups with MSMEs: There is scope for ITI to work with the Ministry of Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) on the Dual System of Training (DST) and apprenticeship on-the-job training. Building MSMEs’ capabilities and providing counselling will assist in comprehending the advantages of cooperating with ITI through DST, Flexi MoUs, or apprenticeship. MSMEs can receive counselling through their associations in clusters, and financial incentives may be explored.
- Alumni Network: TIs should frequently host knowledge-exchange sessions with alumni to explore job prospects, challenges, and career development options. Alumni recommendations should be used to align training with industry demands.
- Involvement of Sector Skill Councils (SSCs): ITI needs to engage in and maintain close connections with industry associations and SSCs. In collaboration with them, guest lectures, exposure trips, skill days, and career fairs can be explored.
4. Curriculum and Nomenclature
- Mapping Relevant Trades and Training in Emerging Areas: For the ITIs to remain relevant with the industries providing employment opportunities, they need to analyze micro- and macroeconomic trends. It is important to make sure that the trades curriculum is updated and that the instructors are properly qualified to cater to the industry’s demands.
- Branding and IEC: ITIs should invest in Information, Education & Communication (IEC) and branding to build awareness of the offered courses and job opportunities. To raise awareness and communicate the future benefits of ITI courses, mass media campaigns should be initiated through print, advertisements, community and local radio, and social media.
Also read: MSDE formulates new affiliation norms for Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs) https://www.nationalskillsnetwork.in/new-affiliation-norms-for-itis/
5. Reporting and Redressal
- Upgrading NCVT-MIS Dashboard: For various factors, including placements, women’s participation, and others, the National Council for Vocational Training (NCVT) dashboard provided incredibly poor data. Therefore, it is recommended that strict monitoring and data management systems be kept in place to guarantee that the dashboard is updated often and accurately reflects the most recent data points on various parameters.
- Setting up a time-bound Grievance Redressal Mechanism: The DGT and state governments should collaborate to find solutions to issues including inadequate equipment, out-of-date tools and machines, staff shortages, and a poor placement rate that frequently prevent students from receiving an effective education. A framework for online grievance redress can be established to help ensure accountability and transparency for rapid issue resolution.
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