Dr. Vikram Singh, Chancellor, Noida International University

Dr. Vikram Singh is the former IPS of batch 1974 and Former Director General of Police of Uttar Pradesh. He was one of the most decorated police officers in this country, who has relentlessly fought against national and international terrorist outfits and organized crime syndicates. Dr. Singh has completed their M. Sc. from Allahabad University in 1972 and Ph. D. (Ecology) from Kumaon University in 1990. Currently working with Noida International University as Pro-Chancellor and also he has been called to many National and international institutions as a guest speaker.


India is facing a stagnation in higher education, because of which even premier education institutes are suffering from low enrolment. The effect is more severe in the wake of COVID-19 pandemic when students and fresh pass-outs struggle with uncertainties regarding their future and careers. According to a report, about 45 per cent of management and 48 per cent of engineering students in the country are unemployed. 

There has been a decreasing strength in higher education in the country and this has been an underlying reason why so many brilliant students in the country are unemployed. An advancement in higher education, specifically in management colleges can help tackle the issue. Both management and engineering colleges should stress on quality of education to fight back the stagnation and low enrolment.

What colleges and higher education institutes can do

It is very crucial to understand the job market and frame the curricula accordingly. As technology penetrates deep across all sectors, management colleges and engineering institutes can start courses like Machine Learning (ML), Artificial Intelligence (AI), Robotics and Deep Leaning to meet the industry needs. The higher education institutes can also adopt flexible courses and keep upgrading them as per industry requirements. 

India has also adopted National Education Policy (NEP) to improve enrolments and good results are expected from a tweaked educational framework. Apart from that, management and engineering institutions must come together and the collaboration between multiple institutions will produce good results. Such collaboration will also help enhance the quality of education, leading to better employment opportunities.

Skilling to combat India’s unemployment issue

The two waves of COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdowns led to millions of Indians losing jobs. Many have realized the importance of skilling or upskilling and have enrolled for online courses. As the country gets back on its feet, skill training can provide solution to many challenges that have emerged. Education and skill training also suffered during the pandemic as both teachers and students struggled to shift to virtual modes of instruction. However, online learning is a challenge for the marginalized, so there is a need to find ways to make it more accessible to those who need it the most. This can be done by reducing the cost of telecommunications and digital infrastructure. 

Skill training in the pandemic also had its own share of challenges as the transition to digital mode of learning did not translate to the acquisition of practical skills. This was because specialist equipment is required in some skilling courses and a hands-on approach is the only way. This can be tackled by going with blended learning which should be adopted to harness a mix of face-to-face and remote training. Online and offline instruction can also be embedded in the same.

Meanwhile, the pandemic has also presented us with an opportunity to take massive efforts in the direction of reskilling and upskilling workers, in a way to better align them with the needs of the industry. The culture of ‘lifelong learning’ has also emerged during the pandemic and will motivate employees across sectors along with a necessary incentives and support systems. 

At the same time, we must ensure access, equity, and quality in skill training. Skilling must be relevant to both employers and trainees and this would result in employment, while ensuring a healthy economic growth.

Union budget 2022-23 has set the right path for higher education 

Rs 1,04,278 crore have been allocated for the education sector in the Union Budget FY23. This is an increase of 11.86%, compared to the revised 2021-22 gross allocation of Rs 93,223 crore. Although it is lower than the NEP-recommended 6% of the GDP, it is still a positive sign for education sector. The budget is a welcome move on the higher education front with the announcement of a digital university. It will be established to provide access to students across the country a world-class quality universal education with personalized learning experience at their doorsteps. The central digital university with a hub-and-spoke arrangement could well serve the need for remote learning in the digital space The budget is also having a clear focus on leveraging digital technologies. 

The big push for digital across school, skill development and higher education are some laudable initiatives in the budget. The DESH portal could bring about a revolution in the upskilling and life-long skilling. The postal has been launched considering the rapidly changing skill requirement across job functions. 

Struck by the COVID-19 pandemic, there is a need for technical advancements in the education sector and it was reflected in the Budget. 

India’s unemployment rate fell sharply in January to 6.57% which is lowest since March 2021, following a significant dip in rural unemployment. The unemployment rate had risen sharply in December to 7.91% from 6.97% in November. Many individuals lost their jobs and businesses due to the pandemic’s detrimental effect on the labour market worldwide. 

In the post-COVID world or the new normal, India can tackle unemployment skilling and upskilling students as well as employees to be relevant to the industry.

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