India is witnessing the age of science and technology. In our everyday life and in every sphere of our life the influence of science and technology is becoming so pervasive that man’s existence in this world is simply inconceivable in their absence today. The pattern of life evolving in this age is very much different from the one we would find in our society even some fifty years back. This is why, to train our people in response to the need of the time, our education must be reorganized to give it the necessary practical and technical bias. Such education alone can produce the specialized armies for making and operating the modern machines. Technical Education imparts knowledge of specific trade, craft or profession. Technical Education can meet the expanding demands of expanding society and to meet its multiplying demands. The industries, mechanized systems and scientific research centers all over the world prove beyond doubt that our tie with the past is snapped and instead of bare hands we must use machines and technological devices for all-round development and regeneration of human society. So there is huge demand for technical education in modern age.
In India, the education was thoroughly reorganized stressing on the importance of science and technology. The present education system in India mainly comprises of primary education, secondary education, senior secondary education and higher education. Elementary education consists of eight years of education. Each of secondary and senior secondary education consists of two years of education. Higher education in India starts after passing the higher secondary education or the 12th standard. Depending on the stream, doing graduation in India can take three to five years. Post graduate courses are generally of two to three years of duration. After completing post graduation, some of the students do research work.
Technical Education plays a vital role in human resource development of the country by creating skilled manpower, enhancing industrial productivity and improving the quality of life. The Technical Education refers to post secondary courses of study and practical training after 10th in Polytechnics and after 12th in Engineering colleges/NITs/IITs etc which are aimed at preparation of technicians to work as supervisory staff. The term Vocational Training refers to lower level education and training for the population of skilled or semi-skilled workers in various trades after 8th or 10th in ITIs.
Technical Education is instrumental in making the remarkable contribution to economic growth of the Developing Countries by way of suitable manpower production according to the needs of the Industry, Society and the Global World as a whole. To produce fully skilled manpower/ knowledgeable technocrats in the present era of science and technology is the need of the hour.
Technical Education covers degree and diploma courses and programmes in engineering & technology, management, architecture, town planning, pharmacy and applied arts & crafts, hotel management and catering technology.
Polytechnic education has responded to the challenges of industrialization for self-reliance. Most of the polytechnics in the country offer three year generalized diploma courses in conventional disciplines such as Civil, Electrical Mechanical, Automobile Engineering. During the last two decades many polytechnics started offering courses in other disciplines such as Electronics, Computer Science, Medical Lab technology, Instrumentation & Control, Architectural Assistantship, Leather Technology, Textile Technology etc. Many diploma programmes are also being offered exclusively for women in Women’s Polytechnics such as in Garment Technology, Beauty Culture and Textile Design. Polytechnics are meant to provide skills after class X and the duration of diploma programmes is three years, which means, the trainee becomes employable at the age of 19 years. The aim of the polytechnic education is to create a pool of skill based manpower to support shop floor and field operations as a middle level link between technicians and engineers. The pass-outs of Diploma level Institutions in Engineering & Technology play an important role in managing shop-floor operations. It is further an established fact that small & medium Industry prefer to employ Diploma Holders because of their special skills in reading and interpreting drawings, estimating, costing & billing, supervision, measurement, testing, repair, maintenance etc.
For the economic development and to ensure a place for India in the community of prosperous nations technical education was given the due importance. Besides this, in this age of unemployment, only technical education can assure one of a job and a comfortable living. Those who are still in the conventional institutions, passing examination that have little relevance in the modern systems, find no opportunities of employment. And, quite naturally, they are victims of frustration and find themselves alienated from the mainstream of modern world. With their stereo-typed general education without any specialization and professional skill they acquire nothing to contribute to the progress and prosperity of the human society. They are quite aware of this and this awareness leaves them demoralized.
India has one of the largest technical manpower in the world. However, compared to its population it is not significant and there is a tremendous scope of improvement in this area. In India, the emphasis has been on general education, with technical and vocational education at the receiving end. This has resulted in large number of educated people remaining unemployed. This phenomenon has now been recognised by the planners and hence there is a greater thrust on vocationalisation of education.
During the last decade, India has seen a tremendous increase in the number of Engineering Colleges at Degree level and Polytechnics Colleges at Diploma level throughout the country.
Another shortcoming in the area of technical and vocational education is that till now, the number of engineers graduating is more than the diploma holders. This is creating an imbalance, as more workforces are required at the lower level. Hence more polytechnics and Institute for Industrial Training (ITIs) are being opened now. Under Government of India scheme of “Sub-mission on Polytechnics” new polytechnics has been set up in every district of the state. In our State in the year 2012, 18 new polytechnic college were opened in each uncovered district. The vocationalisation of education has received a boost with present Govt of India allocating more funds for the purpose under skill development. Besides, it is also being ensured that the marginalised sections of the society, including women, get adequate representation in these courses. It can thus be hoped that Technical and vocational education will play a major role in improving the lives of the people of India.
(The author is Principal Government Polytechnic College Kathua)
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