Siliguri, April 27: The University Grants Commission has sought a proposal from the North Bengal University to offer bachelors degree in vocational education in colleges affiliated to it.
The NBU has 57 colleges under it and they offer bachelor’s degrees in arts, science and commerce.
The UGC’s move to introduce the employment-oriented courses is in accordance with a policy decision of the central government.
NBU vice-chancellor, Somnath Ghosh, said UGC chairman Ved Prakash had written to the varsity authorities last month, asking them to apply to the UGC for starting BVoc courses or bachelors in vocational education courses in the colleges affiliated to it.
“The letter from the UGC came to us at the end of March asking us to start bachelor’s degrees in vocational education and seeking a proposal from our end to start them in the colleges under us. We have sent a letter to the UGC responding in affirmative and a proposal with details of the colleges under us,” Ghosh said.
Sources in the university said the UGC would financially assist colleges to roll out the vocational courses in the first three years under the National Skill Qualification Framework (NSQF) passed by the Cabinet Committee on Skill Development in December last year.
“The NSQF has flexible provisions. A student who completes one year of the course will be awarded a diploma. When he/she finishes two years, an advanced diploma would be issued. The students will get bachelor’s degree when they complete three years,” said a varsity official.
The UGC has chosen to offer the vocational degrees in 10 courses — automobiles, telecom, building technology, tourism, entertainment, information and technology, applied arts, construction, marketing and printing and publishing.
According to the NBU sources, the varsity, in its proposal, didn’t mention that a particular course should be launched in a particular college.
VC Ghosh said the issue of course formulation and funding would be dealt with once the Lok Sabha polls were over.
According to NBU officials, the UGC has two motives behind starting the vocational courses.
“First, the UGC wants to decrease the load on conventional courses like arts, science and commerce. Another objective of starting the vocational courses is to increase the employability of students to cater for industry requirements. The students will get jobs right after completing the vocational courses and industries will also benefit,’ said an official.