The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Chamber push for job-friendly courses

New Delhi, July 20: A Delhi-based non-governmental organisation has tied up with colleges to launch job-friendly BA and BSc courses.

The Society for Education and Economic Development has been assured help by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry in developing its programme, which is already being implemented at St Mira’s College, Pune, Mumbai’s Lajpat Rai College, Karnataka’s Madhav Pai Memorial College, Jammu and Kashmir’s Karva Institute of Technology and Assam’s Government College, Jagirad. Delhi’s Jamia Milia University is also preparing to introduce the three-year course.

“This is an innovative course. Its objective is to increase the employment potential of students. We need to have more general and flexible courses in (today’s) changed scenario,” says G.D. Sharma, a member of the education and economic development society.

The “job-friendly” programme is for add-on courses, with students expected to do the course after regular classes or during holidays. The modules help develop skills in information technology, mathematics, statistics and computers, management concepts, logical and analytical reasoning and help to understand global values and social concerns better.

Students do not have to appear for examinations, but are assessed on the portfolios they make on the subjects. “This helps students develop writing skills, which benefits them when they enter the job market,” Sharma says.

Students receive an advanced diploma at the end of three years.

Society members met officials from the chamber of commerce and industry recently and made a presentation on the course structure. The chamber said it would consider instituting fellowships and help in recruiting diploma-holders.

Like most policy makers and educationists, the society believes globalisation has changed the character and structure of the job market. New skills are urgently needed, it feels.

“If you want to compete with the rest of the world — something you will have to with the opening up of the job market — you must develop new skills,” says Sharma.

He said many countries have courses that cannot be classified under the humanities, science or commerce streams. “These are more general courses, geared specifically for improving your chances in the job market,” Sharma says.

The society has conducted classes for college staff teaching the add-on courses, with two teachers being selected from each college.

The organisation initially approached 25 colleges to adopt the courses. “This time, we will approach some more colleges,” says Sharma.

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