In a move to boost vocational education in the country and dispel its stigmatisation, the government plans to set up a central board of certification for Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs) that would grant school finishing certificates, equivalent to Class 10 and 12, Union Minister Rajiv Pratap Rudy said on Wednesday.
"The government has decided to set up a central certification board to give equivalent certificates to students of ITIs, which currently number around 2. 3 million, " the Minister of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship said at a media briefing here on the work of his ministry that came into being in August 2015.
The ITIs are to come up as Central Board of Secondary Education and Indian School Certificate Examinations schools.
"There has been a complete reform of ITIs' structures, curriculum, syllabi, assessments, " he said.
Designed to facilitate mobility between the vocational and the formal education systems, the move will also help students undertaking courses in ITIs to pursue regular courses in other schools and colleges, Rudy said.
He recently announced that the Human Resource Development Ministry has permitted the Directorate General of Training to conduct examinations for 23 lakh students enrolled in ITIs for matriculation, secondary and higher secondary equivalence and give certificates to the candidates who clear them.
On "stigmatisation of labour" in India through the centuries, the Minister said: "Sadly, our policy has always been to put the students who didn't perform well at school, or dropouts, into the ITIs. . .
and they are not given matriculation or higher secondary certificates. "
Manual work has not been an aspirational quality in India and education has been biased against skills, Rudy said.
"So, we have ended up creating a system which has 18 lakh seats for engineering students, but of which 8 lakhs are lying vacant, without any takers, " he added.