The HRD ministry has proposed to treat long-term skill development courses as higher education for the purpose of calculating the country’s Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER). GER in higher education in India is calculated for the 18 -23 years age group.
The GER for 2015-15 is 24.5 per cent. However, this, does not include students enrolled in skill development courses, plumbing for example. The ministry now wants those enrolled in these courses to be counted among students pursuing higher education.
The Prakash Javadekar-led ministry is learnt to have written to the Ministry of Skill Development on May 18, seeking data on skill courses with more than 2,000 hours of instruction (equivalent to level 4 or higher of National Skills Qualifications Framework). A meeting between higher education secretary K K Sharma and skill development secretary K P Krishnan will be held on June 27 to finalise the list of vocational programmes that will be used for GER calculation for 2016-17.
“Yes, we have received a letter from them (HRD Ministry) and we are meeting on June 27 to discuss it,” Krishnan told The Indian Express.
However, the inclusion of skill courses in GER calculation is not expected to bring in significant improvement in higher education data immediately. “The number of youngsters enrolled in long-term skill courses is small at this moment. So it will not make a very big difference to the Gross Enrolment Ratio. The idea is to send a positive message about skill development,” said an HRD Ministry official.