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Friday, 28 November 2014

Mismatch Between Supply and Demand of Skilled Manpower: Manmohan..........

KOCHI: Noting that quality of higher education in the country 'leaves much to be desired', former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today said there was a 'mismatch' between supply and demand of skilled manpower, India's USP.   
"A disconcerting aspect of our education system is the mismatch between supply and demand of skilled manpower," he said while inaugurating the Excellence for Social Transformation Lecture series in memory of Fr Kuriakose Elias Chavara, who was recently declared as Saint by the Vatican along with Sister Euprahasia Eluvinthinkal, also from Kerala.   
Already a large proportion of India's 4,00,000 annual technology graduates and its 2.5 million general college graduates were unable to find work.   
Paradoxically, this was not due to lack of jobs. According to the National Association of Software and Service companies (NASCOM), it is due to lack of requisite skills," Singh said addressing students and faculty of the Sacred Hearts college at nearby Thevara, where he also laid the foundation stone of a new block.   
With 62 per cent of the country's population in the working age group, the demand for educational opportunities will increase in the next three decades. This feature combined with the growing services sector within the country would require highly qualified human resource. "Needless to stress, the quality of higher education which is crucial, leaves much to be desired," he said.   
Pointing that India was 'fast catching up' with the knowledge sectors of several top countries and biggest multinational companies were not only opening their backroom offices, but also their R&D centres in the country, Singh said this trend was being noticed not only in software development, but also in sectors including finance, medical and bio-tech.    
As India grows into a knowledge providing superpower, a host of facilities will need to be provided in terms of ensuring a steady supply of quality knowledge workers with the requisite qualifications and world class infrastructure.   
"It is important that we do not allow the present advantage to slip away. Our unique selling point is the pool of skilled manpower, which we need to nurture consistently in order to maintain our competitive edge," he said.   Singh said that while Bengaluru had come up as a rival to Silicon Valley, there was a need to develop more such places in locations which were "dispersed and affordable".    
There was considerable disparity among various regions and states with regard to development of skilled manpower, he said adding along with the expansion of higher education in less developed areas, it should also reach out all sections of the population, both in the more developed and backward areas.   
This was what 'inclusion' meant in the policy of the UPA Government.   
Cardinal George Mar Alenchery, Major Archbishop of the Syro Malabar church, who presided, described Fr Chavara as a pioneer in the field of education and said his mission for the humanity, particularly the poor would be remembered always.   
It was high time the basic values of justice, peace and harmony were inculcated in the young minds through education, he said. adding there was need to instil the research culture also amongst them.   
Former Union Minister, K V Thomas, Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee and an alumni of the college, was among those who spoke