Skills and knowledge are the driving forces of economic growth and social development for any country. Presently, the country faces a demand – supply mismatch, as the economy needs more ‘skilled’ workforce than that is available. In the higher education sphere, knowledge and skills are required for diverse forms of employment in the sector of education, health care manufacturing and other services. Potentially, the target group for skill development comprises all those in the labour force, including those entering the labour market for the first time, those employed in the organized sector and also those working in the unorganized sector.
Government of India, taking note of the requirement for skill development among students launched National Vocational Education Qualification Framework (NVEQF) which was later on assimilated into National Skills Qualifications Framework (NSQF). Various Sector Skill Councils (SSCs) are developing Qualification Packs (QPs), National Occupational Standards (NOSs) and assessment mechanisms in their respective domains, in alignment with the needs of the industry.
In view of this, the UGC implemented the scheme of Community Colleges from 2013-14 in pilot mode on the initiative of the MHRD. Thereafter, realizing the importance and the necessity for developing skills among students, and creating work ready manpower on large scale, the Commission decided to implement the scheme of Community Colleges as one of its independent schemes from the year 2014-15. The Commission also launched another scheme of B.Voc. Degree programme to expand the scope of vocational education and also to provide vertical mobility to the students admitted into Community Colleges for Diploma programmes to a degree programme in the Universities and Colleges. While these two schemes were being implemented, it was also realized that there is a need to give further push to vocational education on a even larger scale. Accordingly, ‘Deen Dayal Upadhyay Centres for Knowledge Acquisition and Upgradation of Skilled Human Abilities and Livelihood (KAUSHAL)’ was also incorporated. Since all these three provisions serve a common purpose, all these schemes are merged into a single scheme for providing skill based education under National Qualification Framework.