21 Guidelines for Bringing Institutions of Higher Learning and the World of Work Closer

A. Representation should be given to people from Industry and Government—on various academic bodies like Board of Studies and Research Boards. Besides, individuals from each side should interact frequently, discuss and identify areas of mutual interest.

B. University science and engineering departments should establish visiting committees with strong participation of industrial research and development managers. These committees could advise on research in curricula, industrial openings for staff and post-graduate students, summer openings, etc.

C. There should be interaction between people from both sides in teaching and research programmes. Some courses should be tailored to the needs of industry and offered at the post-graduate level.

D. These courses should be over and above the core or basic courses which are a must for every post-graduate student. Talent from industry should be used for teaching such courses in situations where the industry has competent persons.

E. Competent persons from industry should be appointed as visiting professors so as to enable them to participate in the teaching programmes of the university.

F. Industries should be motivated to offer fellowships to post­graduate students who take specially designed courses or does thesis research in fields of importance to the industry.

G. Contracts in the major and medium size industry in the public and private sector can play very important role in developing progress of mutual interest and benefit. The universities should make available their facilities to industry at a reasonable charge.

H. Students should be allowed to work in industrial research centres/laboratories for post-graduate research degrees, provided appropriate facilities are available.

I. Universities should explore all avenues for securing sponsored research projects from industry in areas of mutual interest.

2. Development and research:

The institutions of higher learning are supposed to conduct research of a pure and fundamental nature; the industrial establishments mostly conduct applied research.

They can join hands to the benefit of both. For instance, an engineering college having certain facilities which the industry may not have, May even design and develop prototypes for the industry.

Universities and professional institutions are generally equipped with sophisticated apparatus which can be utilised for industrial advancement.

They can carry out performance tests on the products of industries. The information collected can prove useful for applied research arid fundamental investigations.

The institutions of higher learning may also enter into the field of technical arid general consultancy and may take up assignments like job evaluation, analysis of wage structure, incentive schemes etc.

3. Research on manpower problems and requirements:

Institutions of higher learning like universities, institutes of technology, and various institutes of research can undertake studies and research projects on behalf of government agencies, industrial establishments, and government undertakings and also send the members of their faculty in deputation to serve in them for short terms.

The research in manpower requirements will enable them to make reliable man-power estimates, forecasts and projections and thus the cobwebs, which at present blur the understanding, can be removed.

Such type of studies is being conducted by a number of universities in foreign countries. These studies can be of immense use to manpower planners in our country also.

4. Analysis of productivity, skill and occupational composition of labour force:

Institutions of higher learning can analyse the levels of productivity and manpower composition in various industries and their units.

This will help build up reliable national estimates of productivity, skill composition and other related matters in the different sectors of the economy.

A detailed micro-analysis on productivity manpower mix can provide a firm and dependable basis for manpower planning.

Such studies can provide valuable data regarding the ratio between technical and non-technical personnel in various sectors and levels of employment, the preparation of various categories of manpower to total employment in different sectors and the extent to which manpower availability has been affected by in and out migration of personnel.

The institutions of higher learning are in the best position to take up these studies.

5. Collecting data about employment trends of their products:

India in has risen to the second place in the world in terms of college enrolment, immediately following the United States.

There are also significant changes in the pattern of enrolment of students. These changes are, to some extent, due to the tremendous demand for educational facilities that is building up in the country.

If institutions of higher learning are able to build up reliable statistics regarding the employment history of their alumni, it will be helpful to determine from time to time the emerging pattern of the utilization of educated manpower in the country. All this formation will provide valuable guidelines for manpower and educational planners.

The regular flow of such information would serve as an early warning signal indicating the manpower categories which the economy is finding difficult to absorb.

6. Formation of an apex body at national level:

An apex body at the national level in relation to manpower requirements should be set up at the earliest.

This apex body may be formed under the aegis and guidance of DGE&T without prejudice to its autonomy. It may consist of the representatives of DGE&T, UGCICAR, ICMR, NCERT, national laboratories etc.

The data regarding manpower requirements should be speedily circulated to college and .universities for curricular adjustment and future planning.

7. Creating a sense of dedication and commitment:

Institutions of higher learning can educate and train high level and middle level manpower; inculcate in their products a sense of dedication and commitment so essential for successful completion of plans and projects so ambitiously launched by the country.

8. Redesigning the courses of studies:

The institutions of higher learning can make provision of new courses to meet the emerging needs, redesign the old ones to suit the new requirements so that the products of these institutions get the intellectual equipment to meet the contemporary challenge.

The employing agencies can also make conscious evaluation of the adequacy of their employers’ educational qualifications with reference to job requirements and they may take the initiative and approach the institutions for formulating special courses, and modify the existing ones.

9. Sandwich courses or work-experience:

The campus theoretical studies need to be supplemented with practical and mechanical reference and thus raise the theoretical appreciation of the tasks.

There should be an effective link between institutions of higher learning and the vast world of work so that the institutions can give practical slant to their courses, and employers can help their workers gain the much needed theoretical base for their jobs.

The system of ‘cooperative courses’ under which a student will obtain practical experience by actually working in an industry for specified period should be extended to as many fields of technical education as possible.

10. Compulsory vocational paper:

A compulsory vocational paper may be introduced in the colleges to pave the way for graduates to take the advantage of self-employment schemes.

Research projects—Institutions of higher learning can undertake research projects on problems arising in the various fields of world of work.

Market research, application of modern mathematical techniques into business planning, ergonomics, industrial relations, incentive schemes, selection techniques, etc. might be taken up.

Such projects could produce results of great commercial value for which leading firms would be prepared to pay. Thus both the institutions and the students involved would benefit.

11. Job studies:

Institutions of higher learning can take up job studies to help prepare the young men and women for the world of work.

These studies should include information on what people do in their jobs, what decisions they make and what knowledge and techniques they use.

First hand studies of jobs can prove of immense use for familiarising the students with the world of work and ultimately help in proper choices.

12. Employment surveys:

Institutions of higher learning can undertake employment surveys to find out:

(a) The number of students who found jobs within one year of graduation either by direct selection or through competitive examination;

(b) The number of students who found jobs after securing additional skills outside the institutes; and

(c) The number still unemployed in each category.

This information can prove of. Immense use to manpower planners and also enable the institutions to judge the extent to which the various kinds of courses command value in the labour market.

It is likely that institutions may discover new intake and training needs and as a result feel the need for starting new courses. These surveys may also indicate to employer’s genuine concern on the part of the institutions to seek the real needs of the economy.

To make the surveys comprehensive and useful, discussions should be arranged with members of Chambers of Commerce— Rotary clubs, Lion clubs, etc.

13. Entrepreneurial development courses:

These should be introduced at the college and university level with active cooperation of financial institutions and banks, government departments and promotional agencies.

14. Inclusion of case histories of successful entrepreneurs in the courses:

Case histories of successful big, medium and small entrepreneurs should be included in the courses of studies to serve as beacon lights and motivate the young students for venturing into new paths.

15. Self-employment cells:

Such cells should be opened in colleges and universities to provide students with necessary information on self-employment opportunities.

In the changing economy, it is necessary that the youth is weaned away from illusive ‘glamour’ of white-collared jobs. Sizable fractions of enterprising youth need to be initiated into careers of self- development.

Efforts need to be made to make self-employment an acceptable and worthwhile proposition to our young men, identify the deserving cases fit to take up self-employment, educate them on how to proceed about the job of setting up a venture, help them through the cooperation of the concerned agencies in this sphere to prepare technically sound and economically viable projects, sponsor their cases to the banks for loan assistance, and guide them to overcome the teething troubles through effective follow- up after the commencement of venture.

16. Continuing education:

Facilities for continuing education should be provided in the institutions of higher learning to those engaged in the labour force.

Refresher courses, seminars, workshops, advanced courses may be arranged for the labour force like the engineers, technologists, scientists, medical specialists, etc.

Facilities should also be offered for persons in employment who desire to acquire additional knowledge which has been found necessary in the light of their experience in employment.

For example, an engineer may undergo an advanced course in Mathematics and a Mathematician that of economics. Besides, they can make provision for specialised courses to satisfy the requirements of the users of manpower.

17. Setting up of information centres:

A chain of information centres in terms of procedures, policies, and economic information statistical data, technical library facilities should be set up in each state at the state headquarters, at the industry concentration centres, and colleges, so that the students could get the latest and most reliable information.

18. Recruitment on the campus:

This is another way of establishing a close liaison between institutions of higher learning and the world of work. Employers may be encouraged to visit the institutions to interview students either to fill specific vacancies or to review applications from students interested in employment in their firms.

Facilities may be arranged by the authorities and the occasion might also serve for informal talks by the employers with heads of departments and discussions with the faculty, etc.

There is also the practice of visit to the institutions of higher learning by recruiting and selection teams of the leading firms to select boys and girls of recognised and proven ability. Thus, the most brilliant and meritorious get into good jobs without any difficulty.

19. Meeting:

Meetings of staff of institutions and employers can also go a long way in bringing them closer. These will enable them to understand each others’ problems and outlook, and to help them find ways of assisting each other.

If some students are also invited to these meetings that can also prove useful as it will help them to understand the world of work and to appreciate where they are likely to stand.

20. Career conferences:

These can also be or immense use in familiarising the students with the world of work. Talks by employers or by selected young employers (particularly ex- students of a college or university), ‘live’ exhibits of young people doing their jobs, facilities for individual students or groups to visit enterprises with suitable preliminary briefing and follow-up discussion, offer employers the chance to influence young people towards a sensible and appropriate choice of career and to open their minds to possibilities which they may not have thought of.

21. Open days:

Institutions may throw their doors open to guardians and the public on some specific days in a term/year so that people could understand and know what they are doing. Employers of the different sectors could be special invitees, both direct and through their organisations.