Human Resource Development Minister Kapil Sibal today said Norway would make investments for setting up a marine engineering institute in India.

“We have 1,500 km of coastline and in the coming years we will require more marine engineers as we set up new ports and explore oil and gas. Therefore the institute will be a win-win situation for both India and Norway,” Mr. Sibal said, addressing ’Third Global Summit on Skills Development’ organised by CII.

He did not give any details of the project such as its location and when it would be set up.

The Minister hoped that the foreign education providers bill would be put in place by the next academic session (July 2010) paving the way for more collaboration between India and other countries.

“We can have boys and girls going from one country to another to get experience for a joint degrees,” he said, adding the country’s growing requirement for skilled workforce would be addressed with such a initiative.

In this context, he stressed the need for imparting skill education right from the school level and said if India has to create wealth it has to increase its ‘Gross Enrolment Ratio’ of students going for higher education to 30 per cent from the existing 12.4 per cent by 2022.

"We will then be able to develop our critical mass of highly skilled people who will generate intellectual property and wealth,” Mr. Sibal said.

Talking about shortage of skilled workforce in the country, the Minister said, “refrigeration mechanics in the food processing industry are short by 65 per cent, agriculture scientists short by 60 per cent, food safety professionals short by 70 per cent and shop floor executives short by 20 per cent.” So, there is an enormous opportunity, he said. “Shortfall creates opportunities and those are a win-win situation for all of us.”