The Centre will establish a vocational education cell within the Central Board of Secondary Education as per the revised scheme of Vocationalisation of Secondary Education, which includes imparting vocational education in Classes XI and XII. The revised scheme has been approved for implementation in the remaining period of the current Five-Year Plan.

It also envisages strengthening of the 1,000 existing vocational schools and establishment of 100 new vocational schools by the State governments. The government will provide assistance to 500 vocational schools being run under the private-public partnership mode and in-service training of existing and fresh teachers. The focus will be on development of 250 competency based modules for each individual vocational courses and assistance to 150 reputed non-governmental organisations to run short duration innovative vocational education programmes.

A pilot programme under the National Vocational Education Qualifications Framework (NVEQF) will be initiated in Haryana and West Bengal. The Sector Skill Councils, being set up by the National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC), have developed the National Occupational Standards (NOS) for some sectors and these will govern all activities to be taken up in vocational education.

The ambitious NVEQF programme, which aims to feed the industry with skilled hands, was launched here on Saturday for polytechnic and engineering colleges.

Unveiling the initiativeHuman Resource Development Minister Kapil Sibal said multiple sectors were involved in developing the syllabi, which enunciates the requirements of the industry for the skills that are necessary.

In all, there will be seven levels of certification ending at the university level.

The unique part of the vocational framework is that it will be integrated with mainstream education and thus provide students multi-level entry and exit options, to enable them to seek employment after class XII.

Any student under NVEQF can be sure that the institution is government authorised and nationally accredited and that the degree and other qualifications are genuine, said All India Council for Technical Education chairman S.S. Mantha.

Earlier this year, the government set up a GoM consisting of state Education Ministers to suggest developing NVEQF. The report was presented to the Ministry last month.

Mr. Sibal suggested that skill requirement in the agriculture sector should also be included under the purview of NVEQF and that courses in this field should be launched by 2013.

The NVEQF will have provisions for subsidised fee structure for larger accessibility and programme delivery in local language.

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