One out of two graduates still not employable: study

The employability of Indian graduates has been a hotly debated topic for long, and the 2021 UNESCO Science Report released on June 11 has described it as a matter of ‘perennial concern’ given the varying quality of education in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) subjects in the country.

Employability has increased from 34% in 2014 to almost 47% in 2019, but it also means that one out of two graduates is still not employable, the chapter on India authored by Sunil Mani, director, Centre for Development Studies (CDS), Thiruvananthapuram, pointed out.

In technical fields, courses in electronics and communications engineering shared the highest employability rates (60.3%) with information technology (60.2%) in 2019, whereas civil engineering had the lowest, according to the report.

It further noted that the employability rates among Industrial Training Institutes and polytechnics are on the decline. Dr. Mani has attributed this to the lesser focus on industry tie-ups and development of core skills.

While government policies and programmes are in place to encourage innovation and the adoption of emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, blockchain and electric vehicles, the ‘persistent shortage’ of well-trained scientists and engineers hampers the percolation of these technologies, according to the report.

Experts and heads of institutions agree that a more constructive and skill-oriented approach to education is paramount for improving employability.

“I have not seen the UNESCO report, but in general, skill development among our graduates needs to improve. Our school and higher education needs to move away from rote learning to a system which is more practical in its approach,” A. Ajayaghosh, director, CSIR–National Institute for Interdisciplinary Science and Technology (NIIST), said.

V. K. Dadhwal, director, Indian Institute of Space Science and Technology (IIST) underlined the importance of industrial participation in this regard. “'At the end of the day, it is the industry which benefits,” he said.

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Printable version | Jul 29, 2021 10:50:01 AM |

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