Unemployment is on the rise in India. One reason is the lack of understanding about market requirements among young people on the threshold of a new career. Education cannot prevent unemployment. A large number of graduates are unable to find jobs because our universities fail to promote the innovative and entrepreneurial attitude necessary today, not just for entrepreneurs, but also for employees. Even as graduates after graduates pass out of universities, their lack of requisite skills stands in the way of getting a break. They have a degree, but not a job.
At the root of the problem is the disconnect between university education and the requirements of the economy and society. Most academic courses are heavily theory-oriented with hardly any practical component. Add to this the infirmities in planning and implementation of economic development and the lack of focused approach to training human resources for specialised jobs, and we have the recipe for mounting unemployment. So despite PM Narendra Modi’s exhortations of Make-in-India, our graduates are always looking for jobs (mostly unsuccessfully) and not able to create any.
The fast-changing economic environment is creating new challenges. Entrepreneurship is becoming a priority on the national agenda in most developing countries. It serves as an engine for growth, employment and wealth generation. The need to develop entrepreneurial skills to create new businesses, use unused capacities and develop new capabilities to solve economic and social problems cannot be overemphasised. It allows people, using expertise and ingenuity, to create opportunities and and generate employment and income. Entrepreneurship training can be done in different ways and by various methods, but is most effective if it is included as part of university curriculum.
Systematic and goal-oriented
Introducing entrepreneurship education in the curriculum requires planning and research. It has to be a systematic and goal-oriented process. The objective should be to introduce students to the concept of entrepreneurship and to develop skills in those who show potential. This would entail increasing students’ knowledge about entrepreneurial career and helping them understand the process of setting up and managing a new business; increasing their knowledge of potential businesses and start-ups; improving their ability to be self-employed; and providing an understanding of the role of new enterprises in the economy. But, above all, it would involve instilling in them the spirit of taking risks, embracing change. Entrepreneurship education has the potential to build skills and competencies, and a good teacher can inculcate such skills, knowledge and attitude in students.
We need to devise modern teaching techniques to build students’ capabilities through problem-based learning, industry apprenticeship and proper funding. Appropriate teaching methodologies and relevant learning processes must be identified and adopted. Teachers must be well-trained and motivated to promote an entrepreneurial attitude among students. Institutions could tie-up with industries to develop the entrepreneurial component in the curriculum. A joint effort will be mutually beneficial. It can ensure that students inclined towards entrepreneurship are identified and groomed. The skills of teachers could improve the competencies of entrepreneurs, leading to growth and strengthening of the economy.
Narendra Kumar Shyamsukha
The author is chairman, ICA Edu Skills, a pan-India vocational training and placement institute