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India: Govt clears National Skills Qualifications Framework

Z News, New Delhi, 18 December 2013 - The government on Thursday cleared the National Skills Qualifications Framework (NQF) which offers vocational qualifications according to levels of learning, skills and aptitude.

The hallmark of the programme would be that the credit accumulation and transfer system will be integrated in the NSQF, enabling the candidates to move between education, vocational training and work at different stages in their lives according to their needs and convenience.

The framework will also enable mobility among students from vocational to general education and vice versa and help make the qualifications more understandable and transparent.

The proposal was cleared by the Cabinet Committee on Skill Development.

"NSQF would also help shift emphasis to outcome based learning both in the general and vocational space," said a government statement.

Today, there is lack of uniformity in the outcomes associated with different qualifications across institutions, each with its own duration, curriculum, entry requirements as well as title.

This often leads to problems in establishing equivalence of certificates/diplomas/degrees in different parts of the country, which in turn impacts the employability and mobility of students.

By shifting the focus from inputs to learning outcomes, the NSQF would aim to tackle this challenge, the statement said.

The framework would be anchored and operationalised by the National Skill Development Agency (NSDA), an autonomous body attached to the Ministry of Finance, mandated to coordinate and harmonise skill development efforts of the Government of India and the private sector.

The framework is the amalgamation of separate skill framework developed by both the HRD Ministry and the Labour and Employment Ministry.

While the latter had proposed its framework as national vocation qualification framework, the former had named its proposed framework as the national vocational education qualification framework.

It was, however, decided later on that a single unified qualification framework for the country would be adopted and named as NSQF.

There are 10 levels in the framework, with the entry level being 1, and the highest level being 10. This will enable a candidate to acquire desired competency levels, transit to the job market and, at an opportune time, return for acquiring additional skills to further upgrade competencies.


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