“Over the next ten years, India will face the challenge of providing vocational education to 500 million people,” explained Ms. Bhavani Bijlani, Director, AMMACHI Labs at Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham.
The Amrita Multi Modal Applications Using Computer Human Interaction (AMMACHI) Labs develops computerized training modules for different vocations, some even using advanced technologies such as haptics.
Ms. Bhavani was recently appointed as an expert member to a high-level national committee that would restructure vocational education in the country. The committee also included Ms. Rajani Menon, Director, Amrita JSS at Idukki.
JSS or Jan Shikshan Sansthan is a national program of the Indian government that provides skill development to the marginalized sections of society, coupled with training in basic literacy.
The national committee was constituted to especially reform and restructure the JSS program in the country.
Ms. Bhavani elaborated on her inclusion in the apex committee.
“We have been working with the Ministry of Human Resources Development for our vocational training programs. In addition, there is an internal educational collaboration with Amrita JSS at Idukki run by the Mata Amritanandamayi Math. Since our efforts have showed promising results, we were asked to assist with the restructuring of the JSS.”
“Most vocational programs offered through the different institutions in India are ad-hoc and are not yet standardized. Because our programs at Amrita are computerized, we offer a possible approach and solution for standardizing vocational education also.”
“We recently inaugurated a new Computerized Vocational Education and Training Centre in the remote town of Meppadi in Wayanaad District in Kerala. This center will empower women living below the poverty line, by offering vocational skills training to them and a tailor-made education for enrichment of their lives.”
“Over the next two years, we aim to similarly empower 3000 women living in the states of Kerala and Tamil Nadu with partial funding being received from the United Nations Democracy Fund.”
The apex committee meetings are expected to be scheduled during the next three months in the capital city of New Delhi, after which the restructuring of JSS will begin.
The committee will seek to improve the brand value of vocational courses, possibly include assessment and certification, align JSS mission with National Vocational Education Qualifications Framework and create an overall framework of reforms.
“It is an honor for Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham to be represented at this high-level apex committee to re-architect the Jana Sikshan Sansthan program at the national level,” stated Dr. P. Venkat Rangan, Vice Chancellor, Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham.
November 14, 2012