The BJP manifesto is far more “wholesome” on the topic of skilling. It has covered a vast area and laid emphasis on some of the more critical aspects of Education – shortage of teachers. If the acute shortage of teachers can be tackled, it will change the landscape of education in India.
The manifesto also promises to set up a National Commission on Education, which will report on the State of Education within 2 years.
Interestingly, there is also a mention of setting up online courses and MOOC.
All in all, this manifesto covers a lot of ground on Education and Skilling.
Excerpts from the manifesto:
Education – Enroll and Excel
BJP believes that education is the most powerful tool for the advancement of the nation and the most potent weapon to fight poverty. Education in India needs to be revitalized and reorganized to make future generations proud of their culture, heritage and history and also for creating confidence in the vitality of India. Every effort shall be made to ensure ‘equality of opportunity in access and success’ to all learners; creating a harmonious, and cohesive egalitarian society that practices democratic values.
This would be possible only when Education accords due emphasis on national integration, social cohesion, religious amity, national identity and patriotism. It must also be analyzed how far education has contributed to moral, ethical and humanistic values in the individuals and the society.
Education must create minds free from superstitions, hatred and violence and become an important vehicle to cement national unity, social cohesion and religious amity. Our endeavour should be to inculcate moral, ethical and humanistic values in the individuals and the society. India has to become a knowledge society and has to reverberate with educated skilled manpower of high standards required to meet the challenges of 21st century. This requires a bold and visionary leadership to introduce appropriate policy and structural changes.
Highest priority would be given to address the acute shortage of teachers and researchers, quality of education and research, and also the employability factor associated with most of the courses. Education should not only lead to employability but also job creation and entrepreneurship by introducing a national multi-skills orientation program.
We intend to review and revise education system; the salary structures associated with the teaching staff and most importantly, address the shortfall of faculty and related issues in the country. The system shall be made people-friendly and the credibility of the system shall be restored. Investment in education yields the best dividend. Public spending on education would be raised to 6% of the GDP, and involving the private sector would further enhance this.
Under the scheme of ‘Quality education for all’, BJP would take the following steps;
• NDA’s flagship program ‘Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan’: Mechanism would be set up for its performance
audit and to have real time information about its performance. Programme shall be strengthened
and expanded with a goal to remove illiteracy.
• Universalization of secondary school education and skills development through functional school
shall be seriously pursued with particular focus on rural, tribal and difficult areas.
• The content and process of school education shall be thoroughly reviewed to make it dynamic,
stress-free, attractive and responsive to the emerging national needs.
• Girls shall be provided all possible help to continue and complete school education.
• The digital divide shall not be allowed to create further divisions in the learning situations of children.
• Special pedagogy would be developed for differently-abled students.
• On priority, a national modernization programme for madrasa’s would be started.
• Mid-day meal scheme would be revitalized in terms of management and delivery.
• We will explore ways to reduce the daily burden of carrying books to school for children, which
would also entail use of technology for education as a mission mode project.
• Establish a national E-Library to empower school teachers and students.
• Initiate a multi-country student exchange programme for broadening the horizon of school going
• Creative talents of students will be recognized and encouraged.
Higher and Professional Education
The basic objective of higher and professional education is not only rapid advancement of the affluent sector of the society but also to improve the lot of the last man in the line. The content should be designed to prepare the students to understand the current challenges and equip themselves to be able to readily adjust in a fast changing global scenario. Policy interventions would include:
• enhancing the pivotal role of the teachers by reworking the work culture of teacher training institutions
• with a goal to prepare committed and performing teachers.
• optimum utilization of physical and manpower resources.
• a mechanism for close interaction between industry (including SME), academia and community
would be instituted.
• needs assessment exercise will be done for identifying the future needs across sectors, and the
• same would be used for developing appropriate courses for higher education, to ensure that the
country has adequate manpower for every sector, both established and emerging, in the economy.
• will provide autonomy with steps to ensure accountability for institutions of higher learning.
• will raise the standard of education and research, so that Indian universities become at par with
• the top global universities and find their place in the global league.
• the credibility of the regulatory bodies shall be restored. The procedures to make appointments to senior positions shall be made transparent and merit and ability shall be the sole criterion.
• UGC will be restructured and it will be transformed into a Higher Education Commission rather
than just being a grant distribution agency.
• we will revisit the Apprenticeship Act to facilitate our youth to Earn while they Learn.
• Vocational Training
• Would set up Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC) and virtual classrooms to make it convenient
for working class people and housewives to further their knowledge and qualifications.
• Correspondence courses will be started in new domains for self-employment, family run businesses,
• entrepreneurship and innovation, and these courses would be provided for free to women. The goal
• would be to prepare the youth for jobs being created by the emerging sectors, foster a spirit of innovation and entrepreneurship, leading to more incomes and job creation.
BJP will set up a National Commission on Education to report in two years on the state of education and the reforms needed. Based on the report, BJP will implement a National Education Policy to meet the changing dynamics of the population’s requirement with regards to quality education, innovation and research, aiming to make India a knowledge superpower by equipping its students with the necessary skills and knowledge and to eliminate the shortage of manpower in science, technology, academics and industry.
Skills – Focusing on Productivity and Employability Skillful hands, bright minds, discipline and perseverance makes Indian talent an asset worldwide. We have to live up to this potential, preparing the World’s Largest Workforce. We have to make our youth productively employed and gainfully engaged. We also have to develop India as a Knowledge Powerhouse. We have to train and nurture our human resource. We have to use it for leap-frogging our Nation into the future. Unfortunately, the initiatives taken by Congress for this have fallen woefully short, being almost non-starters.
We will take up skill development on a mission mode, at an unprecedented scale.
• Skill Mapping – to help scientifically plan our national human resource development that India
• would need (like engineers, architects, doctors, nurses, lawyers, accountants, plumbers, carpenters, welders, etc.).
• Launch a ‘National Multi-skill Mission’
• We will run short-term courses, in the evenings, focusing on employable skills.
• We will also set up Centres of Excellence in various sectors in partnership with the Industry.
• To ensure industry responsive manpower, we will bring together industry, universities and government.
• We will promote vocational training on a massive scale. Rigid segregation of formal education and skill development will be broken; a mechanism will be established to give vocational qualifications of Academic Equivalence
• We will also create institutional mechanisms to refresh and upgrade abilities through h continuing education – to make them employable.
• We will focus on need based skill development and employability; making our youth employable even in the most sophisticated jobs.
• We will put emphasis on imparting soft skills to enhance employability including a national program on foreign languages.
• launch a national programme for digital empowerment through computer literacy of the people, especially the youth.
• we will assess the talent and capacity of our youth from an early age; so they can be groomed accordingly.
• we will push for greater practical and research training encouraging real world experience
• through internships and apprenticeships.