In Punjab, open invitation to industrialists to head ITIs

In the land of self-styled "presidents" and "chairmen", here comes an opportunity to be officially appointed as the chairman of a prestigious industrial training institute (ITI) in Punjab.

In a first-of-its-kind move, the Punjab technical education department has extended an open invitation to top notch industrialists to head the various ITIs being run by the government. Out of the 111 government owned ITIs in the state, 76 are being run in the public private partnership mode. Another 35 are designated as centres of excellence in industrial training under the Vocational Training Improvement Project of the Centre.

Invitation notices and individual letters sent to national and state industrial houses early this month is already generating interest in the industrial sector. The department has received three responses already from reputed industrial houses, who wish to patronize these ITIs.

"We are seeking active participation of leading industrial houses, public sector and business houses to guide individual ITIs in upgrading their performance and also producing suitable manpower," said Baldeo Purushartha, Director (Technical Education).

He added: "Industrial units have an overwhelming demand of well trained and skilled manpower. But they feel that the students who have been trained in ITIs are not ready to directly join into the industry and need a bridging course before that. The gap between industry needs and the quality of students is quite wide and this move is aimed to reduce the gap. Also, the employing industry knows most about the latest machines and technology and can guide trainers accordingly."

Industrialists and those running business houses have thus been been offered the top post in these ITIs to participate as a chairman of institute management committee (IMC). "The chairman should be a person of high acumen, who can contribute significantly by way of time, experience, expertise and resources. He should have innovative ideas to add value to the system of skill development, upgrade the institute and generate adequate resources for repayment of loans," said Purushartha.

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