UGC announces master’s degree in vocational education

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AURANGABAD: Students can now opt for a Masters degree in Vocational education after completing their B.Voc degree. In a major boost to vocational education, the University Grants Commission (UGC), after introducing an undergraduate degree in the stream, has now specified a Master’s degree for it.

Eligibility for M.Voc will be B.Voc. The UGC, around three years ago, had introduced B.Voc in higher education as a part of the National Vocational Education Qualification Framework (NVEQF). The vocational education was made part of college/university education, leading to award of Degree/Advanced Diploma/Diploma in the stream.The scheme was formulated on the guidelines spelt out in the NVEQF and the stipulations of the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE). The National Skills Qualifications Framework (NSQF) later superseded NVEQF.

The UGC recently in exercise of its powers under section 22 (3) of the UGC Act, 1956 has specified M.Voc.

Reacting on the development, K V Kale, director of Board of College and University Development at Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar Marathwada University, said introducing Master’s degree in vocational education would increase the level of certification at top level.

“After seeking Bachelor’s degree, choice for doing Master’s degree becomes obvious for candidates. The UGC specifying M.Voc would increase the level of certification in vocational education and create more expertise,” he said.

Ravi Bhardwaj, educational lawyer, said the UGC move would strengthen the vocational education sector

“Students can now achieve a Master’s degree in vocational sector to have further specialization in their chosen trade. This is a kind of a specialization hierarchy, which is very common in our education system, like MD after MBBS, MBA after BBA. This step also recognizes the need and importance of vocational education in transforming an economy,” he said.

Considered as a ‘judicious mix’ of skills relating to a profession and appropriate content of general education, B.Voc courses have been started in many educational institutes in Maharashtra from the academic year 2014-15.

These course offer students the option to opt for a three-year B.Voc courses with multiple exit provisions — a diploma at the end of first year and an advanced diploma after two years and Bachelor’s degree after completing complete course.

As per UGC directives, institutes offering B.Voc courses receive a financial allocation of Rs 1.85 crore for a period of three years. It includes a one-time start-up assistance of Rs. 50 lakh for setting up of laboratories/workshops facilities, procurement of teaching and learning materials, machinery/equipment and renovation. Besides, institutes will receive Rs 75 lakh towards appointment of one associate professor and two assistant professors among other expenses.

Such guidelines for running M.Voc courses are expected to be out soon.

Speaking with ToI, S V Birajdar, principal of S B Science College, said vocational courses have been finding growing takers among student community, and therefore M.Voc has become a need of the hour. “These are job-oriented courses, which are preferred by students who cannot pursue professional courses such as engineering due to many constraints ,” he said.

Prasad Joshi,TNN

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