Human Resource Development and Employment (HRD & E) sector is one of the important sectors in the North Eastern Council, Secretariat. The sector deals with Education, Sports, Social Welfare, Skill Development and Training. The sector makes Regional planning in the field of Education, Sports, Social Welfare, Skill Development and Training. In addition to planning it plays a catalytic role in infrastructure development and promotional activities in all eight North Eastern States in the field of Education, Sports, Social Welfare and gainful employment. The sector works for,
- Augmenting human resource capabilities in the region which requires building skills among people so that they themselves become agent of change and development.
- Gap funding for infrastructure development in Education, Sports and Social sector.
- Promotion of Science and Mathematics for improvement of quality education in the region.
- And support for sports and youth promotion activities for productive engagement of the youth and to wane them away from social unrest.
The NER Vision 2020 has aptly identified that “in any people-centric vision of NER, education and the building of skills and knowledge will be the cornerstone. This is the only capital that people without land and financial capital can acquire to enhance their income streams and improve their living conditions. In the development process, education is vital to growth across all sectors”. With a view to bridge the infrastructure bottlenecks in the educational sector, sports and its related areas,
HRD & E sector have the following major schemes:-
- Infrastructure Development of Educational Institutes in NE Region,
- Financial support to students in NER,
- Development of Sports & Youth Activities in North East Region,
- Development & Promotion of Education and Social Sector.
HRD also plays key role in the following sectors:
Education is the main driver of Human Resource Development. It primarily shapes the future of our nation and is in need of quality investment to realise the aspirations of its over 1.25 billion people. India spends about 4.13 per cent of its GDP on Education, which, though higher than most South Asian countries (Bangladesh, Pakistan and Sri Lanka), is lower than what other BRICS nations spend on education as a percentage of their GDP. The Ministry of Human Resource Development of the Government of India has included planned development, including expanding access & improving quality of educational institutions throughout the country as one of its objectives for the Education Sector. States are encouraged to avail of the facilities, schemes and projects of the GOI for development of the Education sector in the NE Region.
As far as North East India is concerned, according to the 2011 census, the literacy rate except for Assam and Arunachal Pradesh, in the other six States of NER, is higher than the national average (74.04%) with Mizoram topping the list at 91.33%. The rate of literacy is not a problem here; hence, the drive should be more on adequate and quality secondary and higher education. However, a study conducted by Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) in 2015 revealed that while a number of quality institutions for higher education have come up in the region, primary and secondary education are still areas that require much improvement in terms of quality and outreach. In this regard, the NE State Governments can also refer to ASER-2016 report published by PRATHAM for assessing Standard of primary education and the gaps therein. As per the report Improvements in basic reading and Mathematics skills have shown some improvement across the country but the States will have to build on this momentum. Clear and achievable learning goals for different stages like Std II, and of Std V and at the end of Standard VIII needs to be defined clearly. Another nagging problem is provincialisation of schools started by people at grass root level and standardization of Teachers salary for maintaining quality of education at primary stage. Moreover, to bring in uniformity and improvement in primary education, tele education through satellite facilities in remote areas could also be considered. In the area of college education too, while the number of colleges have grown significantly over the years, several of them suffer from a lack of qualified and trained teachers, inadequate infrastructure and laboratories are not sufficiently equipped and there is a general lack of connect with job requirements. Keeping in mind the gaps in the Education sector in the NE, the NEC seeks to prioritize investments in the development of human resources of the NE states.
B. Skill Development
The GOI in order to achieve its vision of a 'Skilled India', has tasked the Ministry of Skill Development with co-ordination of all skill development efforts across the country, removal of disconnect between demand and supply of skilled manpower, building the vocational and technical training framework, skill up-gradation, building of new skills, and innovative thinking not only for existing jobs but also jobs that are to be created.
As there are a number of sports awards and schemes by GOI as well as the Corporate sector (public as well as private) for promotion of sports in the country, states are encouraged to avail of these facilities to the fullest extent. NEC is also focussed on development of sports infrastructure which is still lacking in the NE Region.