NSQF National Skills Qualifications Framework, a quality assurance framework which organizes qualifications according to a series of levels of knowledge, skills and aptitude. These levels are defined in terms of learning outcomes which the learner must possess regardless of whether they were acquired through formal, non-formal or informal learning.
The NSQF would also help shift emphasis to outcome based learning – both in the general and vocational space. Today, there is lack of uniformity in the outcomes associated with different qualifications across institutions, each with its own duration, curriculum, entry requirements as well as title.
This often leads to problems in establishing equivalence of certificates/ diplomas /degrees in different parts of the country, which in turn impacts the employability and mobility of students. By shifting the focus from inputs to learning outcomes, the NSQF would aim to tackle this challenge.
NSQF will also facilitate Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) that is largely lacking in the present education and training scenario. Additionally, it would help alignment of Indian qualifications to international qualifications.
The credit accumulation and transfer system that will be integrated in the NSQF will allow people to move between education, vocational training and work at different stages in their lives according to their needs and convenience.
The framework would be anchored and operationalized by the National Skill Development Agency (NSDA), an autonomous body attached to the Ministry of Finance, mandated to coordinate and harmonize skill development efforts of the Government of India and the private sector.
The NSQF is a nationally integrated education and competency based skill framework that will provide for multiple pathways, horizontal as well as vertical, both within vocational education and vocational training and among vocational education, vocational training, general education and technical education, thus linking one level of learning to another higher level.
There are 10 levels in the framework, with the entry level being 1, and the highest level being 10. This will enable a person to acquire desired competency levels, transit to the job market and, at an opportune time, return for acquiring additional skills to further upgrade competencies.
At the school level, Central Board of Secondary Education is
currently offering various skill based courses at secondary and senior
secondary levels to impart knowledge and training that strengthens the core skills of the students from Class IX onwards. The Board has also identified some Skill Knowledge Providers for effectively offering the skill based courses in the schools.
The Board is also working for the industry linkages specially
meant for the schools and would prepare student database for appropriate
internship training /employment.
The Government has taken various initiatives to promote vocational education and training like the development of the National Vocational Education Qualifications Framework (NVEQF) and later its assimilation in the National Skills Qualification Framework (NSQF).
The University Grants Commission (UGC) has framed guidelines for adoption of Choice-Based Credit System (CBCS) for skill development for all undergraduate and postgraduate level degree, diploma and certificate programmes under the credit system awarded by Central, State and Deemed to be Universities.