Professional, Technical and Skill Based education
In today’s global situation, technical and professional education is in higher demand compared to general education (social sciences, natural sciences and commerce). Technical and professional education is supposed to be highly competitive to access and more expensive to complete. Therefore, it is believed to be a monopoly of a few who are financially able to afford it and invariably belong to urban based upper castes.
“Professional studies” is term used to classify academic programs which are applied or interdisciplinary in focus. The term can also be used for non-academic training for a specific profession. Professional studies usually combine theory and practice-based professional learning, focusing on a body of knowledge that is more strictly delineated and canonical than non-professional studies. Students are trained to ensure expected standards and adequate service delivery in the best practice of a profession.
Professional studies may lead to academic degrees such as the Bachelor of Professional Studies (BPS), Master of Professional Studies (MPS), or Doctor of Professional Studies (DPS). A BPS is similar to a Bachelor of General Studies with a greater emphasis on practical and technical training (and a corresponding lower emphasis on liberal arts), and therefore of greater interest to mid-career students. MPS degrees are usually course-based with a report or project component rather than a research thesis.The US National Science Foundation considers a DPS to be equivalent to a PhD.
India has a Long history of organized education. The Gurukul system of education was among the oldest educational systems. Gurukuls were traditional residential schools of learning. Professional education was quite prevalent in ancient India, when it was transmitted as a part of family education from one generation to another another generation e.g. Brahman’s Vedas and rituals, Kshariya’s military skills, Vaishya’s trade and navigation etc. and other caste system that had evolved in ancient times was based purely on the system of vocation they followed. For the treatment of sufferers ancient medicine system was applied. Vaidyas were the main persons for the treatment. Tantra, Mantra were also applied in acient medicine system. ‘Bana aushadi’ was the chief medicine of the ancient India. All rules and regualtions were controleed by the Headman and the Gurus. Most of the decisions of crime were settled by the king’s court and their ministers. Ministers were the powerful persons of that time.
Since ancient times, India has been a centre of excellence in the field of higher education. Nalanda, Vikramashila and Takshashila were few of the oldest universities in the world and were the most renowned seats of higher education during their time. Students’ from far off countries came to study in these universities. Today India has one of the largest higher and professional education systems in the world and also some world-class institutions for higher and professional education.
The current system of education with its western style and content was introduced and founded by the British in the 19th century.
Historically, we can divide the era of professional education into four periods:
1. First period ( from 1800 to 1857)
2. Second period ( from 1857 to 1902)
3. Third period (1902 to 1950) and
4. Fourth period ( from 1950 to the present day)
FIRST PERIOD (1800-1857)
The educational system of this period was influenced by the policy of the East India Company. The company needed some Indian clerks and official for its various departments in order to manage affairs well. The Company stood in need of doctors for the army, judges and pleaders for the courts, and engineers for constructing roads, canals and govt. building under the Public Works Department. Hence, these were the chief branches of technical and vocational education in the education system of that period.
SECOND PERIOD (1857-1902)
This period is comparatively of greater importance from the viewpoint of industrial and vocational education, though the main objective of vocational education in this period too was to produce a number of well-trained efficient and experienced Indian officials who might conduct efficiently the work of administration and organization under British officials in various government departments. In 1857, with the incorporation of three presidency universities, Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata, subjects such as Law, Medicine, Engineering, Agricultural Science. Commerce and Technical Education were included in the curriculum of Universities and special teachers were appointed to teach these subjects. Also the system of conferring certificates and degrees in these subjects was introduced during this period.
THIRD PERIOD (1903-1950)
This period beared a unique importance in the sphere of Indian vocational education. A marked success had been achieved in the field of vocational education.
Formerly, the utility of such education was purely mercenary. People received this type of education mainly to secure some employment under the Government. But in modem times, the educated people got training in these branches solely for the purpose of meeting the industrial and vocational requirements of the society. There are many factors leading to its progress. In the first instance, it was an age of growing political awakening in India, which increased the urgency of the demand of a revolutionary change in the sphere of education. With the advent of independence in the country, several laboratories and research bureau were established with a view to bring India on an equal footing with other progressive countries in scientific progress as well as to meeting manifold requirements of a newly freed country through the industrial and vocational upheaval.
Department of new technical and scientific subjects were opened in colleges and universities. Secondly, private enterprise too contributed considerably to the growth of industrial and vocational education. Wealthy people made liberal benefactions and helped the establishment of many industrial institutions. Thirdly, provision was made for sending Indian students abroad, i.e. England, America, Germany and Japan for thorough study of modern sciences, vocations arts and crafts in these countries and they developed them in India after their return from abroad. After the independence of the country, a steady progress is being made in these directions.
FOURTH PERIOD (1950 – THE PRESENT DAY)
In this period various committee were appointed to find out number of technically trained persons needed by country, to expand technical education, to improve the condition of existing institutions and to establish fresh institutions so that Indian students might not feel the necessity of education in foreign countries. Besides these the scholarships were also awarded to students of technical and industrial branches of education. As a result of the government’s policy, the technical education was expanded during this period.
Apart from engineering and technology requirements of scientific personnel have been increasing since 1950. Adequate steps are being taken to encourage science education both at secondary and higher levels including research.
Since 1950 the facilities for agricultural and veterinary education have increased appreciatively and various new agriculture and veterinary colleges were established.
Though rapid expansion of medical education has taken place since 1950, yet there is an acute shortage of medical personnel particularly in rural areas so that the number of medical college was increased. At the same time facilities have also to be enlarged for middle level personnel such as nurses, midwives, health visitors and sanitary inspector etc.