The Government of India and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) on 17th December 2021 signed a $112 million loan to set up a skill university in Assam that will strengthen the industry-aligned and flexible skills education and training system in the state.
Mr. Rajat Kumar Mishra, Additional Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance, signed for Government of India the agreement for the Assam Skill University (ASU) Project, while Takeo Konishi, Country Director of ADB’s India Resident Mission signed for ADB.
After signing the loan agreement, Mr. Mishra stated that the project is aligned with India’s National Policy for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship that envisages setting up skill universities to promote industry-aligned skills education and training programs that are integrated with higher education to create pathways for progression and mobility.
“ADB’s engagement in the northeastern region including studies to develop an economic corridor emphasizes the importance of aligning skills development and technical and vocational education with infrastructure and industrial development,” said Mr. Konishi. “The project promotes this strategic vision by improving skills and employability of youth and adults to enhance the productivity and competitiveness of Assam’s economy and industry.”
The project will support the design and construction of environmentally sustainable and climate-resilient ASU campuses and facilities equipped with state-of-the-art technologies. It will also develop the ASU’s management and operating systems, business models, and promote the professional development of faculty members. Partnerships with leading institutional and industry partners will ensure the designing of industry-aligned and flexible skills education and training programs. These would include cutting-edge digital skills programs, career development programs and services, and continuing education programs.
The project will enhance collaboration between the ASU and technical and vocational education and training (TVET) institutions and higher education institutions within the state and in neighboring countries to establish programs for common strategic industries. Courses offered would include agricultural and food technology, manufacturing, and construction, mobility, management and finance, tourism, hospitality, and healthcare.
The loan is supplemented by a $1 million grant from the Japan Fund for Poverty Reduction to support the introduction of technologies for smart campus management and integrated teaching, learning, and career development management.