Preamble: The centre aims at nurturing graduate attributes among students by inculcating communicative, soft and life skills to help them become better citizens of the world.
Scope: The Centre aims to offer and design programs which will be designed by taking inspiration from principles of OODA (Observe, Organise/Orient, Decide and Act) Loop and Decision/ Game theory.
It aims at strengthening language competence, spoken and written; ability to describe, argue, cohere and draw inferences; and manage body language and non verbal components of communication to add to the communicative competence. Besides, programs will sensitize the students and impart among them core values of humanities to sustain hard skills based capabilities.
The Centre will also design courses on demand for various Centres/ Departments/Faculties/Institutes of the University. It will act as nodal centre for mediation and approval of value addition courses and programs offered by colleges & institutes affiliated to Maharshi Dayanand University.
Why Centre for Life Skills & Soft Skills ?
With the rapid changes happening, talent will need to reinvent itself with a lot of agility to stay relevant with the changed landscape of job opportunities.
India is aiming to become a $5T economy with a strong advantage of being at the cusp of a digital leap. The digital tailwinds are making the industries adopt digital solutions across the value chain and create more value for customers and stakeholders.
But technology alone cannot push India to the $5T goal. India’s talent goes hand in hand and her workforce landscape is also quickly transforming. While many new jobs are being created, old jobs are being eliminated or replaced. There are requirements of strengthening language competencies, both spoken and written, ability to describe, argue, cohere and draw inferences amongst youth to nurture their talent for current and future jobs.
India Skills Report 2020, also clearly mentions in this regard that the skills which employers seem to emphasize on while screening candidates are domain knowledge, adaptability to the environment, learning agility and positive attitude. Life Skills & Soft Skills have a key role here. Further, in its key recommendations specifically mentions that 'Collaborating with academia and the industry to formulate the curriculum for schools and colleges, and setting up institutes for training and skilling' as one of the four major recommendations on the part of government. Whereas, 'inculcating in students the attitude of continuous learning and unlearning, adapt to the changing work environment and pursue the course and /or career they are truly passionate about.' has been one of the four major recommendations for Academic Institutions.
The report also highlights the figures on India’s formally trained workforce – which stand at merely 2.3% in comparison to economies like South Korea which are at a mammoth share of 96% – indicate that the former will have to rethink, redefine and repaint the entire talent map of the country to stand a fair chance of participating in global jobs market and hence, play a resourceful role in the growing economy. It recommends that besides creating many more jobs in these domains and transforming existing job functions into new-age roles, India Inc. will also need to upkeep its skilling, re- skilling and up-skilling initiatives in such a massively tech-driven ecosystem.
The National Education Policy 2020 also lays particular emphasis on the development of the creative potential of each individual, in all its richness and complexity. It is based on the principle that education must develop not only cognitive skills - both ‘foundational skills’ of literacy and numeracy and ‘higher-order’ cognitive skills such as critical thinking and problem solving – but also social and emotional skills - also referred to as ‘soft skills’ - including cultural awareness and empathy, perseverance and grit, teamwork, leadership, communication amongst others.
It is imperative to mention here that 'Life Skills' is amongst one of the key principles on which The National Education Policy 2020 (NEP 2020) is based upon and has paid significant emphasis for New India. The NEP 2020 also focuses on Curricular integration of essential subjects and skills. In its documentation about Marching Towards a More Holistic Education, NEP 2020 specifically mentions that India has a long tradition of holistic and multidisciplinary learning. The very idea that all branches of creative human endeavour - including mathematics, science, vocational subjects, professional subjects, and soft skills - should be considered ‘arts’ indeed has distinctly Indian origins. This notion of ‘knowledge of many arts’ - what in modern times is called the ‘liberal arts’ (i.e., a liberal notion of the arts) - must be brought back to Indian education, as it is exactly the kind of education that will be required for the 21st century.
With this backdrop, the visionary leadership of Prof. Rajbir Singh, Vice - Chancellor M.D University Rohtak & Prof. Nina Singh, the then Director Ch. Ranbir Singh Institute of Social & Economic Change, a Proposal was drafted by the committee encompassing of Prof. Nina Singh (Convener), Prof. Jaibir Singh Hooda, Prof. Sumit Gill, Dr. Divya Malhan & Dr. Nidhi. The Roadmap of the same has been carefully crafted along with the Preamble, Scope and Programmes.
The Centre is planned and proposed keeping in view the Graduate Attributes of University, in the spirit of National Educational Policy 2020 and factual published reports such as National Skills Report 2020. It is pertinent to mention there is no such known Centre in the Universities in India, however, recognizing the importance, few courses on Life Skills and related areas have been planned by University of Mumbai & Central University of Kerala.