IIMA professor Vohra to head Delhi’s Skill University

The Delhi Cabinet had cleared the proposal for a skill-focused university last October. The Lieutenant Governor had passed the order to set up a new university in Delhi in August 2020. 

The newly set up Delhi Skills and Entrepreneurship University has acquired its Vice-Chancellor. The state government has appointed Professor Neharika Vohra as the University’s first Vice-Chancellor.

Neharika Vohra

Professor Neharika Vohra was a professor for Organizational Behavior at IIM -A for the past twenty years.

She was also the Chairperson for IIMA’s ‘Centre for Innovation, Incubation and Entrepreneurship’ (CIIE) which was set up in association with the Government of India and the Gujarat Government to fund and promote the start-up ecosystem in the country.

Neharika Vohra was also a Visiting Professor at the University of Manitoba and has taught at the Xavier Institute of Management, Bhubaneswar. She did her MA and Ph.D. at the University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Canada.

Professor Vohra will now head Delhi Skills and Entrepreneurship University. In her new role, she hopes to impact the market of the youth of the country. She is focused on fixing the infrastructure, appointing the faculty, and developing the courses in the coming year. 

The fee structure

The new university is government-funded, and hence they will charge a nominal amount as fees. The minimal fees charged is to ensure students across the spectrum of society get access to enroll in the courses. 

The university aims to transcend all barriers of socio-economic status. It will focus on teaching the students the required skills, thus providing dignity of labour and filling the employability gap in the market. The University aims at creating courses that aid the youth in getting jobs. 

The University would give preference to students from disadvantaged backgrounds. It might offer cross-subsidization to facilitate disadvantaged students.

The courseware

The courses will target students who have cleared their tenth boards. These courses come with flexibility for students who procure jobs through the course.

They can take a year’s break from the course.  These students can rejoin the course to complete their diploma or degree after they get a year’s work experience. 

The courses will not be merely theoretical but will comprise sufficient practical values. The courses will be oriented to the market, both from the perspectives of the quality of the courseware and the number of students. 

The University has planned to include the regular skill-related courses on coding, welding, retail, and baking. It will also offer a few unconventional courses such as a degree in counseling, naturalist tour guide, and language courses. 

The university has a degree in entrepreneurship in the pipeline. The University will work on Industry-partnerships for courses and internships.

The ITIs in Delhi will provide their faculty, curriculum, and placement systems to help kickstart the new University. 

The University will introduce Post-graduate courses later. 

The added benefit

Atishi Marlena, the former advisor to the Delhi Education Minister Manish Sisodia, who is known for fixing the public-school system, is confident that Professor Neharika is uniquely qualified to take on this role.

He opined that a woman as the head is a bonus, as she will be sensitive to the prevalent gender disparity concerning skills, pay, and employment in the system. 

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