New Delhi, October 12: The Delhi Skill and Entrepreneurship University's first academic session is expected to start in 2021 in close consultation with companies. Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Monday said that these companies will be treated as ‘customers’ in this endeavour, so that courses are in tune with the industry demand and students are greatly benefited. The Chief Minister made the comments after meeting the newly appointed vice chancellor and board members of the university.

The Chief Minister said that students will be imparted skills and training at the university so that they can easily get a job as soon as they pass out from the institute or can pursue business by getting hands-on business training. "The Delhi Skill and Entrepreneurship University has been established through an Act of the Delhi Legislative Assembly. I am glad to announce that the university has started functioning today. The first board meeting of this university was held today," Kejriwal said at an online press conference.

Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, who holds the education portfolio, said the university will have a focus on quality and quantity - provide high-quality courses in the entire spectrum of skills training from traditional skills to those of the future and ensuring that the intake of students is large enough to cater to the existing demand.

According to reports, the government has appointed Dr Neharika Vohra, the head of the Centre for Innovation Incubation and Entrepreneurship (CIIE) at IIM-Ahmedabad, as the vice-chancellor. Meanwhile, the board members include Pramath Raj Sinha, founding dean of the Indian School of Business and Founder of the Ashoka University, Genpact founder Pramod Bhasin, founder Sanjeev Bikhchandani, entrepreneur Shrikant Sastri and IP University founder Vice-Chancellor KK Aggarwal.

The Chief Minister said that the Delhi government has appointed the vice-chancellor of the university and its board members. “I spoke to all the board members and told them that the only objective and ideology of this university will be ensuring jobs for every student passing out from this university, or they should be able to pursue business," Kejriwal said. He added that the first academic session is expected to start next year, in close consultation with companies who will be treated as customers in this endeavour, so that courses are in tune with industry demand.

The chief minister said that those designing courses will show the curriculum to industry bodies and companies and ask them if students who learn this will get jobs. "The university should also address the qualitative gap that exists in the skilling sector. This was seen when all industries, businesses, shops, and markets were shut down during the coronavirus-induced lockdown, and people lost their jobs," he said.

During his address, Kejriwal said that with the easing of restrictions of the lockdown, he met people who did not have jobs, and those who had businesses but did not have people to work for them. "It means that both were available, but they could not come together on a platform. “On one hand, many young students are unemployed and on the other, industries are not able to find skilled and trained labor. If we impart skills to our children, the industries will give them jobs," he said.