The age of growth has never been a result of huge financial investments. This is true that the dividends depend on the amount of capital, any kind, which you have put on the task or the mission. However, there are other agents that drive investment in a meaningful addition.
These agents are ‘soft’ and do not catch the eye of the leadership group by default. At least in India, we are talking about, envisaging a significant acknowledgement of Soft Skills is still far away.
We see a bewildered youth, searching for jobs and subsequently diving into the pools of ‘training institutions, per se the Spoken English and Personality Development business. This is the scenario of those who have somehow seen the importance of good Communication Skills and have felt that they missed the time when they should have starting acquiring these. After getting censured in the selection process for a job or in a business development effort or even in relationships, they take the coaching as a compulsion or a remedy forgetting that ‘soft skills’ are life skills and always take the time to get imbibed into personality. After all, to live with people, we need People Skills!
The sensitization of school teachers and children is the first thing to bring Soft Skills, particularly, Communication Skills, as a priority along with or over the obsession of Sciences or Merit targets. If we can make teachers understand and demonstrate ‘followable’ communicative competence in their teaching, the cognition of this skill will be sustainable learning. Unless the teachers are selected basis their Communication Skills, the grassroots will always remain grass-ridden.
There are a few things we see in New India today: Skill Development Missions, Digital India and Technology-based Learning Platforms and Employment Schemes. A country with an employable population is supposed to go with such comprehensive measures and this is the right time that the government has thought of these missions. But where are we lacking and failing to deliver? Are we getting real-reliable global acknowledgement for the NSDC Skilled, Digitally Trained and PMKVY employed? The question might receive a no but the answer goes with the ground reality. Communication Skills is not a leading part of these but is being broadcast as a sub-set when asked about the whereabouts of COMMUNICATION SKILLS?
There have been intuitional surveys and obvious observations all around that the level of soft skills has never been that great. It has always left the clause of ‘Adjust-Compromise’ for the employers. It is not a part of the school curriculum; it is not being taught as a subject in the HigherEd even. One can see the ‘respect’ given to Communication Skills or Business Communication in the curriculum designs and even the timetables of both the public and private institutions. For Technical and Management degrees, the CommSkills is the subject taken as the EASY one.
At a time when IITs and IIMs are struggling to get along with the rising demands of the industries. The new IITs and IIMs are yet to gain momentum. The NITs and other second category reputed institutions are on a fall in the quality of placements and competence. Forget colleges or vocational educational institutions like polytechnics and ITIs.
The state of AICTE is pathetic in the sense that it has failed to keep a watch on the private shops called ‘Engineering colleges’. The government has recently initiated a merger plan for UGC and AICTE and that will be a milestone improvement. We hope that such an overhaul is much needed. Teachers’ Training and strict scrutiny are still awaited. There has been a call for ‘Evaluate the Conclusion of Degree’ as is done for doctors. Such an exam, other than the traditional degree exams can generate some responsibility among the students, if not the colleges, to gain some awareness and skills (not knowledge).
The lack of Communication Skills leaves anyone incapable of making an impact in any domain of life. One disclaimer that must be the core of our understanding of training is that these skills come with time and then stay forever depending on the sensible usage.
Ignore Communication and be assured that a Successful Failure awaits you!