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August 21, 2019
Observer Dawn
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Talking about skills; Tharoor makes ‘fry pakoras’ dig at Govt

That he has the gift of the gab is without a doubt. Shashi Tharoor, former Union Minister and Congress lawmaker, took a potshot at the ruling establishment when while speaking about engineering colleges and skills, he made a reference to ‘fry pakora’ phrase.

“Can we ensure ……how do we enhance employability and what kind of skills can we give to our people which is actually needed so that they can get real jobs and we do not have to advise

them (youths) to fry pakoras on the side?,” Mr. Tharoor said in Lok on Monday during Question Hour.

Asking supplementary questions to HRD Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’, the Congress MP

expressed concern that the study by the India Skills Report shows that only 57 percent of engineering graduates are employable.

“In detailed studies done by multiple people including the organization which I had the privilege to head, that is, All India Professionals Congress which did a study of 10,000 engineers, it shows that 60 percent of our country’s engineering graduates end up in doing jobs which do not even require an engineering degree. It is because there is such a major mismatch between what is taught in the majority of our engineering colleges and what the marketplace wants,” he has further said.

The Congress lawmaker also maintained that often employers come back and say that these people (qualified engineers and others) are “not qualified to work for us”.

“Even big companies like Tata, TCS and Infosys have set up campuses in which they are re-educating the children, whom they have already hired not on the job training but just teaching them what they should have learnt in college,” he said.

Responding to him, however, the Minister said the government is very much sensitive to the issue of skill development and employability of youths and thus taking initiatives.

Even the syllabus has been changed wherever necessary, he said.

The Minister has further said even pacts have been inked so that corporate houses can get touch with students much in advance stage.

The ‘fry pakora’ jibe by Congress leader has political significance as last year Prime Minister Narendra Modi had said in an interview to a news channel, “If a person selling pakoras earns Rs 200 at the end of the day, will it be considered employment or not?”

The statement had been flayed by opposition parties quite strongly especially in the run to the polls.


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