In India, skill gap has been a major concern for employers despite the fast paced growth. 10 years ago, a study conducted by a national agency found that, among the persons of age 15-29 years in India, only two percent had received formal vocational training. This indicated that very few young individuals with formal vocational training was entering into the workforce, which was one of the lowest in the world. While the country is in a better position in terms of available skilled workforce now, many states in the country are still struggling to fill this gap due the deficiency of qualified manpower with appropriate skills. Bihar - the third most populous state is one such example to take. As compared to two percent for the country as a whole only 0.2 percent of persons in 15-29 years age group had received the formal vocational training in the state during the year 2004-05. Even today National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) has claimed that Bihar would need to produce more than 63 lakh skilled laborers for 14 industrial sectors by 2023.
Keeping these facts in view, Patna located Arcade Business College has been on a mission to produce quality manpower from the state, by providing professional courses in management, media and computer applications with the support of highly qualifies faculty members and innovative teaching methodologies. The institute\'s success is evident from the change in the number of students who are currently studying in the campus. \"We established our campus in 1998 with 7 students and today we have more than 1200 students studying in various professional streams,\" says Aashish Aadarsh, Director, Arcade Business college. The college initially got affiliated to Magadh University, Bodhgaya in 1998 for BCA and BBM programs. However, in later stage, the demand for their courses was on the rise and it encouraged the management to introduce courses like BBA in Retail Management, Bachelor in Mass Comm and M.Sc in Computer Science.
Empowering the Unprivileged
While, the country is contemplating about how to impart quality education to meet today\'s industry requirements, in a state like Bihar, the educational institutions are facing the challenge of filling the existing capacity intake despite the huge population of the state. There is an inadequacy in the distribution of resources in the state. In Bihar, about 40 percent of the population is still living below the poverty line and less than 10 percent of its population lives in urban centers making it one of the least urbanized states in the country. \"Our goal is to provide professional education to the economically weak students of Bihar, who cannot afford to go to the metropolitan cities of the country. Hence, we get students not only from Patna but also from the rural areas of the Bihar, where people are not even aware about the functions of a bank,\" says Aadarsh.
As the college is run and managed by the Arcade Educational Trust, a purely \'no-profit, no-loss\' charitable trust, the institute is able to provide high quality education in a low cost, which has encouraged many students from the rural areas of Bihar to choose Arcade as their professional education center. Hence, the major challenges for the institute have been to make basic awareness among students about the present industry and to make them understand the basics of English language. \"Students from Bihar are not good in their communication skills. They may crack any
Engineering entrance exams, but not CAT, which analyze the language abilities rather than technical knowledge,\" says Aadarsh.
To improve students\' communication abilities and self confidence, the institute has been organizing many value added programs and guest sessions with internationally acclaimed Indians. Students of Arcade have already met people like Kiran Bedi, Chetan Bhagath, Shiv Khera and Ranveer Singh to name among the few and share their success stories, which is a lifetime opportunity for many students in the country. The institute also invites professors from IIMs and other premier colleges in the country. \"We are helping students who wish to do their higher education in IIMs or other premier institutions in the country by giving them the platform to meet professors of these institutions, which will give and them an understanding about the culture of these institutes and it will help them to be prepared before heading to these institutions,\" claims Aadarsh.
With huge support of experienced faculty members in all these activities, the institute is able to achieve a placement of more than 60 percent for its professional undergraduate courses, which is a very good mark in the present scenario of employment in the country. While companies like Kotak Mahindra, HDFC, and Dainik Bhaskar have been the regular reporters of the institute, the management is well set for the next level of expansion. Sooner, the Arcade Business College would be introducing many more undergraduate and postgraduate professional degrees in the upcoming years. Looking at the success of Arcade Business School, the need of the hour for states like Bihar is more colleges like this and if that becomes true, then the state can meet the any industry requirements that have been predicted by the various surveyors in the country.
He is the director and career consultant of Arcade Business College. With all the commitments to uplift the education ecosystem of Bihar, He says \"Faculty is our strength. We have many people who are retired from reputed universities, which make our team of faculty members very strong. With the support of them, we are here to give the youth of Bihar a better life.\"