Though India and Europe have had a historical relationship, going back thousands of years, when traders from Greece and Rome took Indian spices as well as precious stones to Europe in exchange of gold, the two sides do represent two fundamentally different cultures and societies. Even though in the modern age, both are democracies that promote freedom and liberty, they represent two opposite poles of the world in terms of mindsets.
India has made considerable steps towards the globalisation and has seen rapid growth in recent years, driven by the growth in new-age industries. Also, India is one of the youngest nations in the world with more than 54% of the total population below 25 years of age. India’s workforce is the second largest in the world after China’s. However, there is a large shortage of skilled manpower in the country. Only two per cent of India’s total working-age population has been formally skilled, in sharp contrast to countries like Korea, which has 96 per cent population trained in vocational skills, and Japan and European countries like Germany and France where more than 80% professionals are trained with technical skills.
Whereas, Europe is the richest region on the earth as measured by assets and currently the largest single market in the world. The trade within the Union accounts for more than one-third of the world’s total. However, Europe’s population is rapidly ageing and due to extremely low fertility rates, its working-age population is also declining. The decline is uneven, with some countries like Poland, Italy and Hungary facing a tremendously rapid decline, while others like France and Spain registering a fairly stable population. The declining population has created a shortage of workers in various EU nations and for this, many nations have begun bringing in skilled workers from other nations as per the needs of their industry and economy. The focus of European countries is on skills, which you need to compete in today’s global jobs market. Apprenticeship-style education like this is usually related to a specific trade or career path and combines practical work experience with theoretical study. It can take place at the secondary, post-secondary or further education level, but it is not equivalent to higher education.
In basic education, India ranks 92 among 142 countries in the World Education Ranking, which is way behind the ranks of other developing countries such as Philippines (76), Malaysia (51), Sri Lanka (59) and many more. Education, being the most fundamental need of any developing country, should be the number one priority for India. But the Education system in India is worse and this is the known fact.
And in Europe, most students spend at least 9 or 10 years in school as the length of compulsory education differs from country to country. European education systems aim to be broad-based and general, giving the pupils the basic knowledge and skills they may need for the future. In Europe, part of the education system is oriented towards giving the students more practical and vocational skills in parallel to the theory and classroom teaching. This permits the students to gain actual knowledge and their grades are according to their work speeches, assignments and practical projects. In sharp contrast, the Indian education system is almost entirely theoretical, with little or no emphasis on practical or vocational skills, which is the basic need for training persons for employment in the industry.
Thus, we believe that Europe has a lot to offer to India, in the precise sectors such as Aeronautics, Automotive, Biotechnology, Chemicals, Construction, Defence, Electrical & electronic engineering, Food & drinks, Healthcare, Mechanical engineering, IoT, Textiles, Fashion and creative industries, all the areas where India faces multiple challenges in term of technology, innovation, Skill, Know-how, Quality and trading. And, we at EIFE, are here to support the initiatives of the Government of India to learn from the best practices from Europe and adapt them for use in India. As a bridge between Europe and India, the Foundation will do all that is in its power and reach to bring the two sides together and ensure that the potential in this relationship can be realized.