Esteemed colleagues and dear students,
Today, we find a gradual but perceptible shift by the youth in adopting non-conventional courses of study rather than choosing traditional professions. This is evident not in any particular segment but in all strata of society. What were earlier considered just hobbies, are now acceptable as mainstream vocations. Man’s urge for travel and the need for food will continue to drive him into the next millennium. Globally, as also in our country, tourism industry is poised for phenomenal growth, which will result in employment opportunities for large number of our young population. During the 12th Five Year Plan ending 2017, 12% growth has been projected. This will result in requirement of 36 lakhs trained manpower for the hospitality sector, at various levels. The Planning Commission has identified tourism as the second largest sector in the country in providing employment opportunities for low-skilled and semi-skill workers. Women make up nearly 70 per cent of the workforce and 50 per cent of tourism manpower comprises persons who are 25 years or less in age. Hospitality education offers the right career springboard for the young.
The premier three year degree program, along with ten specialized course, of varying duration, offered by the National Council for Hotel Management & Catering Technology, prepares a strong foundation that takes students to the highest level of awareness, knowledge and skill which is infused through our dynamic practicum. Today at our affiliated institutes, there is critical mass of students, with a pan-India characteristic. Our students come from various social, regional and educational background; they also emerge from different strata of society. The inclusive atmosphere at IHMs provides opportunity, where merit based acumen of individual’s leads to desired careers progression. Students leverage their abilities to seek and achieve the best placements on offer at their campus.
We have now realized that the world is becoming increasingly globalized, and universities and colleges are a part of that trend. Our students need to train in other countries and cultures. Our institutes must seek out the best research collaborators and increase global engagement. Teaching should inculcate in students global perspectives and best practices of the hospitality industry through case studies and projects. These interactions will expose us to different educational and work environments and access to specialized equipment, facilities and data.
As a nation and indeed at the IHMs, we are facing a significant shortage of qualified teachers. In the Ministry of Tourism along with the National Council for Hotel Management, we continue our endeavour to make teaching a more attractive career option. Pioneering technological solutions must be embraced to offset orthodox classroom teaching techniques. We have already seen how technology has been successfully adapted in the travel industry and is making a significant impact.
At institutes, we need to become more organized and channelize our potential to move and work harder. With the need to adopt a “pro-poor tourism” approach, there is increased emphasis on skill development and capacity building for bridging the huge gap in demand and supply in skilled manpower for the hospitality industry. The Hunar Se Rozgar Tak scheme has assumed significance for social upliftment and employment of our youth. The scheme has been expanded to encompass different segments of the hospitality sector with predetermined objectives. To maintain cleanliness and hygiene of our tourist destinations nationwide, the Clean India Campaign has become a success with support of all stakeholders. The PMs National Skill Development Council and the Planning Commission have recognized the potential of Tourism as an engine of economic development and employment generation. Visa on arrival for preferred countries is aimed at encouraging more tourists to India.
At IHMs, there is a constant endeavour to become institutes of excellence through our most modern infrastructure. Besides leading hotel and restaurant companies visiting our institutes, students are now preferred by the Indian Armed Forces, Insurance and Banking Sector, including host of other service sector companies. Thanks to our partnership with IGNOU, for vertical mobility, our graduates can now pursue MBA and Post Graduate programs in Indian and Foreign Universities. Several of our graduates have also set up their own businesses.
To keep your dream alive in today’s ultra-competitive service industry we endeavour to provide the right opportunity for skill development and career acceleration. Our institutes offer discovery of fresh ideas, networking opportunities and in preparing students for the challenges ahead.
On behalf of NCHMCT and its Institutes, I wish our students a bright future in the hospitality industry.