Vocationalisation of English Studies in India: A Critique

  • Ravindra B. TasildarEmail author


The failure of the conventional degree programmes to meet the expectations of employers led the University Grants Commission (UGC) of India to launch the scheme of vocationalisation of degree-level education in 1994–1995. The UGC introduced a vocational course named Functional English in some of the undergraduate colleges in the country. The scheme was revised later with the introduction of add-on courses like career-oriented courses in English. The vocationalisation of English Studies in India being one of the less discussed issues, this article critically evaluates its two phases and throws some light on its poor implementation in Indian universities.


English studies Indian universities Vocationalisation Functional English 


  1. Bassnett, S. (2002). Is there hope for the humanities in the 21st century? Arts and Humanities in Higher Education, 1(1), 101–110. Accessed 16 Oct 2008. Scholar
  2. Devi, S., & Goswami, D. (2013). Vocational education at undergraduate level: Problems and prospects in Assam, India. Golden Research Thoughts, 3, 3 n.p. Accessed from: Accessed on 29 May 2014.Google Scholar
  3. Government of India. (1971). Report of the study group on teaching of English. New Delhi: Ministry of Education and Youth Services.Google Scholar
  4. Graddol, D. (2010). English next India: The future of English in India. India: British Council.Google Scholar
  5. Khanna, A. L., & Agnihotri, R. K. (1982). Language achievement and some social psychological variables. Central Institute of English and Foreign Languages (CIEFL) Bulletin, 18(1–2), 41–51.Google Scholar
  6. Krishnaswamy, N., & Krishnaswamy, L. (2006). The story of English in India. New Delhi: Foundation Books.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Kumar, P. (1997). The functional English syllabus: A study of the perspectives of teachers and employers. M. Phil. dissertation, CIEFL, 1997.Google Scholar
  8. Lukmani, Y. (1982). Motivation to learn and language proficiency. Language Learning. 1972. 22.2:261–73. In Language achievement and some social psychological variables. CIEFL Bulletin, 18, 1–2: 41–51.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Lukmani, Y. (1992). Attitudinal orientation towards studying English literature in India. In R. S. Rajan (Ed.), The lie of the land: English literary studies in India (pp. 156–186). Delhi: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  10. Mujumdar, S. (2012). A study of significance of vocationalization of education and skill development in India with special reference to the State of Maharashtra. Unpublished PhD thesis, Symbiosis International University. Accessed from: Accessed on 29 May 2014.
  11. Nimse, S. B. (2012). Vocationalising arts, commerce and science education in Indian universities. University News, 50(46), 1–4.Google Scholar
  12. Pathak, R. S., & Bajpai, M. (1992). The role of attitudes and motivation in second language learning: A study of Indian learners of English. In P. N. Shukla (Ed.), Perspectives on language and literature (pp. 1–18). Lucknow: Gurukul Publications.Google Scholar
  13. Planning Commission. (2001). An evaluation of vocational education scheme of UGC. New Delhi: Institute of Applied Manpower Research Accessed from: . Accessed on 10 Oct 2015.Google Scholar
  14. Planning Commission. (2006). Report of National Knowledge Commission. Accessed from: Accessed on 10 Jan 2008.
  15. Prodromou, L. (2000). Reason not the need: Shakespeare in ELT. Asian EFL Journal, 156. Accessed from: Accessed on 28 July 2008.
  16. Rama, T. (2012). Factors affecting implementation of the vocational communicative English curriculum of Osmania University: An analytical study. M. Phil. dissertation, The English and Foreign Languages University (EFLU).Google Scholar
  17. Rao, N. (1994). The critical pursuit: A miscellany. New Delhi: Reliance Publishing House.Google Scholar
  18. Sant Gadage Baba Amravati University. (2006–07). Syllabi prescribed for B.A. Part I, II and final examination. Amravati: SGB Amravati University.Google Scholar
  19. Savitribai Phule Pune University. (2008a). Syllabus of functional English–BA and B. Com. Accessed from: Accessed on 30 July 2008.
  20. Savitribai Phule Pune University. (2008b). F.Y., S.Y., T.Y.B.A., B.Com. and MA English syllabus. Accessed from: Accessed on 30 July 2008.
  21. Savitribai Phule Pune University. (2008c). FE structureCommunication skill. Accessed from: Accessed on 10 Oct 2009.
  22. Savitribai Phule Pune University. (2015). Revised structure and syllabus of English: T.Y.B.A. compulsory English. Accessed from: Accessed on 13 June 2015.
  23. Shaw, W. D. (1979). English and Indian student. CIEFL Bulletin, 15(1), 1–15.Google Scholar
  24. Shinde, S. (2009). Innovative strategies in English teaching-learning in the rural context. University News, 47(43), 4–7.Google Scholar
  25. Shri Padmavati Mahila Visvavidyalayam. Department of English language and literature. Accessed from: Accessed on 6 Apr 2012.
  26. Tasildar, R. (2009). A critical evaluation of the compulsory English syllabi with reference to communication skills. University News, 47(45), 41–44.Google Scholar
  27. Tasildar, R. (2010). The prospect of B.A. (English). Journal of Literature, Culture and Media Studies, 2(3), 52–58.Google Scholar
  28. Tasildar, R. (2013). A critical evaluation of the special English papers offered at UG Level in select universities of Maharashtra State. Unpublished Ph.D. thesis, Savitribai Phule Pune University.Google Scholar
  29. Tharu, J. (2008). A second look at English as a window on the world that has changed. In P. Dheram (Ed.), Negotiating empowerment: Studies in English language education (pp. 94–104). Orient Longman: Hyderabad.Google Scholar
  30. University Grants Commission. (1989). Report of curriculum development Centre for English. New Delhi: University Grants Commission (UGC).Google Scholar
  31. University Grants Commission. (2013a). Guidelines for introduction of career oriented courses in universities and colleges during XI plan (2007–2012). Accessed from: revised career oriented courses.pdf. Accessed on 14 May 2013.
  32. University Grants Commission. (2013b). Higher education in India at a glance. Accessed from: Accessed on 2 Oct 2015.
  33. University Grants Commission. (2014a). 60th Annual report 2013–14. Accessed from: Accessed on 2 Oct 35.
  34. University Grants Commission. (2014b). UGC Guidelines for introduction of Bachelor of Vocation (B. Voc.) programme. Accessed from: Accessed on 6 Nov 2014.
  35. University Grants Commission. (2015a). Career oriented courses in universities and colleges. Accessed from: . Accessed on 2 Oct 2014.
  36. University Grants Commission. (2015b). Structure of BA Honours English under CBCS. Accessed from: Accessed on 16 Oct 2015.
  37. University of Mumbai. (2007). Communication skills syllabus of first year engineering (Common for all branches) Semester II. Accessed from: Accessed on 23 Nov 2009.
  38. University of Mumbai. (2009a). Revised syllabus for communication skills in English F.Y.B.A. Mumbai: University of Mumbai.Google Scholar
  39. University of Mumbai. (2009b). Syllabus of presentation and communication techniques, (Semester III), second year computer engineering. Accessed from: Accessed on 23 Nov 2009.
  40. Yashpal Committee Report. (2009). The report of ‘The committee to advise on and rejuvenation of higher education’. Accessed from: http://www.hinduonnet.comnicyashpalreport.htm. Accessed on 31 July 2009.

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of English and Post-Graduate Research CentreS. N. Arts, D.J.M. Commerce and B.N.S. Science CollegeSangamnerIndia

Personalised recommendations