India Country Information

India Country Director:
Dr. Vandana Gambhir
Research Scholar
Department of Psychology
University of Delhi, India

Forthcoming Career-Related Events in India by Dr. Vandana Gambhir

A recent upsurge in career guidance and management practices in India is showcasing in the form of career workshops, counselling seminars, summits and fairs. A day-long interactive workshop of Career Advisors, Psychometricians, Senior Professors, Practicing Career Professionals and School Counselors is going to be held on 7th May 2016 in New Delhi, India. The workshop aims to orient the various stakeholders regarding the new career assessment tool "Multidimensional Career Choice Decision Making Battery - A Futuristic Approach with MINDLER". This is the World’s Most Advanced Career Decision Enabling Framework and is designed to enable Schools, Counselors, Parents and Students in career decision making. The theoretical model of the MINDLER inventory is created, developed and validated statistically by a team of psychometricians under the guidance of Prof. N.K. Chadha- a leading psychological assessment expert of the country. A team of Psychometricians, Management Experts, Educationalists and PhD Scholars conducted 18 expert workshops and 70 Focus Group discussions to build the Five-dimensional Model of the Inventory. The inventory has been tested and validated on 4.8 million research points involving more than 10,000 students across the country. The MINDLER inventory will be one of the presentations from an Indian group of academicians at the 2016 APCDA Conference in Taipei, Taiwan. “The STEM-HR Career Dictionary”, “Career Challenges for Differently-abled” and “Career Choices of Urban College Girls of Delhi” are three other presentations from India scheduled at the conference.

The career counselors and academicians in India are organizing a Career Summit in October 2016 wherein esteemed career professionals, counselors, school principals, university deans and business experts will team up at one platform to discuss gaps and opportunities in taking right career choices. The current education system, workplace changes, technological advancements and global competition have created a gap among education, industry and government efforts. The 2016 Career Summit aims to procure alignment of these stakeholders to gain consistency in career practices.

We invite you to participate in unique events of the year where you will have excellent opportunity to network with career experts of India from wide domains.

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A New Gen of Career and Education Counselling in India: Upsurge of Private Players in the Field of Career Guidance by Dr. Vandana Gambhir

The new generation of India is intrigued by the idea of selecting educational courses and careers according to their aptitude and interest instead of past trends of selecting popular careers as suggested by parents and a few handfuls of significant people. The youngsters, these days, want to explore their true potential and passion before selecting the right career track. Sensing the need of the hour, many private players have stepped into the field of career guidance acting as a mediating bridge between career aspirants and their destination profession.

The private career practitioners are focusing on facilitating students' lives to manage their educational, personal, social and professional aspirations. They are doing so by judging their career concerns through psychometric testing and one-to-one counselling. A student is advised to undertake a psychological test to gauge their interest, ability and aptitude. Many practitioners are also focusing on tapping the ability of a student in a particular vocational sector. This is done through a survey questionnaire in which an aspirant is given a range of questions related to the vocational sector of his ability. Mapping the career choice according to the results of a psychometric assessment or a survey questionnaire is just one aspect of orienting a candidate about the probable field of profession that he may choose. The additional resource of counselling and building on career readiness abilities through workshops and in-depth counselling sessions add on to a student's readiness for the profession. Students are also provided information regarding the academic courses, university college programs and complete career paths including future career growth and earnings that they can have in a particular profession. In short, they are given complete information about the latest trends in education and careers, as well as proper admission and application guidance.

This is turning out to be a revolutionizing change in the field of career development, giving a new direction to the youth which is promising and of their interest. They are now feeling capable of making decisions independently by establishing their own schedules. It has also opened the doors for private practitioners to "brand" and market their services specifically to career decision makers and career changers. A contemporary trend of establishing private counseling services has started in the country. It certainly is going to flourish in the near future.

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The Festival of Holi in India by Vandana Gambir

In North India, after the cold winter, the return of warmth in March is welcomed by the festival of Holi, which signifies the victory of good over evil. Gardens are blooming, birds are singing, and the spring season or "Ritu Vasant" has arrived. According to the Hindu calendar, Holi falls on a full moon day in the month of Phagun. Holi celebrates friendship, brotherhood, repairing broken relationships, and color. It is the day to end and rid oneself of past errors, to end conflicts by meeting others, a day to forget and forgive. People pay or forgive debts, as well as deal anew with those in their lives. Holi is also a harvest festival, marking the harvesting of the winter crop (Rabi) when wheat grains have ripened and turn golden brown. Farmers celebrate Holi by offering their first crop to the Fire God Agni.

Women start preparing early for Holi as they cook loads of gujiya, mathri, and papri for family and relatives. One must try these famous sweets.

Holi celebrations start the night before Holi with a Holika bonfire where people gather, sing and dance. The next morning is a free-for-all carnival of colors, where children and young people form groups armed with dry colors, colored solution in waterguns (pichkaris), water balloons filled with colored water, and other creative means to color their targets. Anyone and everyone is fair game, friend or stranger, rich or poor, man or woman, children and elders. The frolic and fight with colors occurs in the open streets, open parks, outside temples and buildings. Groups carry drums and musical instruments, go from place to place, sing and dance. People visit family, friends and foes to throw colors on each other, laugh and chit-chat, then share Holi delicacies, food and drinks. In the evening, people dress up and visit friends and family and celebrate 'Holi Milan'.

Although many people now celebrate Holi, it was originally a Hindu festival. This festival is associated with the story of Prahlad and Holika. The word Holi is derived from the name Holika, the evil sister of Hirankashyap, the demon king of the Asuras. He fancied himself to be the Supreme Being. Naturally, he ordered his people to worship him. However, the demon king's son, Prahlada, was an ardent devotee of Lord Vishnu. This infuriated Hiranyakashipu. He subjected Prahlada to cruel punishments, none of which affected the boy or his resolve to do what he thought was right.

Hirankashyap asked sister Holika to sit on a burning pyre with Prahlad in her lap. Holika was wearing a cloak that made her immune to injury from fire, while Prahlada was not. Holika burned, Prahlada survived. Vishnu appeared and killed Hiranyakashipu. The bonfire is a reminder of the symbolic victory of good over evil, of Prahlada over Hiranyakashipu, and of the fire that burned Holika. The next day when the fire cooled down, people applied ash to their foreheads, a practice still observed by some people. Eventually, colored powder came to be used to celebrate Holi.

Another myth associated with the Holi festival in North India is about Lord Krishna. When Krishna was a baby, the cruel king Kansa had sent demoness Putana to kill Krishna in Nandgaon. Krishna developed his characteristic dark blue skin color because the Putana poisoned him with her breast milk. In his youth, Krishna despaired of winning the heart of the fair-skinned Radha because of his skin color. His mother, tired of the desperation, asked him to approach Radha and color her face in any color he wanted. This he did, and Radha and Krishna became inseparable. Ever since, the playful coloring of Radha's face has been commemorated as Holi. Therefore, Holi signifies the victory of Lord Krishna over the evil forces. In Mathura and Vrindawan (Uttar Pradesh), places famous for Krishna's raslila (love-play), on the eve of Holi, people light a bonfire celebrating the victory of Lord Krishna and Holi with songs, music and dances.

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India 2015 Action Plan: The National Career Service by Prof. N.K. Chadha & Dr. Vandana Gambhir Chopra

Good News! India is set to launch its first National Career Planning & Development Policy for its potential youth and workforce. The Central Government of India has decided to transform a network of over 950 Employment Exchanges in the country to Career Centres under its Mission Mode Project of National Career Service (NCS). The NCS is proposed to serve as a one-stop platform for all employment-related services like career counseling, vocational guidance, placement, skill aptitude testing, apprenticeship, internship etc. for potential candidates. The project that has been granted an outlay of Rs.150 Crores budget will be serving the youth of the country with wise career choices so that they can actively contribute to an efficient workforce.

The National Career Service is expected to be operational during 2015. Reaping the benefits of service, the unemployed candidates would be able to get free online career counseling and guidance through a single window NCS portal. Online information regarding various skill development courses, internships, and summer training workshops would also be made available for the potential job seekers and university students. Databases would be generated where students and job applicants will be able to enroll/register from anywhere using online forms without visiting career centres. The government aims to create a computerized system that will not just help in electronic processing of applications and online reports, but also speeds up the communication process among various stakeholders. "The project envisions a network of career centres for providing a variety of employment related services and development of a national portal to facilitate registration of job-seekers, job providers, intermediaries etc. and provide job matching services in a transparent manner," the proposal said.

The Career Centres will be in direct communication with industries and employers for vacancy notifications and available job positions updating. A continuous interaction with training institutes is also proposed for consolidating training schedules and preparing a database of skilled workers. A link to connect the portal with educational institutes like schools, colleges, vocational institutes etc. will be provided for preparing a database of candidates for employers. The NCS will work under direct supervision of Central Ministries and State Governments who will be developing resources for Career Guidance and Counselling and will be responsible for connecting interlinkages among prime stakeholders. The plan to provide value-added services like SMS alerts, updates, notifications, IVRS, emails is also suggested to help candidates through various channels. Around 100 Model Career Centres are proposed to be established in collaboration with State Governments, Universities and Institutions during the 12th Five Year Plan of the country.

In short, through its first National Career Policy, the government wishes to create an education-employment-industry interface through one channel and connect employable talent and workers with job opportunity information and employers.

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Holistic Career Development System for India by Prof. N.K. Chadha & Dr. Vandana Chopra

India: Workforce Demographic Profile
Changing demographic profiles in India indicate that the country is standing at a historical juncture expecting to reap rich economic benefits in the coming few decades. The country's working age population is expected to increase from approximately 761 million to 869 million during 2011-2020. Consequently, until 2020, India will be experiencing a period of "demographic dividend," where the growth rate of the working age population would exceed that of the total population. India is poised to become the world's youngest country by 2020, with an average age of 29 years, and account for 28% of the world's workforce. With an estimate of around 12 million people to join workforce every year over the next decade, India is expected to have the largest workforce in the world by 2025. Clearly, the country faces a major challenge of imparting employable skills and career paths to its growing workforce over the next few decades. Fundamental to the future of country is a Holistic Career Development System that emphasizes on skill development and enhanced career awareness and preparation for youth and adults.

Initiatives Taken By Government of India

To reap the benefits of demographic dividend, Government of India, in 2008, launched a comprehensive National Skill Development Mission (NSDM). The objective of NSDM is to develop a high-quality skilled workforce/entrepreneur relevant to current and emerging employment market needs. The mission is to create opportunities for all to acquire skills throughout life, especially for youth, women and disadvantaged groups. The aim is to enable the establishment of flexible delivery mechanisms that respond to the characteristics of a wide-range of needs of stakeholders. With National Skill Development Mission, India has set a target of skilling 500 million people by 2022.

Holistic Career Development System

The Skill Development Initiative taken by the government of India needs adoption of various innovative approaches to raise the capacity of the system over a limited period of time. One such approach is formulation of a Holistic Career Development System catering to the career/employment needs of the country. Presently, the career development practices in the country are at the infancy stage. There is an acute shortage of well qualified, trained career practitioners spanning all levels of education, colleges, universities, business, industry and workforce. India needs a large pool of career professionals to help people of all ages to investigate employment, work-related resources and training options. High quality guidance and counseling services are required to achieve the NSDM vision, to meet the needs of the national population and to support lifelong learning, career management and continuous professional development. The knowledge and technological skills of career counselors are needed to channelize candidates into jobs, apprenticeships and trainings. In addition, industry-exchange programs are required to ensure a dynamic pool of trainers with industry experience. Career professionals are also required within schools to inform students about various career options and facilitate a smooth transition from school to work. The country also realizes the need to forge partnerships between public and private, national and international organizations engaged in career development and enhancement practices to reap the benefits of its demographic bonus. In short, the country needs a holistic career development system comprised of wide mechanisms that link skills, demand and supply of workforce in industry with the help of trained and qualified career professionals.


A concerted effort by the government of India towards skill building and career planning needs to be exploited for better outcomes within a short span. The magnitude of the population currently in need of career guidance and counseling coupled with the growing demand for skilled workforce presents a challenge to the country. India requires a competent pool of career professionals to meet the growing need of the workforce and to meet its aforementioned vision of creating 500 million skilled people by 2022. The time is now to move precipitously to implement a holistic career development system for India.

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Career Guidance in India by N.K. Chadha

Each one of us has different identities within ourselves. It could be social or individual- One helps us in placing ourselves in society, whereas the other relates to our self worth. Occupational identity of a person constitutes of both social and individual importance. It is his occupation or career which builds on his standing in his own eyes and in eyes of society. This in itself justifies the importance career or career guidance plays in our lives. Career guidance starts from the very birth of a child, as his parents or grandparents continuously guides him towards what to choose or what not to choose. This pattern of guidance is very evident in our India culture. The influence parents plays on the minds of youngsters regarding choosing the right career is immense. This influence acts both in a negative and positive manner. Positive in the sense of giving a direction to the child and negative in restricting the mental boundaries of the kid. It’s not only the family but also the socio- economic backgrounds and environment which affect their career selection and even career development. Social and economic contexts provide the condition that shapes individual self- concepts or identity, the content and nature of the occupational structure, the form and freedom of access to work and who is likely to obtain what types of work. This has been the habitual ways of thinking for most Indian young people and their families. They have an amalgamation of attitude, opinions and notions which creates their idea of a career itself. For e.g.- which subjects a girl child should opt, what is best suited for a boy, what role a particular culture person should opt for, etc.

With the changing time, there has been a conscious attempt from the side of parents and children to look for diverse careers, get an understanding of them and then choose the right one. This trend is prevalent in urban areas. In rural areas the major chunk of students still don’t have any idea about the different professional courses or even the competitive exams for different careers. This discrepancy is vast in India. Technology has enhanced this difference. The access of internet and computers is easy in urban areas whereas as it is missing in the rural ones. Due to these technological changes on one side there is information overload and on the other side, a lack of proper information- both leads to difficulty in choosing the right path in life.

A trend which has recently been noticed in Indian society is the building of educational hubs. There are places which have the best facilities and infrastructure for educating kids. To become the best, students comes to these places, live without their parents and social support around, which in itself is mentally taxing for them. Most of the times, just to follow the rat race a kid comes over to another city or state for studying. It’s the lack of proper information and direction which leads them towards a wrong way. It is very important to open spheres for children, let them understand their capabilities and then accordingly, let them choose a career for themselves.

In the process of selecting what is right for them, it’s necessary that the support and guidance of parents, teachers, schools and colleges should always be there. It’s not only important for the children to have career counseling but it’s important for the parents and teachers to have full understanding of career options, so that they can suggest a good and fruitful path to the kids. The India Career Development Association is involved in educating the families as well as the school teachers and counselors to guide the school and college students to pick the right career path.

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