Chennai: Voicing concern over lack of employability skills among graduates, Minister of State for HRD and External Affairs E Ahamed on Friday said that only 25 percent of them are employable.

"Of late, employability of graduates coming out of our educational system is becoming a matter of great concern. I am told only 25 percent of the general graduates across all streams have employable skills", he said, addressing students of B S Abdur Rahman University on their "24th Graduation Day".

Noting that only 35-40 percent of engineering graduates are readily employable, Ahamed said, "This is a matter of great concern and needs to be addressed with all seriousness".

Aimed at promoting research collaboration with any other university, Ahamed said the Government has planned to set up 14 research-intensive Innovation Universities in the country.

"The numbers of technology institutes - IITs have already gone up. We are planning to set up as many as 14 Innovation Universities, which will be research-intensive", he said.

He said reforms in the form of mandatory accreditation, prohibiting and punishing unfair practices in technical and medical education, of entry and operation of foreign educational institutes and for establishment of educational tribunals is ready for legislation.

Ahamed said a National Commission/Council for Higher Education and Research for maintenance and coordination of standards for the entire higher education space is also being established.

Observing that the Government has undertaken a number of new initiatives as per the skill requirements, he said, "We have also decided to create National level resource institutions -- National Commission for Higher Education and Research, National Authority for Regulation in Accreditation of Higher Education Institutions and Educational Tribunals".

Through these initiatives, the number of universities would touch 800 from the present 500 with nearly 50,000 colleges, he said and expressed confidence that 10 of country's educational institutions would be ranked among the top 100 globally.

The higher education system in India needs strengthening in student-teacher ratio and research, he said, adding that 'Government is endeavoring to bring about changes in higher education".

(Agencies)