In the past few years, India has witnessed a massive growth in sectors such as hospitality and tourism. Considering the industries growth potential, the Central Board of Secondary Education(CBSE) has planned to launch 5 skill-based programs in hospitality and tourism from the academic year - 2013-14. As per recent statistics, more than 50 lakh international tourists visit the country annually. However, in comparison with foreign tourists, the number of domestic tourists is considerably greater. In the future, it is expected that India will witness an increase both in domestic and international tourism. Following this, the yearly demand for skilled manpower in restaurants and hotels is expected to increase by 2.03 percent annually. In light of the shortage of skilled professionals, the CBSE has launched 2 vocational packages under the tourism and hospitality sectors. The courses will be part of the class XI and class XII syllabus. These courses have been split into - food and beverage services, food production, bakery and confectionery, front office management and travel and tourism. This initiative was created, based on constant emphasis from the Central Government on the nurturing of employability skills in the hospitality sector. Students of Classes XI and XII will be able to choose 2 academic and 1 language subject related to their areas of interests as part of the new vocational courses. As per a source from CBSE, the new program will assist students in looking for careers beyond the conventional, such as medicine, engineering and others. It could help students who are interested in hospitality and tourism industries. However, the board and its affiliated schools will be required to implement these courses strongly. The CBSE will also support its affiliated schools by offering Food & Beverage Services and Food Production courses by collaborating with mentor institutes such as IHM (Institutes of Hotel Management) that are under the NCHMCT (National Council of Hotel Management & Catering Technology). These associated schools can also look for monetary support from the Ministry of Tourism in order to successfully carry out these courses. The NCHMCT, which is the specialized body for combined certification, is looking for opportunities to offer those students, who have cleared the course, extra weightage in the entrance exams for graduate programs in Hotel Management in IHMs all over India. Source: The Times of India