Achieving the Dream of a ‘Skilled India’ – Shri Anantkumar Hegde
Indian industry and the Indian economy have been on a meteoric growth trajectory under the able guidance of the Indian Government. As a fast growing economy, it is essential that a workforce is created to ensure that India’s growth engine works like a well-oiled machine. 60% of India’s population consists of youths who have the potential to play the role of important cogs in this growth machine. Recognizing this fact, the Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi launched the ‘Skill India’ initiative and an independent Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship to increase India’s skilled workforce.
The ‘Skill India’ initiative is not just a vision, it is a committed action towards empowering India with skill sets which will determine a bright future for Indian industry and economy in the next 20-30 years.
To achieve this bold aim, the MSDE has co-opted fellow ministries and industry to create a roadmap for the transnational upgradation of skills and setting immediate aims for focused growth and development of the youth. Adequate policies, frameworks, funding, capacity building, infrastructure development and partnerships are the pillars of our commitment towards ensuring that this initiative achieves tangible success.
Initiatives that catalyze and propel skill development
A number of result-driven initiatives have been launched to catalyze and propel transnational skill development. Key amongst these is the Pradhan MantriKaushalVikasYojna (PMKVY) under which a large section of the Indian youth is being mobilized to take up skill training in a bid to increase their employability.
In a time-period of just 18 months since implementation, the scheme has achieved significant success. As of 31st March 2018, 23 lakh candidates have enrolled with over 17 lakhs successfully achieving training across sectors that fall under Short Term Training and Special Projects. We are proud of the fact that over 4.40 lakh candidates have been placed with leading industries in the country. Another fact that gives us immense pride and further motivates us is that 55% of these candidates are women, who are breaking the glass ceiling and are actively contributing to the socio-economic growth of India.
MSDE is working closely with other ministries as well to ensure pertinent, sector specific skilling. An example of this is the SAUBHAGYA schemewhere trained manpower is required for implementing various programmes in the power sector, and SAUBHAGYA alone needs more than 35,000 trained persons to ensure electrification of all willing households in the country be it rural or urban. Swarna Project launched by the Ministry of Railways is another such example which is working to upgrade the skills of railway staff under the scheme. Similarly, we are contributing to the Swacchh Bharat Mission by skilling quality masons who are key to our move to ODF India – by constructing quality toilets speedily and also supporting the Urja Ganga Gas Pipeline Project and NamamiGange.
Addressing the need for skilling infrastructure, MSDE is also working towards the establishment of state-of-the-art training centres – named the Pradhan MantriKaushalVikas Kendra (PMKK) – in every district of India. These centers will range from 3000 sq.ft. to 8000 sq.ft. in size and will incorporate Smart Classrooms and Audio-visual training aids to ensure that students are able to learn next-gen skills in manufacturing trades. The fourth phase cover 108 districts is now under process. So far, 528 PMKKs have been allocated, covering 483 districts. Of these, 340 have been established and 264 have been allocated.
Since India is known for its spirit of innovation, the MSDE has also introduced an innovative initiative called ‘Skill on Wheels’ – to guarantee access to skill development for rural communities or remote locations. The initiative will create an awareness on the importance of skilling among youth where career mentors are available at doorsteps of the institutes in the Tier-2 and Tier-3 cities. Skill on Wheels is the result of a partnership between the National Skill Development Corporation in association with RIIIT Finishing School and is supported by GSS and the Dhatri Foundation. As on 28th March 2018, the ‘Skill on Wheels’ initiative had reached over 2.5 lakh youths across 370 colleges, 30 districts and 129 talukas.
The MSDE is also working towards streamlining and optimizing the operation of existing skilling infrastructure through initiatives that rejuvenate Industrial Training Institutes (it is) across the country.
Ensuring inclusive development
India’s uniqueness lies it its diversity. We recognize that each region, state and sector will have different requirements and hurdles. Regular interface and efforts with the states has helped us expand the reach of our initiatives by channeling resources towards sector development. Key efforts have been made with states such as Maharashtra, Telangana, Assam, Meghalaya and Jammu & Kashmir to review skilling initiatives and work cooperatively in optimizing outcomes.
Our agenda also focuses specifically promoting opportunities for women, leading towards sustainable development in a socio-economic sense.
What lies ahead?
Historically, skill development and entrepreneurship efforts across the country were highly fragmented. As per NSSO, 2011-12 (68th round) report on status of Education and Vocational Training in India, among persons of age 15-59 years, about 2.2% reported to have received formal vocational training and 8.6% reported to have received non-formal vocational training.
We understood and undertook a number of reforms to ensure that these skill gaps could be closed to suit the needs of resurgent Indian industry and enable a decent quality of life to its population.
The journey to catalyze India’s population for employability through skilling is already well underway. We have seen some tangible and irrefutable successes by achieving significant milestones as chronicled above.
The challenge ahead for us is to successfully scale up these initiatives to ensure that the vision of a skilled, strong and self-reliant India is soon achieved. To achieve this we will remain committed to exploring initiatives, gauging their success and introducing policy to ensure the optimal functioning and growth of skilling initiatives across the country.
With the continuing support of the Indian industry, our fellow ministries and the guidance of the Hon’ble Prime Minister, I am sure we will create the new India of our dreams through skill development.
This will ensure that a Skilled India will be one of the strong pillars of the New India of our dreams. Kaushal Bharat. Kushal Bharat!