A month after it was announced, the contours of the new ministry of skill development and entrepreneurship are still on the drafting board and a formal decision is expected only later this year.
“There is still a lot of discussion on what issues will be retained by the nodal ministries and what would be handed over to the new ministry. A decision is likely only after the Budget Session of Parliament ends,” Narendra Singh Tomar, Union minister for labour and employment told The Indian Express.
As part of the allocation of portfolios on May 27, the NDA government had announced a new ministry of skill development and entrepreneurship headed by Sarbananda Sonowal.
But with skill development and vocational training spread across more than a dozen Central ministries including labour, human resource development and finance, carving out a new ministry has proven to be difficult task.
According to highly-placed sources, the National Skill Development Authority and the National Skill Development Corporation are likely to be subsumed within the new ministry that is expected to play more of a coordinating role between different agencies.
Similarly, the directorate general of employment and training, an attached office to the ministry of labour that is responsible for industrial training institutes and skilling may also be given to the new ministry of skill development.
The issue is yet to be taken up by the Union Cabinet either. “It was slated for discussion but has not been taken up. Once the proposal is finalised, the Cabinet will approve it and the ministry will then be officially notified,” said an official privy to the development.
With a lack of clarity, Sonowal, who is also minister of state (independent charge) for sports and youth affairs, continues to work full time out of his office in Shastri Bhawan
Skilling and entrepreneurship is a key agenda for the NDA government with Prime Minister Narendra Modi calling for a “Skill India” initiative as a majority of the population is less than 35 years of age.
Job creation, skill development and opportunities for entrepreneurship was one of the key promises in the election manifesto of the Bharatiya Janata Party.
Earlier, the UPA government had set a target of imparting vocational training and skills to 500 million youth by 2022.