The Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship was set up in 2014 by the NDA government with the ambition to impart skills and apprenticeship to about 50 crore candidates by 2022. As the trained candidates under the ministry’s flagship skill training scheme, Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY), struggled to find employment, so did the man at the helm — Rajiv Pratap Rudy — who lost his ministerial position in Sunday’s Cabinet reshuffle to Anant Kumar Hegde.
The chasm between the Prime Minister’s vision for skill development and the training progress was growing wide amid murmurs of the deterioration of quality of training. Only few sectors such as hospitality and beauty/wellness were progressing well in the skill development programme, while other trained candidates struggled to find employment.
In a written reply in Lok Sabha last month, Rudy had said that the ministry aims to train one crore youth for 4 years (2016-2020) with a total outlay of Rs 12,000 crore. “Under PMKVY, as on July 6, 2017, total 30,67,080 candidates are trained/undergoing training across the country…Till now, a total of 2.9 lakh candidates have been provided placements offer (under PMKVY 2016-20),” he had said. Last month, Rudy said that the aim of his ministry is not to ensure jobs but to make the candidates employable. This followed a shift in the stance of the ministry’s skill training from being supply-driven to demand-driven.
In 2016, the ministry had also revamped PMKVY scheme to make it mandatory for training providers to report employment data, which was not the case earlier under PMKVY 2015-16. A total outlay of Rs 1,500 crore was approved for PMKVY by the Union Cabinet in 2015-16 and
Rs 12,000 crore for 2016-2020, to impart skill training to one crore people over the four year time period. Till March 16, 2017, Rs 2,885 crore had been transferred to NSDC for implementation of PMKVY.
Experts said that the pace of skilling was not matching the targets set by the ministry at the time of its launch. “Skilling and job creation are thrust areas of the PM. It appears that he was not happy with the progress and would like to see lot more being done before 2019. In my humble opinion we need three more things for it to succeed. First, a larger participation from and interaction with the industry as we need to match skilling with the needs of the industry. Second, we should move our focus from just job creation to creating livelihood. Most important, if we want manufacturing to grow we need to remove the tag of blue collar worker. Young people prefer to work in service sector as compared to manufacturing,” Arun Nanda, Chairman, CII’s National Committee on Skill Development said.
Also, the multiple agencies involved in the skilling ecosystem were impacting the quality of training, another industry expert said. “National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) was set up as a startup with public private partnership. They function with no ownership, no accountability which needs to change. The new ministers would need to outline a skilling programme such that jobs are mapped with the industry and then impart training to make it more productive and result oriented,” the expert added.
During his term India signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Qatar for cooperation in Skill Development and recognition of qualifications to facilitate workforce mobility, skill development and placement of youth in overseas jobs in Qatar. India also signed MoU with the State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation of the Swiss Confederation for cooperation in skill development. The Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MSDE) also partnered with General Electric (GE) to source workers and skilled technicians from Bihar, in line with its greenfield manufacturing base being set up in Marhaura (Bihar), service facilities in Roza (UP) and Gandhidham (Gujarat). GE also planned to set up skilling centres with support from the Ministry.
On the other hand, during Prime Minister’s Tajikistan Visit in July 2015, India also signed an MoU to set up computer labs in 37 schools of Tajikistan for supporting Government of Tajikistan’s human resource & skill development efforts.