Odisha News Insight

Key Achievements 2015-2016: Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship

skill IndiaThe huge mismatch between education, employability and employment has been staring in the face of the country since the last 40 years now.

The country had more than 70 odd programs on skill development being run across 29 states through 21 different ministries. Each one had their own norms and outcomes and tracking mechanism. The multiplicity of these initiatives had diffused the impact that Skill Development could have had for the youth of India. There was no rationalisation of the process and system and the training were never outcome focused. There was limited emphasis on mapping of the skilled workforce that was required across sectors.

There have been no focused efforts towards streamlining entities working in the skill ecosystem. The country stood on the global map with the maximum number of people in the employable age-group (population between 15-60 years); waiting for some synergies to happen.

The first and foremost step that the current incumbent government took in shaping the skills landscape was the creation of a separate Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship which in the last one year has invested heavily, on restructuring and re-energising the skill ecosystem in the country. It has made some significant efforts in ensuring coordination and convergence across all initiatives and schemes that were active in the skill ecosystem.

The year 2014 saw the launch of Skill India, lead by the newly created Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MSDE), to leverage the potential of India’s aspiring youth by equipping them with the skills required to acquire sustainable livelihoods. In just 15 months MSDE has made great strides in streamlining and reinvigorating India’s skilling ecosystem. MSDE’s journey and its key achievements to date are detailed below.

I. The birth of India’s first Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship

India’s challenge is immense. 54% of India’s population is below 25 years of age and over 62% of the population is the working-age group. Over 109 million incremental human resources will be required in India alone, across 24 key sectors by the year 2022. Yet, only 4.69% of the Indian population has undergone formal skills training. The lack of coordinated action dedicated to addressing the above challenges, has left India far behind, with India’s demographic dividend on the verge of transforming into a demographic nightmare.

The newly elected government created India’s first Department of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship in July 2014 under the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, to rapidly address the above challenges. This Department became the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MSDE) in November 2014 with Shri Rajiv Pratap Rudy inducted as Minister. MSDE’s was given the mandate of leading India’s skill development and entrepreneurship agenda, at speed and scale, while ensuring quality outcomes. Though this step was taken 68 years too late, MSDE has made excellent progress in just 15 months.

II. Key Challenges: Cementing a Fractured Ecosystem

In November 2014, India’s skilling ecosystem was highly fragmented.21 Central government Ministries and departments were implementing over 50 skill training programmes, operating in silos. Conflicting norms between schemes, poor monitoring mechanisms, varying assessment and certification systems and the absence of a coherent vision of success, limited the effectiveness of these initiatives. Further, the government vocational training ecosystem, led by the Directorate of Training (DGT) under the Ministry of Labour was entirely divorced from the private skill training ecosystem system created by the National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC). Entrepreneurship and vocational training were separated from each other. Therefore, MSDE, as the lead Ministry for skill training and entrepreneurship and was tasked with coordinating, steering and ensuring coherence within this fractured ecosystem.

MSDE’s first step was to connect the different elements of the ecosystem together. Two verticals from DGT (Training and Apprenticeship), were transferred to MSDE in April 2015. Further, two major Entrepreneurship Development Institutes, were also shifted under MSDE, from the Ministry of Small and Medium Enterprises.

With the bulk of Skill training and Entrepreneurship efforts now firmly under its ambit, MSDE made three crucial policy interventions, focussed on articulating an overarching vision for skill development in India, and ensure coordination, coherence and consistency of all skill training efforts across the country.

III. Policy Interventions: A Clear Policy Framework for Skilling Established for the first time in India

  • First National Policy for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship 2015 created
  • India’s first National Skill Development Mission launched in July 2015
  • Common Norms for skill development schemes across India notified to ensure standardisation
  • Operationalisation of National Skill Qualification Framework (NSQF) in progress

IV. Programme Interventions: Implementing a Coherent Programme of Action to catalyse Skilling Across India:

  • MSDE’s Flagship Scheme Pradhan Mantri Kaushal VikasYojana (PMKVY) launched, Over 18 lakh youth enrolled to date
  • Industrial Training Institutes (ITI) Ecosystem Revitalised
  • Private Skill Training Ecosystem Catalysed through National Skill Development Corporation
    Entrepreneurship Initiatives Scaled up
  • Making Skills Aspirational through Participation in World Skills Competitions
  • Apprenticeship Training scaled up through the modification of the Apprenticeship Act in December 2014

V. Achieving Scale and Quality: An Agenda for the Way Forward

  • 7000 new it is to be opened in the next one year
  • Two new Apprentice Training Institutes for Women to be set up in Haryana and Uttarakhand.
  • Enhancing Quality and Ensuring Consistency
  • A National Board for Skills Assessment and Certification will be established
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