Mains Paper 3 : Economy
Prelims level : Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana
Mains level : Improving employment through skilling
Over the last 10 years, the Indian government has undertaken significant
efforts in improving both the scale and quality of skilling, like setting up
the National Skills Development Corporation (NSDC) in 2009.
It launching the Skill India mission in 2015, and the flagship skilling
initiative, the Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMVKY) in 2016.
This, in turn, is expected to drive economic gains and social mobility
for individuals as well as trigger a productivity dividend for enterprises.
Despite the progress made so far, today, learners face a multitude of
challenges on their skilling journey.
Two ecosystem barriers contribute directly to this: Informational
asymmetries and limited quality assurance.
As far as the first barrier is concerned, there is a fundamental lack of
awareness around why skills matter at the individual level.
There is also a paucity of timely and reliable data on the supply of and
demand for jobs, which makes it difficult for those seeking employment to
identify what opportunities they should pursue.
There also exists limited access to impartial and credible sources of
information on high-quality service providers and high-potential
opportunities, which means that jobseekers and learners end up relying on
personal networks or proximate training providers. As a result, they end up
training in skills that are not responsive to the local and changing market
Regarding quality assurance, currently, there are three primary
overseeing bodies that manage the quality assurance process.
The National Council for Vocational Training (NCVT) manages long-term
skilling programmes while the National Skills Development Agency (NSDA) and
the NSDC regulate short-term programmes.
There is also an imbalance at various levels of the process that need
correction, for example, incentives for different service providers are
misaligned leading to situations where outcome-based disbursement models
favour assessment agencies over training providers.
Potential of the skills ecosystem
To unlock the potential of the skills ecosystem, these frictions must be
smoothened through technology-led change, as well as through market-enabling
Until now, technology has played an enabling role in making existing
systems and processes become smoother and more efficient (for example,
digitisation of course curriculums).
Moving to a technology-led transformation will help reach scale, promote
inter-operability and create digital public goods for all to use, that is,
the internet equivalent for skills.
Automated and scalable forms of interactions can help improve trust and
credibility in the ecosystem and enable better decision-making by learners,
service providers and employers.
Two leading initiatives in this direction are
(i) creating and adopting digital certificates that allow consent-based
sharing of information in a machine-readable format, to ensure better
security and authenticity and
ii) open APIs that can enable stakeholders in the ecosystem to tap into
large, centralised sets of information (e.g. public registries of trainers,
students etc.) and build market solutions (e.g. ratings for training centres).
Consolidated and market-enabling governance
Consolidated and market-enabling governance can also help create the
right incentives for service providers to cater to the needs of learners and
A seminal step in this direction has been the creation of an overarching
skilling regulator, the National Council for Vocational Education and
Training (NCVET) by merging NCVT, NSDA and regulatory functions of NSDC.
Over the next year, it is expected that NCVET will develop minimalistic
and user-friendly guidelines to recognise and regulate two of the most
important stakeholders in the skilling ecosystem the awarding bodies, who
accredit training institutions, and, the assessment agencies, who assess
In turn, it will be incumbent upon the awarding bodies to monitor and
regulate the functioning of affiliated training providers.
NCVET will be a forward-looking regulator and will support disruptive
innovation in the ecosystem like models that reduce the gap in market-based
data between learners and service providers.
NCVET will be a presence-less and paper-less regulator: It will take
decisions that are rooted in evidence and real-time data driven, and, adopt
a spirit of disclosure and transparency in its interactions.
Most significantly, NCVET will adopt a learner-centric lens to its
To push the skilling agenda forward, it is important for the government
to adopt the role of an ecosystem facilitator.
This can foster informed decision-making by learners and employers,
increase employer trust, and, enable upward and horizontal mobility of
Technology and governance must work closely together to drive this
Q.1) Which of the following aspects does not come under the concept of
‘Equality before law’? 1. Providing vehicles with beacon lights on the top to the Bureaucrats.
2. Prior approval from the Government to investigate cases against higher level
3. Providing reservation to the transgender in government jobs.
4. Exemption to President and Governor from the civil proceedings during their
term of office.
5. Setting up of tribunals.
Select the correct answer using the code given below: (a) 1, 2 and 4 only
(b) 1, 3, 4 and 5 only
(c) 2, 3 and 4 only
(d) 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5
Q.1) What are the major challenges for skilling unemployed youth in