Skill Development: Civil Services Mentor Magazine - October - 2015

Skill Development

India is one of the youngest nations in the world with more than 62% of its population in the working age group (15-59 years), and more than 54% of its total population below 25 years of age. Skill building is absolutely necessary for such population to the increase in productivity of any nation, skill development also helps in improving the quality of products. Skill development will also lead to increase in growth rate of economy. At the individual level skill development helps in economic as well as social empowerment of the citizens. Focus on skill development in India is necessary from the very reason that it has greater proportion of working population vis-à-vis China, Western Europe, and North America. Based on data from the 68th Round of NSSO, it is estimated that only 4.69 percent of India’s total workforce has undergone formal skill training, compared with 52 percent in the USA, 68 percent in the UK, 75 percent in Germany, 80 percent in Japan and 96 percent in South Korea. This demographic profile provides unique opportunity to India for 20 to 25 years’ to reap the benefits which arre called as “demographic dividend”. The demographic dividend is essentially due to two factors

(a) declining birth rates and
(b) improvement in life expectancy.

The declining birth rate changes the age distribution and makes for a smaller proportion of population in the dependent ages and for relatively larger share in the productive labor force. The result is low dependency ratio which can provide comparative cost advantage and competitiveness to the economy. The “demographic dividend” accounts for India having world’s youngest work force with a median age way below that of China and OECD Countries.

Demographic dividend can only be made if the economy or state has place to ansorb them. As per estimates global economy is expected to see a shortage of manpower to the extent of around 56 million by 2020, this will nicely compliment the skill development initiatives of India. Thus, the “demographic dividend” in India needs to be exploited not only to expand the production possibility frontier but also to meet the skilled manpower requirements of in India and abroad. Skill development is also necessary to bring the connection between the education institutes and the working atmoshphere. In order to develop the skills of the people governments have taken various initiatives like opening ITI’s, Creating a seperate ministry for skill development etc. Recently government has launched a skill development mission to make the initiatives time bound.

Various plans have taken initiatives to To reap the benefits of “demographic dividend”, the Eleventh Five Year Plan had favored the creation of a comprehensive National Skill Development Mission. Government has taken following steps as a result of the eleventh five year plan recommendation. A “Coordinated Action on Skill Development” with three-tier institutional structure consisting of

(i) PM’s National Council
(ii) National Skill Development Coordination Board (NSDCB),
(iii) National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) was created in early 2008. Whereas, Prime Minister’s National Council on Skill Development has spelt out policy advice, and direction in the form of “Core Principles” and has given a Vision to create 500 million skilled people by 2022 through skill systems.

Similarly twelth five year plan recommended the following:

  • Involvement of industries in the skill development of people;
  • Improve the management of vocational institutes as well as training institutes;
  • Amendment of the labor laws to make it easier to hire the apprentices;
  • Vocational training institutes should be given greater freedom in terms of resource generation.

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