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The National Policy on Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, 2015 is a renewed version of the earlier National Policy on Skill Development that was announced by the Ministry of Labour & Employment in 2009. The first National Skill Policy envisioned the launched of a National Skill Development Initiative with the clause that the policy would be subject to review after five years to align the policy framework in that it covers skill development of the youth for wage employment, entrepreneurship and also knowledge’s Recognition of Prior Learning. The need for a National Skill Policy arises from the fact that India is home to almost one-fifth of world’s youth population. The share of youth in the age group 15-34 percent in 2011 which is projected to be 31.8 percent in 2030, i.e. about 490 million. The onus therefore lies on the country to empower its youth to achieve its livelihood so that India is able to convert its demographic surplus into economic prosperity of the nation.

Objective of the Policy

In keeping with the challenge of skilling a mammoth labour force, the Policy aims at skilling with scale & speed while retaining the quality of skilling so that it is sustainable. The policy objective include: (i) to make vocational training inspirational among the youth (ii) to ensure the vertical and horizontal pathways for seamless integration of skill training with formal education. (iii) to improve employability of youth through skilling (iv) to increase the capacity and quality of training infrastructure and trainers (v) to address the manpower industry linkage by aligning  supply of skilled workers with sect oral requirements of industry (vi) to establish and IT based information system for aggregating demand and supply of skilled
workforce which can help in matching and connecting supply with demand (vii) to raise the standards in the skilling space to international levels.

The National policy on skill development & Entrepreneurship proposes to bring about inclusivity by bridging the gender, social and sectoral divide by ensuring that the skilling needs of socially and disadvantaged and marginalized groups (like SCs, STs, OBCs, minorities, differently able persons etc.) are appropriately taken care of. On the entrepreneurial front, the policy addresses to foster innovation-driven and social entrepreneurship to address the needs of  the population at the bottom of the pyramid and broaden the base of entrepreneurial
supply by meeting specific needs of both socially and geographically disadvantaged sections of the society.

The Policy also advises setting up net it is in unserved blocks to expand the outreach of skilling programmes. To improve the quality as well as to bring about uniformity in the skill training
delivered across the skill space, the policy advocates that all formal and vocational education including skill training will have to align themselves with the National Skill Qualification Framework (NSQF) by December 2018.

Policy in Implementation

At present, there are more than 40 skill development schemes implemented by 22 different Central Ministries catering to basic and sector specific skill sets. In 2015- 16, 104.16 lakh persons underwent skill training through these schemes. Under the Pradhan mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY), the flagship scheme of the Ministry of Skill development & Entrepreneurship, a total of 30.67 lakh candidates were trained or were u n d e r g o i n g t r a i n i n g a s o n 6 th July 2017. A total of 2.9 lakh candidates have received placement under PMKBY.

The policy also mentions of setting up Kaushal Vardhan Kendras at Panchayat level by the State Governments to impart skill training by the State Governments to impart skill training in local employment/ livelihood opportunities for school dropouts, adolescent girls, housewives and rural youth. Apart from this, the National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) is also imparting skill training across the country including rural areas through Private Training Partners.

Way Forward

The top down approach to skill development must be relooked at. The State Governments must be given the leverage to have their own State specific action plans that can be implemented through Central funds. With the advent of automation, robotics and cloud computing, job profiles keep changing frequently, hence re-skilling and up-skilling needs to be given greater weight age in the overall skill programme as majority of the workforce is in the prime age group. NSQF compliance must be speeded up to facilitate the large proportion
of the workforce in the unorganized sector to get Recognition of Prior Learning and upgrade their skills. Industry compliance in updating ITI curriculum, in up scaling technical knowhow for apprenticeship training, in making available the shop floor for apprentice training must be strengthened and extended to cover even the service sector apart from manufacturing. Entrepreneurship needs to be made inspirational over wage/salary employment through advocacy, market and credit linkage and ease of doing business.

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Courtesy : Kurukshetra