To capitalize in India’s demographic advantage, the first National Policy for Skill Development was formulated in 2009. The policy aimed to increase the capacity and capability of the existing skill system to ensure equitable access to all, promote life-long learning, maintain quality and relevance according to the changing requirements create convergence between school education, various skill development efforts of Government and between Government and private sector, enhance capacity of the training institutions among other objectives. The National Policy on Skill Development, 2009 set a target for skilling 500 million persons by 2022 involving all stakeholders including the concerned Ministries and Departments. The Policy also provided for a review after five years.

The institutional infrastructure for skill development consists of the National Skill Development Agency (NSDA), the National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) and the National Skill Development Fund (NSDF). In 2014, these were subsumed under the newly created Department of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship later converted to the Ministry of Skill Development at Entrepreneurship in 2015. At the State level, the States are encouraged to set up the State Skill Development Missions to serve as the nodal agency for implementation of the skill development programmes.

The National Skill Development Agency (NSDA) has undertaken various activities like anchoring and operationalizing the National Skill Qualification Framework (NSQF), developing National Qualifications Register (NQR) which is a repository of all approved qualifications, develop a National Quality Assurance Framework (NQAF), create and maintain a national database on skill development including development of a dynamic Labour Market information System.

The National Policy for Skill Development & Entrepreneurship, 2015 identifies the incremental human resource requirement across 24 key sectors as 109.73 million and the new entrants to the labour force as 104.62 million by 2022. About 298.25 million of the existing workforce would require Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL), reskilling and upskilling and 104.62 million would require fresh skilling by 2022.

1. Skilling Programmes for Rural Youth:

Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY): The Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yoiana, the flagship scheme on skilling was launched in 2015 to provide industry relevant skill training to the youth to enable them secure a better livelihood. The scheme provides short-term training to the job seekers as well as Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) to the existing workforce through accredited and affiliated training partner/training centers and ensures placement. The scheme runs across 252 job roles related to 35 Sector Skill Councils. The PMKVY was first launched in 2015-16 and owing to its success the scheme was re-launched as PMKVY 2.0 for the period 2016-2020. There are projects focusing on tribal populations under PMKVY. For eg: (i) Bru Project: The project aims for skilling of Bru tribe of Mizoram, who were displaced and currently living in the internally Displaced Person (lDP) camps in the districts of North Tripura. (ii) Katkari primitive tribe: Project aims to skill 1020 candidates from the Katkari tribe of Maharashtra. (iii) Skilling in Odisha: Project aims to skill 12,000 candidates from 62 indigenous communities (tribes) of Odisha, of which 13 are classified as primitive. (iv) Project YUVA is a joint initiative of NSDC and the Delhi Police under which Delhi Police is to connect young 3,000 deprived youth across the capital by upgrading their skill as per their capability after which, they are given placement assistance. The Project is to prevent the youth from committing crime and delinquent acts as well as to encourage them to partner with police in maintaining law and order. At present, 715 candidates have been enrolled of which 390 have been trained and 240 have been placed in companies.

Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Grameen Kaushalya Yojana (DDU-GKY):

The DDU-GKY is a placement linked skill-training programme to empower rural poor youth with employable skills and facilitate their participation in the labour market. As of October, 2017, the DDUGKY has over 566 Training Centers in 674 Projects, in partnership with over 310 Project lmplementing Agencies conducting training across 39 sectors, covering 329 job roles spread across 28 States. Against a target of skilling 2 lakh candidates during 2017-18, over 83,745 candidates have already been trained, of which over 46,654 candidates have been placed in jobs. The Ministry has selected 12 new Champion Employers and entered into a MoU with them for high quality training and placements.

Rural Self Employment Training Institutes (RSETIs):

The Ministry of Rural Development has been implementing the Rural Self Employment Training Institutes (RSETls) for the rural youth which seeks to diversify household income of rural poor. RSETI is a three-way partnership amongst Ministry of Rural Development, State Government and Banks. There are 31 participating banks, which have set up 586 RSETls in the country. RSETls provide training in agriculture, process, product and general entrepreneurship development programmes (EDP) courses to candidates leading to self employment] wage employment. Against a target of skilling 3.97 lakh candidates during 2017-18, 2.35 lakh candidates have been trained and 1.55 lakh have been settled.

Padhan Mantri Sahaj Bijli Har Ghar Yojana (SAUBHAGYA):

Aiming to empower and uplift the rural youth the Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship in partnership with the Ministry of Power has under the Pradhan Mantri Sahaj Bijli Har Ghar Yojana (SAUBHAGYA) initiated vocational training of rural youth in six States viz; Assam, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand, Odisha and Uttar Pradesh. The youth are to be trained in two job roles viz; Lineman\ Distribution (Multi skilled) and Technical Helper. The objective of this skill training programme is to meet the need for trained manpower for implementing the larger mandate of the scheme i.e. to ensure access to electricity in every household of the country. A total of around 47000 youth in the six focus States and more than 55000 across the country would be trained. The training infrastructure available with His as well as infrastructure available with the State Power Distribution Utilities would be utilized for skill training under the scheme.

Partnership Skill Initiatives:

MoU signing with Ministry of Water Resources: An MoU was signed between Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship and Ministry of Water Resources, River Development & Ganga Rejuvenation for developing skilled manpower for the Namami Gange project.

MoU signing with 85F and Assam Rifles: An MoU was signed between National Skill Development Fund (NSDF), NSDC and Border Security Force (BSF) with the objective to provide gainful employment to the serving, retiring and retired BSF personnel and their families ensuring the successful alignment to NSQF based skill training to them at multi-skill development centers run by BSF. A similar MoU was signed with Assam Rifles as well.

MoU for Urja Ganga Gas Pipeline Project: In order to provide the skilled manpower for Urja Ganga Gas Pipeline Project, a quadripartite agreement has een signed between NSDC, GAIL, Skill Development Institute (SDI), Bhubaneswar and Labour Net. MoU is to promote and enhance seamless skill development activities related to Urja Ganga Gas Pipeline Project to ensure high levels of quality and productivity in the execution of the project & provide gainful employment to large number of youth.

Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Kendras:

The need for modernized training equipments that is on par with the industry needs is essential for providing skill training. The Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Kendras (PMKKs) are the model skill development centres that focus on building industry standardized skill development infrastructure, training and also placement. As of December 2017, 527 PMKKs have been allocated across 27 States covering 484 districts. Out of these, 328 PMKKs have been established.

Indian Institute of Skills (IIS):

These are state-of-the-art Center of Excellence being set up across five regions of India on the lines on ITE1 Singapore. The construction for the first MS is in Mumbai, in collaboration with Tata Group. The IIS will provide “hands-on” training in advanced courses such as energy efficient construction, industrial electronics and automation etc.

Fee Based Trainings:

Under the Fee based model of skill development training being implemented by NSDC, more than 74 lakh have been trained. In 2017, of the 7 lakh candidates enrolled, more than 50 per cent are placed in job rob roles in demand such as masonry, sales technicians, refrigeration mechanic, insurance tra' ing, field technician for washing machines etc.

Takshashila (Trainers and Assessors Portal)

National Portal for Trainers and Assessors is an initiative of NSDC. The portal is a dedicated platform towards the management of trainers and assessors training life-cycle and would function as the central repository of information concerning the development of quality Trainers and Assessors in the Indian skill ecosystem. It is built in with a feature to search trainers and assessors trained by SSCs across states, sectors and job roles for access to a pool of qualified and skilled professionals.

Vocationalisation of Secondary and Higher Secondary Education:

The Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship in collaboration with Ministry of Human Resource Development has taken a number of initiatives towards integrating skills and education. Under the scheme, vocational education is provided to a large number of students in selected schools. UGC is offering Bachelor of Vocation Programmes in a number of colleges/universities. Academic Equivalence with 10th and 12th classes has been provided to ITI students through National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS) by means of credit transfer. In addition, Degree Apprenticeships has been identified as an alternative education route by dovetailing apprenticeship component within formal education.

Skill Development in LWE Districts:

Skill development programmes have been implemented in 47 districts affected by Left Wing Extremism across 10 States so that the youth of those districts can have a decent livelihood by way of acquiring skill.


Udaan is a special initiative to address the needs of the educated unemployed in Jammu & Kashmir (J&K). The scheme aims to enhance the skill and employability of graduates/postgraduates and 3-year engineering diploma holders to offer them jobs in the private sector. The scheme is implemented by NSDC through private sector participation. About 84 corporates have participated in Udaan Mega selection drives selecting candidates for training.


Himayat is a training-cum-placement programme for the unemployed youth mainly school/college dropouts of J&K. The youth are provided short-term training for at least 3 months, in a range of skills for which there is good market demand. At the end of the training, there is one year post-placement tracking to see how they are faring.

National Career Service:

The National Career Service (NCS) project comprises of a digital portal that provides a nationwide online platform for the job seekers and employers for job matching in a dynamic, efficient and responsive manner and has a repository of career content. As of 31St March, 2018, 14.87 lakh employers and 4.24 crore job seekers were registered on the portal and 8.61 lakh job vacancies were mobilized. To enhance the reach and enrich the employment opportunities available to youth, 22 strategic MoUs have been signed with leading job portals, placement organizations and institutions of repute. Government of India has made it mandatory for government vacancies to be posted on the NCS Portal.

Pradhan Mantri Yuva Udyami Vikas Abhiyan (PM-YUVA):

The scheme aims to create an enabling ecosystem for entrepreneurship development through entrepreneurship education and training across the country in select Institutes of Higher Learning (Universities, Colleges and Premier Institutes), schools, Industrial Training Centers (ITIs) and Entrepreneurship Development Centers (EDCs) for over a period of five years (2017-18 to 202122). Additionally, students will get easy access to a robust network of peers, mentors, incubators, funds and business services through an online platform. So far, 239 Institutes of Higher Learning have been empanelled to impart entrepreneurship education and entrepreneurship courses have start~ in more than 200 Institutes of Higher Learning.

2. Employment Generation of Rural Youth:

To facilitate an environment for job creation and employment generation in rural areas, various programmes are in operation. The Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee scheme (MGNREGS) aims at social inclusion through creation of productive assets as well as enhance livelihood security by providing at least 100 days of guaranteed wage employment in a financial year to every ‘adult member of a household who volunteer to do unskilled manual work. In recent years emphasis is on construction of rural infrastructure through convergence with MGNREGA such as Individual Household Latrines (IHHL) for PMAY-G beneficiaries, infrastructure for agricultural and allied activities etc. During 2017-18, 4.63 crore households were provided employment in 163 lakh works and in the process, 182 crore person-days of employment was generated.

The Ministry of Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises (MSME) is implementing the Prime Minister’s Employment Generation Programme (PMEGP), which is a major credit-linked subsidy programme aimed at generating self-employment opportunities through establishment of microenterprises in the non-farm sector by helping traditional artisans and unemployed youth.

Way Forward:

According to World Bank, about 13 million people enter the working age every year but only 3 million new jobs are created every year. The demographic advantage being predominantly in the rural areas, the need of the hour is to improve the skill set of the labour force such that they are productively engaged in the job roles emerging from Digital India, rural road connectivity, development of smart cites, expressways, Swachh Bharat- Grameen etc.

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Courtesy: Kurukshetra