(GIST OF YOJANA) Giving Momentum to Skill Development [APRIL-2018]

(GIST OF YOJANA) Giving Momentum to Skill Development


Giving Momentum to Skill Development

The economic order of the let century has unveiled new economic understanding and a new way of defining economic capital and strength of a nation. One important component of this economic strength is ‘demographic dividend’ of a nation. The ‘demographic dividend’ of a nation is defined as the growth potential of the nation that can occur due to the rapid increase in the percentage of working population (15-64 years), in comparison to the total population of the nation. Since the last two decades, while other countries have witnessed a decline in the percentage of working population, in India it continues to rise. Economists across the world have termed this as India’s demographic dividend and a key factor in propelling India into a five trillion dollar economy within the next decade.

With Skill Development gaining traction across the country, it is indeed interesting to look at its position in the North Eastern of India as well. In the past few years, North East has found much prominence in the governance paradigm of the country. The rebranding of North East as ‘New Engine in New India’ is a testimony to the prominence that North East India holds today. The trajectory of Skill Development in the region does not betray this new found focus in the region.

In Arunachal Pradesh, recently the government coordinated with the North Eastern Development Finance Corporation Ltd (N EDF i) in preparing a study which would prepare the groundwork for strengthening the foundation of skill development in the state. The government has given itself an ambitious target of guaranteed jobs for 87,000 youth under the aegis of the Prime Minister Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY). Further, there is a target to build 4 new ITI’s in 2018-2019. The Department of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship has also announced the setting up of ‘Rural Skill Development Training Centres’ in Public-Private-Partnership (PPP) mode across the state. A unique Skill Development University is in the development stages while the country’s first ‘Home Stay Skill Development Programme’ under PMKVY was launched in Tawang.

In Assam, skill development is imparted through EGM (Employment Generation Mission) as well as Assam State Livelihood Mission and National Urban Livelihood Mission (NULM). These schemes have achieved considerable success in the past few years. In late 2017, it was announced that Employment Centres across the state will be converted into Skill Development Centres. A Skill Development department in Assam has also been set up recently to spearhead the success story of skill development in Assam. The Assam government has set itself an ambitious target of training 3 lakh new entrants in the next few years. Assam has been one of the first states m the country which has rolled out a unique ‘Karaghor Pora Karighor Scheme‘ which is imparting skill development to jail inmates, for them to be able to contribute meaningfully when they return into mainstream society. Further, the government has partnered with companies like Cisco and Dabur to focus on sectoral skill development programmes, which would undoubtedly reap rich dividends.

Manipur has set up a number of committees that are engaging with varied stakeholders to carry the idea of skill development forward. The Manipur government has recently announced the target of providing 1.5 lakh jobs while targeting one job in each household. Vocational skill training courses have been initiated across 40 colleges in the state. The government has also given special focus to imparting skill development to the tribal women as well as surrendered militant.

The Meghalaya State Skill Development Society has trained 7700 youths in skill development, in its first phase and has ensured their placement too in different industries and sectors. The DDU-GKY (Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Grameen Kaushalya Yojana) aims to train rural youths and bring them into the job market. The Meghalaya government has also identified a few key sectors to work on, including Tourism, Automobiles Mechanics, and Housekeeping among others, through this scheme.

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Both Mizoram and Nagaland have aligned their skill development schemes and goals Within the gambit of broader skill development goals of the country. Tripura has set up a separate State Skill Development Mission in order to give impetus to skill development in the state. Sikkim has inaugurated livelihood schools where skills are imparted to youth in different sectors including training them in arts and crafts. The livelihood schools in Sikkim have been performing consistently well. They have, in fact, given a new lease of life to the arts and crafts industry of the state. The Eduwork Japan Centre of Excellence opened its first Skill Development Centre in Sikkim.

it is clear that skill development in North East has indeed picked up at a rapid pace, yet it is not without challenges. There is, therefore, an urgent need to invent new steps to further sustain and maintain the momentum in achieving the goals of skill development mission. One of the first steps that can be taken would be a comprehensive skill mapping of each state. Skill mapping would encompass the harnessing of traditional knowledge of a particular area and develop it into a skill which can be redesigned as a source of employment. Such skill mapping that focuses on the needs of the catchment area would ensure meaningful employment for the local youth, instead of rapid migration to urban areas.

The Assam government has already rolled out a framework and a map in this regard. For example, Barpeta district in Assam, which is traditionally known for local fireworks and bell metal handicrafts, have IT Is and other institutes in place which impart knowledge on these sectors. The syllabus of such institutes can be reworked to place the traditional domain knowledge and redesign it in such a way that the trained youth are ready for the market sector. At the same time, smaller MSME industries in cluster mode should be encouraged to be developed in such areas. This ecosystem would ensure that skill development reaches its logical end of achieving employment. A similar model can be developed in Cachar. District, known for its pottery and Sital Patti Work. Sonitpur district can be developed into a prominent rice milling centre, given its existing experience as well as expertise.

A second measure that can give Further impetus to making skill development more meaningful is’ its integration with the international market by identifying new areas where traditional domain knowledge of these areas can be harnessed to create a market for certain products in neighboring countries. This model has been replicated by Fran Foods in Bangladesh. The food processing company from Bangladesh has created a niche market for itself in North East by introducing products like Litchi Juice. In the last few years, the company has gained a firm foothold in a large number of areas in the North East. The North East states must take advantage of this cross-border trade as well and eye industries which can deliver products which neighbors need. For example, the rich tradition of handicrafts in the form of gamoucha (towels) and shawls in the North East, can be utilised to create options for products in the market in neighboring countries for the same. The Pran Food model of Bangladesh must be utilised as a template to identify areas where North Eastern states can thrust themselves. The North Eastern states must take advantage of close proximity to its East Asian neighbours and derive economic prosperity through the same.

The third measure that can be taken is shifting to outcomes-based approach by adopting the National Skills Qualifications Framework (NSQF) standards. Once this model is adopted it will be able to regularly View the progress of each state and loopholes if any can be plugged as part of continuous as exercises.

There is also a need to catch aspirational youth at a young age to prevent a high dropout rate. Vocationalisation of school education is a welcome step in this regard. In order to inculcate entrepreneurial abilities among the NE youth, success story of inspiring entrepreneurs should be taught at the school level. It must be remembered that, while t h e task of skill development is huge, the infrastructure available is finite. The NE States must embark on utilising un-utilised government infrastructure for skill development to effectively tackle the infrastructure constraints faced by these States. The revised National Policy on Skill Development gives guidance to the question of leveraging the existing infrastructure to its maximum use. The presence of private training providers in the region must also increase, perhaps new ways could be found of linking CSR for companies present in the region and acting as a training provider for that particular sector. Barring Assam, none of the other states have Institutes for Training the Trainers and that ' one aspect that the states must focus on, on an urgent basis.

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Courtesy: Yojana