National Skill Development Programme : A Perspective

HS Mishra
How many times when you need a skilled plumber , carpenter or mason to fix problems in your home, you feel frustrated as you don’t get one easily. Similarly in various other fields like driving crane operator, welder, auto mechanic , you find people either lacking the basic training or being trained by an Ustaad   who also never got any formal training. There is large number of youth who drop out either during X or XII stage and does not get any worthwhile job and remains unemployed. Some of them pick up basic labour jobs but majority of them pass their time sitting idle and get into bad habits and unlawful activities.
As Indian Economy is growing there is large requirement of skilled people in every field. Also country requires formalising training for local artisans . be it sericulture, silk weaving, carpet weaving, bamboo, rubber, leather  products and many other small scale industries specific to the region. The government had set up Polytechnic schools and ITIs for providing vocational training in every region but over a period either they were not updated or the number of people coming out of these institutes are inadequate to meet the growing requirements.
With growth of IT& ITES sector many of the sectors involving basic skill set were given low priority by youth as well as the government. As a result it was noticed that there is wide gap between the demand and supply.
It is estimated that 70% of Indians will be in ‘working age’ by the year 2025.This demographic dividend’ could give India an edge over the developed countries where a larger segment of the population would by then, be past retirement. However, this demographic dividend can easily turn into a demographic disaster if majority of the working age population remains unemployable due to lack of skills.

The situation is ironic. On one hand, domestic economic growth has created employment demand and job opportunities, while on the other, a shortage of skills is making more people unemployable. There are 18 central government ministries that offer skill development initiatives through school education, institutes of higher learning and specialised vocational training institutes, but real success is yet to be seen. By improving the learners’ employability, we can contribute substantially towards reducing unemployment and underemployment.

Government  Initiative : Skill Development
In recognition of this need, the Government of India has adopted skill development and up skilling as a national priority over the next 10 years. The concept paper for this was prepared by Mr Sam Pitroda, Advisor to PM. He also travelled extensively to promote the concept and involve private companies, social entrepreneurs & young minds. The Eleventh Five Year Plan formulated a road-map for skill development in India, and favoured the formation of Skill Development Missions, both at the State and National levels. To create such an institutional base for skill development in India at the national level, a “Coordinated Action on Skill Development” with three-tier institutional structure consisting of the PM’s National Council on Skill Development, the National Skill Development Coordination Board (NSDCB) and the National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) was created in early 2008.
The main functions of the PM’s National Council on Skill Development are as under:
·         To lay down overall broad policy objectives, financing and governance models and strategies relating to skill development.
·         To review the progress of schemes, and guide on mid-course corrections, additions and closure of parts or whole of any particular programme/scheme.
·         Coordinate Public Sector / Private Sector Initiatives in a framework of collaborative action.
The NSDCB coordinates the skill development efforts of a large number of Central Ministries/Departments and States. The National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) is a Public Private Partnership, set up to catalyze the setting-up of large scale, for-profit sustainable vocational institutions in the country, by encouraging private sector participation and providing low-cost funding for training capacity. In addition, it is expected to fund supporting systems such as quality assurance, labor market information systems and train-the-trainer facilities. Thus, the three-tier structure together facilitates implementation of skill development on the ground through three main channels – Central Ministries, the state governments and private and public training organisations.
In the Central Government, around 18 Ministries are closely involved in skill development These ministries mainly operate in one of two ways – through setting up own training capacity in specific sectors (examples of such ministries include Ministry of Labor and Employment, Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare etc) or through providing per-trainee costs of training for specific target populations (examples of such ministries include Ministry of Rural Development, Ministry of Women and Child Development etc).
Most State Governments also have set up State Skill Development Missions as nodal bodies to anchor the skill development agenda in the State. SSDMs are expected to play a significant role in escalating the pace of skilling, through identification of key sectors for skill development in the State, as well as coordinating with Central Ministries and State Line Departments, as well as industry and private training organizations. Each State has adopted a structure of SSDM that best suits the local environment and the State vision for skill development. While some States have elected to form the SSDM as a Society or Corporation under the Chief Secretary or Chief Minister, others have housed it under relevant Departments such as Labour, Human Resource Development or Planning. Many states are starting to set year-wise targets for skill development, specifying the state budgetary allocation, and complementing Government efforts by encouraging private investment.
The NSDC will facilitate or catalyse initiatives that can potentially have a multiplier effect as opposed to being an actual operator in this space. In doing so, it will strive to involve the industry in all aspects of skill development. The approach will be to develop partnerships with multiple stakeholders and build on current efforts, rather than undertaking too many initiatives directly or duplicating efforts currently underway.
To scale up efforts necessary to achieve the objective of skilling / upskilling 150 million people, the NSDC will strive to:
·         Develop ultra low cost, high-quality, innovative business models
·         Attract significant private investment
·         Ensure that its funds are largely “re-circulating”; i.e. loan or equity rather than grant
·         Create leverage for itself
·         Build a strong corpus
Use of Existing Infrastructure
Proposals that deploy operating plans which leverage use of existing infrastructure are encouraged. Hence, proposals that intend partnerships with any existing training centers e.g. ITI s and ITCs will be looked at with special interest.

Besides, the organisation takes into consideration the following guidelines while evaluating proposals:

·         The proposal should preferably identify and target the most important skill development gap in a sector / region
·         It should aim to cover a significant portion of the priority target segment
·         The proposal should not expect the NSDC to fund 100% of the total project cost
·         It should preferably not expect the NSDC to fund the entire amount as a grant
·         The proposal should preferably be in the following priority sectors identified by the Planning Commission:
·         Automobile / auto component
·         Electronics hardware
·         Textiles and garments
·         Leather and leather goods
·         Chemicals and pharmaceuticals
·         Gem and jewellery
·         Building and construction
·         Food processing
·         Handlooms and handicrafts
·         Building hardware and home furnishings
·         IT or software services
·         ITES-BPO
·         Tourism, hospitality and travel
·         Transportation/ logistics/ warehousing, and packaging
·         Organised retail
·         Real estate services
·         Media, entertainment, broadcasting, content creation, animation
·         Healthcare
·         Banking/ insurance and finance
·         Education/ skill development
One of the major challenges to scale up skilling initiatives in India is the non-availability of trained and motivated trainers to take any well designed programme forward, whether by public or private sector. Cll intends to address this gap and prepare a pool of trained trainers across the country, who have the competence and willingness to impart defined employable skills to the large population of unprivileged school dropout youth who are NEET (Not in Education, Employment or Training).

Based on the above CII Karnataka is organizing the ‘Train the Trainers programme for Employable skills’ in November 2013 at Bangalore.

Training Partners have come up across nation and operating even in smaller towns like Bhopal, Cuttack, Agra etc. Some of companies which are contributing in major way are AISECT Bhopal & Delhi, Aptech Mumbai,B-Able Delhi,Bombay Stock Institute Mumbai,CFTI Chennai,L& T Construction Skills Training Institute Institute Bangalore and Team lease.



The efforts are being taken to identify the skill gaps at each and every district level. the agencies which have been selected to carry out this task are KPMG, Accenture, E& Y etc as consultant.


Special schemes like seekho aur kamao has been launched for minorities, disabled and BPL cateogary where the training organization gets 25 k per trainee which includes stipend,training cost and placement support.


Under the Special Industry Initiative of the Prime Minister, the National Skills Development Corporation (NSDC) and Ministry of Home Affairs have been mandated to work with the corporate sector in bringing about a positive change in the employment and skills space of Jammu and Kashmir. The Special Industry Initiative, known as “Udaan”, targets the youth of J&K, specifically graduates and postgraduates, who are seeking global and local opportunities. Udaan thereby aims to provide skills to 40 000 youth over a period of 5 years in high growth sectors.
Opportunity for young & old
The skill training requirement for unemployed youth is opportunity for young as well as retired professionals. An engineer or MBA professional based on skills and aptitude can become a social entrepreneur and set up training centres at their convenient locations/home towns. The cost of setting up training centre will required moderate  investment.  One can send the proposal to NSDC online. The proposal will be scrutinized  by expert committee and once approved the individual can get grant /take a loan from NSDC.The rate of interest is very low about 2-3%. Once established it can be scaled up easily based on requirement. For retired people it is ideal as they can choose the field they have worked and can be gainfully engaged as trainer or administrator.
Key metrics for FY 2013-14:
Annual Target = 73.42 lakh persons
Reported Progress = 18.87 lakh persons
(Figures as on 30th September 2013
Critical Assessment Of the Scheme
After going through the entire planning and implementation of Skill Development Scheme the comments are as follows.
1.    The scheme should be based on demand Vs supply principle. The number of opportunities in each trade be compiled every six months / 1 year and accordingly the training task to be allocated.
2.    Schemes like subsidized rice/wheat and other freebies given by states/central government are detrimental to the essence of skill development and employment. By these schemes youth tend to become lethargic and likely to shy away in taking challenging path.
3.    Government needs to popularise accreditation and certification scheme of tradesmen so that employers are cautious while recruiting.
4.    Tie up with other governments for ease of visa norms and employment.
5.    Quality of primary and secondary education needs to be revamped and be more practical oriented. Curriculum of Polytechnic and ITI needs to be updated and aligned to industry requirements.
It can be seen from the above that it is very ambitious program. It is also quite difficult to implement and achieve desired level of skilling  as it involves entire length and breadth of country. Further it is oriented to youth who are less educated and not focussed about the future. It is required to be taken as mass movement. The efficacy of the program lies in standard training and prompt and good placement. Role of NGOs and private sector is going to very important. States like Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu Karnataka, Maharashtra and Odisha have taken the lead role and successfully conducting vocational training and providing employment. Other states are also following and trying to bridge the gap which will help in providing employment.
1.Discussion with States  New Delhi – 31st October 2012
2. National Skill Development Corporation

3. NSDC aims to train 150 million people by 2022- Indian Express -3 Dec 2013

4. National Skill Development Agency




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