The National Skill Development Council

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has written to all chief ministers, asking them to join in, doing two things. One, make available the buildings of higher educational institutions of the state for skill development programmes after regular class hours; two, form state level missions headed by the chief ministers themselves to co-ordinate the efforts of different government departments and agencies as well as involve local experts and representatives of different skill sectors. The letter went last Saturday. High-minded exhortation goes only so far. The Centre knows this. So, out of the Rs 275,000-crore allocation for education in the Eleventh Plan (five times as much as in the Tenth Plan), Rs 31,000 crore has been allocated to skill development. States can hope to tap into these funds, to convert unemployable youth into productive workers. This is not all. The finance ministry has promoted a National Skill Development Corporation as a not-for-profit company. This, too, will channel funds to assorted skill development activities across the country.But skill development is not a homogeneous activity. The shortage of a million nurses cannot be met by the efforts of those whose job is to train lathe operators or by computer-animators. Different sectors, different ministries, different companies and voluntary agencies must get involved, pool resources, dovetail activities into a shared operating infrastructure. Hence, the importance of the third skills body set up by the Centre, in addition to the PM’s council and the corporation: the National Skill Development Co-ordination Board, to be co-ordinated by the Planning Commission, and the proposed missions at the state level. Myriad ways of promoting skills have to be innovated, to meet the requirements of each sector, each state, each region’s degree of development. These cannot be laid down in any central blueprint. But the commitment of the political class, when combined with private initiative and administrative skills of the bureaucracy, can make skill development actually happen on the scale envisaged.The skills development council has proposed two key principles that would ensure that the skills training undertaken would, indeed, be effective. One is to funnel the funding to the trainee, rather than to the training institution. Training institutions would have to compete to attract would-be trainees endowed with scholarships/loans/vouchers/company sponsorships. Such competition would ensure the quality of delivery. The other idea is bankability of the training.Various other ideas yet to be crystallised into policy include giving tax breaks for sponsoring skillstraining — much like those available now for one’s own children’s education.The scheme is getting launched at the fag end of the present government’s term. It can succeed only if the political class understands the urgent imperative of upgrading skills of India’s large and growing young population, the largest for any country in the world. If they are empowered with knowledge and skills, they will power not just the Indian economy but the entire world. If they remain unschooled and unskilled, social violence and morbidity would choke off the potential of even the minority that does manage to get a decent education.


Anonymous said...

There are several other important issues which have to be taken care before framing the policy.The most important is the funding for trainers and the training academies.There are several training academies who are imparting quality training,job skills and also placing the students to various companies.The problem faced by them is that,uneducated rural youth does not have even small amount to pay for the training and there is no support from the goverment to these academies to fund the operations ...So the problem remains intact.
Secondly if the Goverment start recognising the training academies on the lines of AICTE and then start funding these academies it will be the right match with public private partnership,wherein the infrastructure can be done by the academies and get them recognised with the governing agency and the number of student enrolled shall be funded by the Goverment...These are few of the issue which have to be taken care at the initial level before launching the operations of National Skill Development Council.
Third very important issue is If the channeling of funds is given in hands of the trainee then to attract these trainees the academies have to advertise or do promotional campaigns which obviously comes with a cost...so at the end the cost will either effect the quality of training or the cost of the training will go higher resulting in the total funding for lessor people or the quality gowing down.

We need to have a debate on all the issues before giving it a final shape.
With Regards

Unknown said...

This seems to be a very important initiative and much needed one. I work for promoting training and employment opportunities for persons with disabilities. And am wondering how to make the Skill Development Inititative inclusive of them (Persons with disabilities)