HOW FAR HAS OUR SKILL DEVELOPMENT MISSION GONE IN 5 YEARS? AN EVALUATION

Today, 15th July is World Youth Skills Day. On this fine day, our PM addressed a conclave and gave us the mantra for success in the post COVID society. The mantra goes, “Skill, Re-skill, Upskill”. For this same purpose, 5 years ago, on this day, our PM launched ‘Skills India Mission’. Its objective was to scale up skill development across the country. It is managed by National Skill Development Corporation of India. Its mission was to fulfil the growing need inn India for skilled manpower across sectors and narrow the existing gap between the demand and supply of skills. Under it, there are some other initiatives like

  • National Skill Development Mission
  • National Policy for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, 2015
  • Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY)
  • Skill Loan scheme
  • Rural India Skill

Today on the account of #5yearsofSkillIndia, let us take a look at how this particular mission has done so far. Before anything else, look at this table with some statistics.

YearPeople trainedPeople who secured jobs
2016 -172,23,885280
2017 –1821,54,0004,53,000
2018 – 1918,94,0006,71,000
2019 – 2025,38,0004,23,000

By the looks of it, we can see that the scheme hasn’t achieved its purpose in full scale. Since 2015, Rupees 5,903.4 crores have been released to various initiatives of the scheme. A total of 68 lakh people has undergone training, but only 15.5 lakh have managed to get placed so far.

Why dint the mission work as effectively as it should have?

The mission targeted at training 300 million people by 2022. This was a very large number. There was not enough concern about providing employment opportunities as the corporation was running behind numbers. After the first phase of PMKVY in 2015, there wasn’t proper evaluation to analyse the outcomes of the scheme. There was no checking if the training and employment rate was proportionate to each other. The courses are mostly equipped with short term skills rather than long term ones which will ensure long term employment for the trainees.

The design of the scheme had many operational flaws including the usage of the National Skill Development Fund, according to The Comptroller and Auditor General. This is one of the factors contributing to the scheme’s efficient working. The Sharada Prasad Committee said that the NSDC did not properly implement the Standard Training Assessment and Reward (STAR) programme. This programme was a private – public sector initiative, under which, the candidates who successfully complete a market driven skill training programme will receive financial incentives up to Rupees 10 lakhs. Only 8.5 – 10 % of the candidates have been able to get employment under this programme. The programme also failed at providing certificates and financial incentives to the candidates who got their results.

The NSDC has not delegated its responsibilities for setting up staff selection commissions as they have conflict of interest with these commissions. The NSDC should have had initiated mobilization of resources for skill development from industry, monetary institutions, Multi and bi – lateral aid agencies and various departments and ministries of State and Central governments. The Sharada Prasad Committee also said that the corporation did not follow standard procedure for creation of selection commissions.

Some other issues holding the back the mission are the low-quality industrial interfaces in training centres which makes the employers think twice before hiring candidates from these programs. Institutes like ITIs, polytechnics which are supposed to be the training centres haven’t received enough enrolment from the students. Most of them aren’t even aware of the schemes. The ones who received training did not start their own businesses and became entrepreneurs as much as the Government expected them to. Only a very small 25% of the people kickstarted their businesses and only 10,000 of them applied for MUDRA loans.

It can be observed that most of the things in this mission dint work the way the government expected. Even during the second term of the Modi government, not much has been done to repair the flaws in the program and ensure that money spent by the them is being properly used by the Mission. Like every government scheme, this too has had some positives. Many MNCs have decided to set up their manufacturing units in India in the recent times. Countries like japan have come forward to set up training institutes in our country to train 30,000 people in ten years. The scheme has come a long way in women empowerment. 68.12 lakh women have undergone training under the scheme, under which 38 lakh have finished their training in it is. It is still continuing its efforts to remove the socio-economic hurdles faced by especially rural women, in the field of entrepreneurship and employment.

Even with all the positives, the failure still outweighs the success. The record high rate of unemployment in the country being one of the major proofs. In the road forward, to achieve ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ the government should take more steps towards holistic training since schooling years. More money should be spent on improving the quality of training centres. They should create more awareness about the mission among the youth by providing information to them in their schools, colleges or anganwadi centres. The functionality of the NSDC should also improve at a much higher rate. Very importantly, it should be ensured that employment opportunities are created for the candidates who undergo the skill development programs.

  • Jahnavi TR
  • Bengaluru

References – https://www.newindianexpress.com/nation/2020/jun/08/just-23-per-cent-of-trainees-got-jobs-under-skill-india-mission-since-2015-2153636.html

https://iasscore.in/topical-analysis/skill-india-mission-

https://www.drishtiias.com/daily-updates/daily-news-editorials/the-problem-of-skilling-india

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