ABOUT THE AUTHOR
This article has been written by Shambhavi Kant, a Law student at
Rajiv Gandhi National University of Law, Patiala.
Skill development is important for any nation’s economic and well as social development. It is very important in a country like India, which requires employment opportunities for hundreds of thousands employable youth. In 2015, the Hon’ble prime minister of India, Mr. Narendra Modi launched the “Skill India” campaign which intends to train over four hundred million people in the country in various skills by 2022. It is an umbrella term that includes various initiatives like National Skill Development Mission (NSDM), Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY), Indian Skill Development Service and various other schemes. The main purpose of the campaign is to empower the youth of India with sufficient skill sets that will increase the chances of their employability in relevant sectors. The article analyses the “skill India” campaign.
The objective of the campaign
‘Skill India’ aims to meet employers’ demands of skills and, to prepare workers who are suitable for the particular job. It was set up to attend to the crisis of youth unemployment, by channeling the desires and energies of youth for fruitful employment. The mission intends to provide vocational training and employment opportunities to the youth of the country by enabling them to undertake feasible economic activities. It is designed to produce a more employable labour force. It aims to create a workforce that meet the global demand. It also intends to speed up policy-making across sectors to make certain skill development is happening at a large scale.
Importance of the skill India campaign
India is a growing economy; it is opening door for the youth by creating various opportunities by means of various skill development initiatives. A person can acquire the essential knowledge for any particular job. This not only increases an individual’s knowledge but also his productivity and employability. The skill India campaign helps in the development of skills at the grass root level which in turn enables the youth to have a decent livelihood. Employers believe that the initiative will give them an opportunity to hire better labour which will increase the productivity of the industry. The campaign encourages aptitude towards employable skills and increases efficiency by providing quality training. For instance, hundreds of training centers, known as, PM Kaushal Kendra, have been setup throughout the country. Skill development centres provide short term training and special project. Such centres have trained more than fifty million people.
Despite being well educated, many candidates miss out several opportunities because they lack skills required for that particular job. The “skill India” initiative provides the opportunity to get suitable training across different fields from designated skill development establishments. The “Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojna” enables the youth to take industry relevant skill training. The certificate awarded after the successful completion of the training validates an individual’s training and helps in providing better job prospects.
Recently, the Entrepreneurship Development Programme has been launched, to train people at the village-level. Due to the COVID 19 pandemic, most of the migrants have returned to their native homes as they were left with no job. The programme intends to reduce the chore of people, living in rural and backward areas, by providing them new means of employment, through the intervention of science and technology. It would help people to have a decent way to earn a living.
Even though the campaign helped in providing vocational training to a large number of people, it is not free from flaws.
Shortcomings of “Skill India”
Although “Skill India” provides a wide range of skill development initiatives, in 2016, only 8.5% of the people who were enrolled in the training programme were placed. The short term training courses provided by the institutes were not sufficient to ensure a job for the people who were enrolled. The lack of adequate infrastructure facilities at educational institutes is also a major challenge in skill development. As technology is developing rapidly, the need for knowledge of the digital system is becoming more important. Most of the institutes don’t have adequate facilities to teach the people about this. Inadequate industry interface is also a major issue faced by the training centers in India. The shortage of qualified trainers leads to poor quality outcomes. Students often consider vocational training as the last resort which makes it very difficult to enroll students in such programmes. The insufficient financing of vocational training institutes along with insufficient training capacity severely impacts the growth of an individual’s productivity and work efficiency. Other than these shortcomings, lack of awareness is also a major problem. Many people are not even aware about the schemes that the government is running in order to provide better job opportunities.
Conclusion and suggestions
There is a need to rethink and reform the “Skill India” campaign. It needs a holistic approach to fulfill its target and end youth unemployment. It focuses on youth. The vocational training initiative is not only for underprivileged people. Students should be enlightened about the courses and career opportunities available to them after the completion of the course so that they can make the right decision. Training institutes should be evaluated from time to time. It will ensure that quality training. Trainers should be highly skilled and educated. After sufficient research, courses should be formed. It will ensure that after the completion of the course, the individual will have decent employment opportunities. Surveys can be conducted to ensure what skills are required for a particular job. The training centers should not only focus on technical skill development but also on the development of behavioral skills. Knowledge of technology and digital platforms will play a significant role in overcomes the challenges associated with skill development. India must find new innovative means of educating and developing skills in its population in order to deal with the employability difficulties. It is a continuous process that is difficult to manage and requires diligence and determination to ensure successful implementation of the initiatives.