IndiaSkills 2021 Nationals, the country’s biggest skill competition, concluded recently.
- IndiaSkills Competition is organised by National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC), an apex skill development organisation working under the aegis of the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MSDE).
- NSDC has been leading India’s participation at the WorldSkills International competitions since 2011.
- In the last edition of WorldSkills International 2019 held in Kazan, Russia, India won one gold and silver medals each, two bronze medals and 15 Medallions of Excellence, ranking 13 among 63 countries that participated in the global event for skill appreciation.
INDIASKILLS COMPETITION 2021
- The country’s biggest skill competition is designed to demonstrate the highest standards of skilling and offers a platform to young people to showcase their talent at national and international levels.
- IndiaSkills Competition is held every two years with the support of state governments and industry. With 30 states and Union Territories (UTs) participating in 54 skills, including seven new-age ones, in 2021, IndiaSkills Competition has the potential to reach grassroot level and make an impact.
- IndiaSkills Competition held in December 2021.
- Odisha topped the chart followed by Maharashtra and Kerala
- The competitors will showcase their skills in areas such as beauty therapy, cyber security, floristry robot system integration, cloud computing, water technology, painting and decorating, health and social care, among others.
JOURNEY TO WORLDSKILLS COMPETITIONS
The winners of IndiaSkills 2021 will undergo training and get an opportunity to represent the country at the coveted WorldSkills Competition to be held in Shanghai, China in 2022. The candidates will compete against more than 1,400 participants from over 60 countries. A biennial competition, WorldSkills Competition has become popular over the years and has earned the moniker of ‘Olympics of Skills’.
Why does India need a skills development programme?
As of a 2014 report, India’s formally skilled workforce is just 2%. Additionally, there is a huge problem of employability among the educated workforce of the country. Lack of vocational or professional skills makes it difficult for the youth to adapt to changing demands and technologies of the marketplace. The high level of unemployment is due to the failure to get jobs and also due to a lack of competency and training.
- A study by the Skill Development Council (NSDC) indicates that there will be a need for around 12 crores of skilled manpower by 2022 across 24 key sectors.
- Casual workers, who constitute about 90% of the labour force, are poorly skilled as they do not get adequate training. Current vocational training programmes do not meet their demands.
- There is a problem of social acceptability when it comes to vocational education. Vocational courses are looked down upon and this needs to change.
- Another factor that acts as an obstacle to skill development in India is the myriad labour laws. However, the government has started simplifying and codifying the labour laws. With simpler laws, practising skill development should be easier.
- Changing technology is a big challenge and opportunity for the labour force. Employees will have to constantly upgrade their skills if they are to remain relevant in the job market.
- There is a problem with the lack of infrastructure in the current training institutes.
- Another problem is the poor quality of trainers available. Students trained by such trainers are not employable in the industry.
- There is a big issue with the standardisation of skills in the country. New schemes are designed to resolve this issue by having nationwide standards that also stand up to international benchmarks.
Skilling is important because of the following factors:
- Demographic dividend: Most major economies of the world have an aging population. India, with a favourable demographic dividend, can grab this opportunity and serve the manpower market. But, for this adequate skilling is to be provided to up the employability. To capitalise on this, there is only a narrow demographic window, that of a few decades.
- The percentage of the workforce receiving skill training is only 10% in India which is very small compared to other countries – Germany (75%), Japan (80%), South Korea (96%).
- Sectoral mobilisation: As productivity improves in agriculture due to increased mechanisation, there will be fewer people required in the farming sector. There will thus be a shift from this sector to other secondary and tertiary activities.
Government Initiatives to improve skill in India
- Skill India Mission
- Skill India Mission is a government scheme launched in 2015. It is an umbrella scheme that has many skilling schemes and programmes under it. The chief objective is to empower the youth of the country with adequate skill sets that will enable their employment in relevant sectors and also improve productivity.
Sub-schemes under Skill India
Skill India is an umbrella mission under which there are multiple schemes and programmes with specialised focus areas. The sub-schemes are as follows.
- National Skill Development Mission (NSDM)
The NSDM was launched for creating convergence across various sectors and different states with respect to activities relating to skills training. The mission, apart from consolidating and coordinating skilling efforts, would also facilitate decision making across sectors to achieve quality skilling on a large scale.
- Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY)
PMKVY is a skill certification scheme that aims to encourage the young population of the country to take up training which is industry-relevant and builds them in skill development.
The scheme contains many specialised components such as the National Skills Qualifications Framework (NSQF), Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL), Kaushal, and Rozgar Melas among others.
- Indian Skill Development Service
The Indian Skill Development Services (ISDS) is a new central government service that has been created especially for the training directorate of the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship. It is a Group ‘A’ service and is expected to give a big push to the government’s skilling initiatives by drastically enhancing the effectiveness and efficiency of the various schemes in this domain. The qualifying exam for this service is the Indian Engineering Service Exam conducted by the UPSC. The idea behind the ISDS is to attract young and talented people into the skill development domain and make skilling initiatives successful in the country.
The chief objective of this policy is to match the challenge of skilling at scale with speed, standard (quality), and sustainability. It aims to offer an umbrella framework to all skilling activities carried out within India, to align them to common standards and connect skilling with demand centres. In addition to laying down the objectives and expected outcomes, the policy also identifies the overall institutional framework which will act as a means to achieve the expected results.
- Skill Loan Scheme
Under this scheme, loans ranging from Rs.5000 to Rs. 1.5 lakhs will be provided for those seeking to attend skill development programmes. The idea behind the scheme is to remove financial hurdles for people who want to upgrade their skills and learn new skills.
- Other schemes:
The Ministry is implementing many other schemes in the skill development domain along with the above major schemes. One such important scheme is the Pradhan Mantri Yuva Udyamita Vikas Abhiyan (PM-YUVA).
- It is a centrally-sponsored scheme related to entrepreneurship education and training.
- The development and education of entrepreneurship to all citizens free of cost through Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) and eLearning systems.
- The designing of assessment and certification mechanism for the same.
- To equip institutes (schools and colleges) to help them deliver entrepreneurship educational programmes of global standards.
- Also to focus on social entrepreneurship promotion.
- The creation of an online web-based platform that connects entrepreneurs, investors, financial institutions, and business services such as legal, accounting, HR, and technology services.
- The setting up of a national mentor network for budding entrepreneurs.
- Create a network of incubators, credit agencies, business service providers, and accelerators.
- Establishment of a National Entrepreneurship Resource and Coordination Hub to coordinate and support entrepreneurship development programmes.
- The creation of a culture of dynamic entrepreneurship by way of branding and the media.
- Promote entrepreneurship research and advocacy.
- Include social entrepreneurship awareness programmes for the marginal sections like SC/ST and minority.
- Apprenticeship Protsahan Yojana:
This scheme revamps the Apprenticeship Act, 1961 to make the legal framework conducive to both the industry as well as young people.