Skill development is essential for economic growth and social development. As per the International Labor Organisation, “Education, vocational training and lifelong learning are central pillars of employability, employment of workers and sustainable enterprise development.” India faces a large disconnect between the formal education system and work requirements, compounding the skill gap’s challenges. With more than 12 million youths entering work age annually, it becomes imperative for the government to enhance the country’s employment opportunities. Generating employment to such a large population is a challenge. The government has drafted skill development as one of its priorities. It aims to enhance youth participation, seek greater inclusion of women, and improve the capability of the present system, making it flexible to adapt to technological changes and demands emanating from the labour market.
Under the Modi government’s regime, there has been a strong push for skill development in India. Prime Minister launched the Skill India Mission in 2015 with a vision of making India the “skill capital” of the world. The government stated that the aim was to impart skills training to 400 million people by 2022 via schemes such as the Pradhan Mantri Rozgar Protsahan Yojna, Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Grameen Kaushalya Yojna, and National Apprenticeship Promotion Scheme.
To tackle the economic slowdown brought by coronavirus pandemic, the government recently announced the Atma Nirbhar Bharat scheme. The said scheme aims at making India a ‘self-reliant’ nation and reviving the country’s economy. The COVID 19 crisis has disrupted global supply chains and affected livelihoods across different sectors. In these testing times, most countries are looking inwards; hence the dependence on the domestic economy will increase. It’s high time to priorities India’s self-dependence by building capacities across sectors and promoting local products. Since India has a large population of youths with 65% of its population below 35 years, India can emerge as a bright spot by providing a skilled workforce to other nations.
The need for the hour is to upgrade the skills or up-skill the youths of the country to fulfill the employment needs of technology-driven 21st century and accelerate self-reliance. The government is planning to move on to the next phase of Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojna (PMKVY), which will have an increased focus on demand is driven skill development, digital technology, and other relevant industry skills. Moreover, the government is further working on the Skill Management Information System, bringing the entire skill ecosystem on an official web portal and working as an aggregator for demand and supply of skilled workforce. Also, the Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship is working closely with other central ministries and state governments on compiling data of competent persons across the country, which shall be made available at a single click.
The number of initiatives being taken by India’s government to enhance the skills of the youth shows its commitment towards fulfilling the vision of ‘self-reliant’ India and, at the same time, increases the employment opportunities. To promote the concept of ‘self-reliant’ India, our organization ‘Aatmnirbhar Sena‘ will also be offering skill development training programmes to our country’s youths. The skill development programme is one of the initiatives among many by Aatmnirbhar Sena to further our honorable prime minister’s vision of Aatmnirbhar Bharat.