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Skill India Mission: How PM Modi can take forward UPAs work to make skilled India a reality

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By NewsGram Staff Writer

The driving force for economic growth and social development for any country is skill and knowledge. Nations that possess a high degree of skill are better placed to handle the vagaries of the domestic, as well as the international, labor market.

With India at the cusp of a demographic shift, holding one of the youngest populations in the world, a skilled workforce is the need of the hour.

Skill Development

As per a skill development report, in the next 20 years the labor force in the industrialized world will decline by four percent whereas in India the same will expand by a healthy 32 percent. The dynamic transition in the demographic dividend poses both a challenge and an opportunity and further calls for employing the youth in productive activities.

In this regard, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Skill India Mission, an ambitious skill development programme which aims to train and polish a whopping 150 million people by 2022, is laudable although overtly ambitious.

The programme will further fuel Modi’s other development planks, the chief ones being Digital India, Make-in-India, Swacch Bharat, Smart City, and Namami Gange, as skill is the prerequisite for achieving such lofty aims.

Current Scenario

According to the skill development report, it has been estimated that an abysmal 2.3 percent of the total workforce in India has undergone formal skill training compared to 68 percent in the UK.

The skill gap study conducted in 2014 by the National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC), the apex body responsible for bringing forth the arduous task of skill development, indicated an additional net requirement of approximately 12 crore skilled workers in twenty four key sectors.

The 66th and 68th round of the NSSO survey further revealed that out of the total workforce of 49 crore people, 15 crore are in the age group of 15-45. This requires constant mapping of the existing skill levels along with re-skilling to maximize the productivity of the workforce by charting out a feasible livelihood plan.

Moreover, almost 90 percent of the students who enroll in schools drop out at different levels before reaching college. Most of them become unemployable due to lack of requisite skills.

Skill-India-Mission-Launched

Retracing skill development

Skill development concerns, which have today gained much prominence through political sloganeering, were voiced by the management thinker CK Prahalad almost a decade ago.

After making the Mumbai dabbawalaas ubiquitously famous, Prahalad’s cautionary advice to skill 500 million people by 2022, caught the UPA officials in rapt attention. Subsequently, the Honhaar Bharat campaign was initiated under whose umbrella the National Skill Development Corporation(NSDC) came into existence.

The Confederation of Indian Industry(CII), an association of Indian businesses later started the India@75 programme for bringing about a transformational change in the economy by 2022, the 75th year of Indian independence.

The NDA government then progressed on the foundation laid by the UPA government and formed a ministry dedicated to skill development, although clubbed with the ministry of youth affairs and sports. The mandate of the ministry was handed down to Rajiv Pratap Rudy.

The programme was henceforth renamed as the National Policy for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship 2015.

Going forward

Rajiv Pratap Rudy defined plans for skill development, “almost impossible to achieve.” Looking at the immensity of the groundwork required for achieving such a heroic feat, it is not impossible to imagine why Rudy contended with such a candid remark.

According to Dilip Chenoy, CEO of NSDC, 365 million people will be entering the workforce by 2022, almost two times more than the current target of the Skill India Mission.

The workforce in the unorganized sector is ever expanding and the dropout rates in schools stand at a jaw dropping 88 percent. The number of people migrating in search of job opportunities is also increasing by the day, a segment which needs to properly tapped by the government.

Modi’s boisterous calls for the Industrial Training Institute (ITIs) to take up the mantle of IITs to produce skilled workforce needs to be actualized. Abstract declarations of “minimum government, maximum governance” also need to see the light of the day so that the private sector can usher in a skill development revolution.

India can and should become the human resource capital of the world.

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India and European Union (EU) Collaborate on Skill Development Project to discuss its Result and Impact

The collaboration between India and the EU in the area of skills ecosystem has been successful and hoped to work further with the EU in this area

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Rajiv Pratap Rudy (Right) at the launch of Transnational Skill Standards in New Delhi earlier this year. Flickr

New Delhi, November 18, 2016: A delegation of the European Union and the government’s National Skill Development Agency (NSDA) held a conference to discuss the results, impact and the way forward of the EU-India Skill Development Project.

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The EU India Skill development conference was inaugurated by Union Minister of State Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (Independent Charge), Rajiv Pratap Rudy, in the presence of Tomasz Kozlowski, Ambassador of the European Union to India, and senior government officials, said a EU press statement on Thursday.

Rudy said the collaboration between India and the EU in the area of skills ecosystem has been successful and hoped to work further with the EU in this area.

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Kozlowski said, “The project worked with 7 states, 6 sectors; trained 199 trainers and 85 assessment professionals, and organised workshops for over 400 participants from different partner organisations. It has been successful in helping to implement the various policies and to design a framework for quality assurance of training and assessment, contributing to the employability of the skilled workforce. We believe this will certainly strengthen the National Skill Development Mission.”

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Skill development is one of India’s priorities. Started in 2012 and funded by the European Union, the project has successfully assisted the National Skill Development Agency (NSDA), selected State Skill Development Missions (SSDMs) and Sector Skill Councils (SSCs) in implementing policies and developing frameworks to increase the employability and capacity for entrepreneurship of those trained under the National Skill Development Mission. (IANS)

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A voice of his own: Rahul Gandhi tries to impress Lok Sabha with his speech

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Rahul Gandhi
Image source: wordpress.com

New Delhi: Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi’s oratory skills seem to be taking a much-desired shift as he gave a fiery 31-minute animated taunt at the government, mixed with sarcasm and humour yesterday. Gandhi has been ridiculed for his drab speeches since a long time now.

There was often deft silence, repeatedly disturbed by loud jeer from the treasury benches, when the 45-year-old Gandhi scion tore into the government over various issues in the high-ceilinged precincts of the Lok Sabha.

He poked a finger and perhaps touched a raw nerve when he sarcastically referred to RSS ideologue Veer Savarkar and slammed the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for following him. The BJP members heckled back, objecting to his remarks.

“I said (Mahatma) Gandhi is ours, Veer Savarkar is yours. Am I wrong? Have you thrown Savarkar away? Good for you,” Gandhi said, with a grin, as he intermittently looked at a paper on which he apparently had written his talking points.

He wore a clean-shaven look, a white kurta pyjama, appeared calm, made frequent eye contact with MPs, moved his hands freely with strong gestures. Congress MPs cued him on various issues that the party needed him to speak on. But he remained undistracted.

He apparently didn’t bother about details and fumbled many a time, giving his detractors a reason to boo at him. But he took the criticism in his stride without getting overwhelmed.

“I am not from RSS, I commit mistakes,” said Gandhi, often derided for his alleged lack of knowledge and not so good oratory skills.

Even some BJP members, including Minister of State for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, Rajiv Pratap Rudy, could not help but smile back at him while Minister of State for Finance Jayant Sinha clapped at least once.

Gandhi rode roughshod over the ruling party for its criticism of the previous Congress government.

“Modiji said I have not seen a scheme as bad as MGNREGA. But (Finance Minister) Arun Jaitley came to me and said that it’s a very good scheme. I told him, why don’t you say this to your boss? When money was allotted to MGNREGA, I closed my eyes and thought it was (P) Chidambaram, (the former finance minister during the Congress government), presenting the budget.”

His colleagues burst into laughter amid bouts of protests from the other side of the house. He lashed out at the government’s measures as an “assault on democracy”.

“Modiji is a very powerful man. Everybody feels a bit scared of him. But we should ask him questions. You should also ask,” he told BJP MPs. (Sarwar Kashani, IANS)

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Harish Hande: India makes development and sustainable energy go hand in hand

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Image source: indiaconferenceatharvard.com

Kolkata: The Ramon Magsaysay recipient and social entrepreneur Harish Hande on Saturday emphasized on the need to conduct on-field researches instead of publishing them on papers. Hande believes that India’s ability to prove development and sustainable energy solutions can go hand in hand.

“We need to come up with a research culture where research is linked to the field. Today research is linked to paper. Professors are into publishing more papers. How many of your innovations have actually happened on the field? We should be benchmarked on that,” Hande said in an interaction with media persons here.

Recognised for his efforts to put solar power technology in the hands of the poor, Hande, an IIT-Kharagpur alumnus, lamented the gap in tapping into the regional rural banking sector.

“What India has which many developing countries do not have is the fantastic infrastructure of financial institutions in the rural area. Somewhere it will be efficient, somewhere not,” he said on the sidelines of the Innovation 2016 conference here organised by business chamber CII.

Hande highlighted the need to “piggyback” on the RRBs and ITIs (Industrial Training Institutes) to trigger an energy revolution.

About energy, finance and market linkage, the founder of Solar Electric Light Company (SELCO) India stressed on the need for the country to adopt an aggressive stance in international negotiations.

“It is the only country which can create innovations where it can prove development and sustainable energy can go hand in hand without sacrificing each other. India should (rather than being defensive saying the West has been polluting) be aggressive and say we are innovative, we can show how poverty can be removed in a sustainable way,” Hande added. (IANS)