NSDC staring at HR crisis as chiefs exit

After CEO Dilip Chenoy and COO Atul Bhatnagar left the organization in October, three more top executives heading key verticals have resigned


The developments at NSDC may affect India’s skill mission and the overall skill training outcome.
The developments at NSDC may affect India’s skill mission and the overall skill training outcome.

New Delhi: The National Skill Development Corp. (NSDC) seems to be in the middle of a human resource crisis.

After chief executive officer Dilip Chenoy and chief operating officer Atul Bhatnagar left the organization in October, three more top executives heading key verticals of NSDC have resigned—the latest was earlier this week, according to two individuals close to the development.

Though exits are part of the professional workplace, the developments at NSDC have followed in the wake of Chenoy’s resignation.

NSDC, a public-private partnership body functioning under the central government and the skill development ministry are together meant to devise and implement the government’s skilling mission, crucial in turn to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s manufacturing and job-creation programme.

In the last two months, Gouri Gupta, head of monitoring has left NSDC followed by Mahesh Venkateswaran, head of innovation and engagement. While Gupta was the key executive for monitoring the skill development targets, Venkateswaran dealt with the financial aspects of the training providers.

The latest to quit is Bhavna Chopra, who headed the corporation’s strategic project vertical and was the main official responsible for the implementation of the Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY).

PMKVY, launched in 2015, aims to train 2.4 million people and has a separate budget of Rs.1,500 crore. Of the targeted 2.4 million, 1.4 million were to be trained in 2015-16 with a provision for monetary rewards. PMKVY wanted to take people engaged in informal work into the formal sectors by recognizing their existing knowledge base. Gupta and Chopra declined to comment for the story, and Mint was unable to reach Venkateswaran. Jayant Krishna, the interim chief executive of NSDC did not respond to calls or a text message sent to him.

The developments at NSDC may affect India’s skill mission and the overall skill training outcome.

The corporation is a key player in the government’s skill development plans with the mandate to train some 150 million people by 2022. “Since October, the NSDC is passing through a transition phase. The ministry wants to have a bigger say and the synergy between both the ministry and the corporation is not yet strong,” said a government official who declined to be named.

The official, however, said that the development will have an adverse impact on the skill development target of the government. According to official data, in the first six months of the current financial year, NSDC has managed to achieve less than 15% of its 3.7 million skill training target. Besides, against a target of 2.4 million under PMKVY, NSDC had achieved less than 30% in terms of training and 10% in terms of certification as of February 2016.

A skill training partner of NSDC said that since the high level departures, the organization is in a state of flux. “There is no direction, no force for scaling up. May be they are settling down,” the training provider said requesting anonymity.

But Neeti Sharma, senior vice-president at TeamLease Services Ltd, a training and staffing company, said that “people leaving should not impact the mission much as the organization is intact. Now both NSDC and the skills ministry need to focus on scaling up and measuring the outcome in order to make skill development mission a success.”

India aims to skill train some 500 million people by 2022 to sharpen the competitiveness of its young population and provide a job-ready manpower to industries.