A cabinet note to give concrete shape to the National Skill Development Mission proposes that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh head the mission, which is to be anchored in the Planning Commission, even as it could end up being an autonomous body, a society or a special purpose vehicle.
The proposal also calls for 17 Union ministries, which are already associated with skill development projects of some sort, to implement the programmes.
The government plans to extend training facilities to 10 million people a month, up from 2.5 million a year. The mission will oversee and facilitate the entire process, which will run as a collaborative action by the government and private sector.
Key role: Planning Commission deputy chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia. The plan panel will anchor the skill development mission.
The government hopes 70 million jobs will be created during the 11th Plan (2007-12), and the skill development mission is expected to train people to make the best of these opportunities.
Mint had reported that the skills development mission will be set up on 7 December.
According to officials close to the development, the cabinet note, detailing the provisions for the constitution of an administrative mechanism comprising a general body, an executive body, mission coordinator and sub-missions, which comprises vocational training facilities by the government and private sector, has already been moved.
With Rs31,000 crore proposed to be spent over five years, the mission will look at 20 areas of growth for skill development in manufacturing and services. The identified high growth sectors include automobile and auto component, transportation, logistics, warehousing and packaging, travel and tourism, media and entertainment and health-care services.
“It has been proposed that the mission will have a general body headed by the Prime Minister and will also have senior ministers and heads of industry associations, which have high growth potential, besides Planning Commission deputy chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia as vice-chairman,” said a government official who did not wish to be identified.
“The real issue, when it comes to skill development, is whether the government is doing anything at all to promote education. Monitoring comes later, seriousness comes first,” challenges Prakash Javadekar, a national spokesperson of the Bharatiya Janata Party. The PM’s monitoring of the project “is the beginning of excessive interference.”
According to the latest National Sample Survey report, which is conducted at a micro level through extensive field work, in 2004-05, only 2% of the population in the age group 15-29 years was reported to have received formal vocational training. Another 8% received non formal vocational training, the report says.
The same survey suggests that in five years (from 1999-2000 to 2004-05) 47 million work opportunities were created in the country.
In the 11th Plan document, the Planning Commission has recommended a public-private partnership (PPP) model to enable skill development through short-term vocational courses, which may range from six months to two years.
“Students who acquire a certificate from private institutions can go in for a national test organized by the government and once they clear the national test, they will get a certificate, which will enhance their job prospects,” Ahluwalia had earlier said.
The government imparts vocational training through 8,000 centres, such as the Industrial Training Institutes and polytechnics across the nation. These, along with private sector-led institutions, will be part of the sub-missions that will work under the skill development mission.
Pragya Singh contributed to this story.