New Delhi: The government on Saturday assured the NRIs it would remove regulatory constraints to encourage their participation in the education sector as skill development was necessary to achieve 10% economic growth in the 12th Five-Year Plan (2012-17).
“It is quite logical to enable NRIs to play part in expansion of education and to improve quality of skill development. There are regulatory constraints, which may come in the way, we are working to relax them,” Planning Commission deputy chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia said at the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas here.
He further said skill development was necessary to achieve the 10% economic growth rate as desired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
“We will run into skill constraints to achieve high growth rate, one of the critical factors is massive expansion of education system in India,” he said.
Ahluwalia further said that efforts would be made to achieve 9% growth trajectory by the end of the Eleventh Plan (2007-12) and 10% growth rate in the next five-year plan.
Indian economy was expanding by 9% before the global financial meltdown hit the world and pulled down the country’s GDP growth rate to 6.7% 2008-09.
Ahluwalia said: “By the end of the XIth plan (2007-12), we will restore back to the 9% growth trajectory.”
About the Prime Minister’s intent to achieve over 10% economic growth he said: “I am not saying that it is easy. But the question arises which are the areas, which need to be focused on. These are infrastructure and skill development.”
On the potential of the education sector in India, he said: “Every year 8 million people are added to the workforce in India and in the next 25 years, 250 to 300 million people would be added to the workforce.”
Besides he also pointed out the need for upgrading skills of the existing 200 million workforce.
For the purpose, the government has created a National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) for funding education institutes built under the public-private partnership model (PPP) with a corpus of Rs1,000 crore last year.
According to the labour ministry estimates there is a huge skill deficit in the 20 high-growth industry sectors and the unorganised sector.
The NSDC, funded by government and industries in the ratio of 51:49, will train about 150 million people by 2022 to meet the growing demand for skilled workforce.