New Delhi: The Cabinet on Wednesday approved the merger of National Council of Vocational Training (NCVT) and National Skill Development Agency (NSDA) to improve outcome of the Skill India mission.

While the NCVT was a regulator and assessment body of the long-term skill education space comprising over 13,000 industrial training Institutions, the NSDA was a policy formulating body of the skills ministry helping it devise training and industry collaboration policy for the Skill India mission.

While the NCVT was there for over four decades as part of the Directorate General of Training, the NSDA was a relatively new body came into force less than a decade back.

The merged entity would be called the National Council for Vocational Education and Training (NCVET), the government said after a Cabinet meeting earlier in the day.

The NCVET will regulate functions of entities engaged in vocational education and training — both long term and short term, and establish minimum standards for functions of such entities.

Quality control has been a constant worry for the skills sector in India with mushrooming of skill schools across India. Though Skill India had been a talking point for the governments over the last few years, there was hardly any quality assessment or monitoring of the sector, essential to the supply of efficient power to industries .

The new body will work as an assessor and monitoring unit for the entire skill eco-system that at any point of time caters to nearly 30 million students.

The Cabinet also approved the establishment and operationalisation of two new Indian Institutes of Science Education & Research (IISERs) at Tirupati (Andhra Pradesh) and Berhampur (Odisha) at a total cost of Rs.3074.12 crore.

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