NSDC may lose power to implement skills schemes

The skills ministry will instead give National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) powers to identify organizations willing to invest in skilling people

Prashant K. Nanda
Updated30 Aug 2017
Rajiv Pratap Rudy, minister of state for skill development . The skills ministry has taken the view that NSDC is not equipped to implement and monitor schemes. Photo: HT
Rajiv Pratap Rudy, minister of state for skill development . The skills ministry has taken the view that NSDC is not equipped to implement and monitor schemes. Photo: HT

New Delhi: The government proposes to strip the National Skill Development Corp. (NSDC) of its task of implementing its flagship skill schemes.

Instead, its sole responsibility will be to fund organizations who are willing to invest in skilling people, two government officials said.

The proposed makeover of NSDC is implicitly an indictment of the organization and also a signal that the government wants to kick-start the entire programme to generate skilled manpower.

The ministry of skill development and entrepreneurship has taken the view that NSDC is not equipped to implement and monitor schemes and that its mandate should be confined to financing qualified players who want to skill-train people in desired job roles.

“The skills minister and top bureaucrats in the ministry are on the same page in redrawing the skill training ecosystem and who should do what,” said a senior government official with direct knowledge of the development, who declined to be named.

The results of this restructuring will be threefold—while NSDC will lose its ‘big brother’ standing in the skills mission and focus only on financing, the states will get more central funds to do the job but they will have to take responsibility if things go wrong.

To begin with, of the Rs12,000 crore earmarked for the Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY-2), states will get nearly Rs9,000 crore and NSDC Rs3,000 crore with the respective allocated amounts getting reversed over a period of time.

At presently, PMKVY mandates that only a quarter of the money should be given to states and the rest to NSDC—this will be reversed beginning 2018. “PMKVY will become a centrally sponsored state-managed programme instead of a centrally sponsored centrally-managed programme,” said a second government official, also requesting anonymity.

The skills ministry and NSDC have had differences over the last few years prompting skills minister Rajiv Pratap Rudy to say that he is working to bring more accountability at NSDC. The ministry is also unhappy with the low percentage of placement of students under PMKVY, a flagship scheme that is under the close watch of the prime minister’s office.

According to the PMKVY website, in 2016-17 NSDC trained 557,000 people but placed only 63,000—a success rate of less than 12%, against a requirement of 70%.

On 9 August, the ministry told Lok Sabha that as of 31 July 2017, a total of 290,000 candidates had been given placement offers (not necessarily placed). Although the exact data on how many people were trained up to 31 July is not available immediately—a training target of around 1.8 million has been set in total for 2016-17 and 2017-18 and an overall training target of 10 million for 2020.

The first government official said the ministry will use the directorate general of training (DGT) to supervise the skill schemes through its seven regional centres as part of the restructuring of the skill ecosystem. DGT, the official said, had a partnership with 13,000 skill providers and been implementing short-term skill courses. However, it had been sidelined in the last few years and NSDC given more responsibility.

“Relieving NSDC from skill implementation will be good for both the mission and the organization,” said the second official mentioned above.

A spokesperson from the skills ministry declined to comment.

Rajesh Bagga, founder of Vocman India, a Delhi-based private training company, said implementing agencies and authorities need to bring in more industry partners to implement skill schemes and provide jobs. “Skill courses need to be designed by industries as per their job requirements. Unless trained youth get jobs, it will be tough to achieve the target of the skills mission,” he added.

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