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India's skills mission shifts gear from top-down to bottom-up

The local admins will play a role in skill gap and demand assessment, mobilization of candidates, counselling. (Pradeep Gaur/Mint)
The local admins will play a role in skill gap and demand assessment, mobilization of candidates, counselling. (Pradeep Gaur/Mint)

The union Ministry of Skills Development and Entrepreneurship (MSDE) ministry has written to the district administrations to get ready for the big role to make the skills mission more effective and drive a better outcome while serving the bottom of the pyramid at their native place

New Delhi: India's skill mission is set to shift gear from top down to bottoms up, with district administrations getting a good share of the responsibilities from demand assessment to jobs linkage of trained youth.

The union Ministry of Skills Development and Entrepreneurship (MSDE) ministry has written to the district administrations to get ready for the big role to make the skills mission more effective and drive a better outcome while serving the bottom of the pyramid at their native place.

“Among many reforms proposed…district level planning and execution has been made the fundamental instrument of implementation process," according to official document of the skills ministry that has also been communicated to the district collectors.

“For better execution, district and block level involvement in the skills mission is a requirement. You cannot do everything from Delhi and the move is well thought through," said Praveen Kumar, secretary MSDE.

Kumar said he has spoken to the states, held meetings with top officials of state governments also and consequently, states are now making covering the grounds at district and block level. “It’s a collaborative effort – we as a ministry don’t create jobs but we can skill train based on demand. This year onwards, the focus is on demand driven approach in the skill development space," he said.

As per the ministry communication with districts, the local admins will play a role in skill gap and demand assessment, mobilization of candidates, counselling, offer post training support by creation of placement and apprentices' linkage and help the union government, national skill development corporation etc in monitoring training quality among other things.

The secretary said if a district has a textiles or automotive industries, who better is equipped to handle the skill training initiatives. “The job roles, the mobilization, the placement linkage etc. can be done by local administrations. The need to connect local youth with local jobs, as well as training and tracking can best be done at the local level," the secretary said.

Kumar explained that while it remains a fact that local youth may not fulfill all the demands of big industrials clusters – for example the huge textile clusters of Tirupur and Surat – but here job role classifications and local requirement will drive others to chip in.

According to authorities in the skills ministry, the third phase of the Pradhan Mantri Kaushal VIkas Yojana, is likely to be launched in a month’s time, almost a month late than what was planned earlier due to covid19 related shutdowns. “The coronavirus pandemic has disrupted almost all sectors this year. Before making a formal announcement, we are making sure the ground works are ready and training can happen as soon as the announcement happens by end December or early January," said secretary Kumar.

Chocko Valliappa, managing director of Tamil Nadu based Sona Group – that operates in different sectors from technology to training, said based on the specific needs projected by industry, the skilling firms should impart the training at a competitive price. “The certified skilled manpower details can be published on the sector skills council platforms…Industry could access a pool of skilled workers from training providers’ for internship and at the end of 4 to 6 weeks offer jobs to those with the right attitude and ability of work in an industrial environment. Also, the NSDC could change the payment system for skilling. For each job provided to a worker skilled under the PMKVY the employer could get an advance job creation credit of 12,000 to be offset against Provident Fund contribution for the initial 6 to 12 months or advance tax credit for firms with under 20 employees," said Valliappa, whose skills firm Sona Yukti is also a partner of NSDC.

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