Skilling India – Skill India Mission,PMKVY, NSDC, etc.

Skilling India – Skill India Mission,PMKVY, NSDC, etc.

How universities and industry can collaborate

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : NA

Mains level : Industry-academia collaborations in Indian higher education are underutilized

A new phase of Internationalization of Indian higher education is around  the corner – Education21

Central idea

The article underscores the underutilization of collaborations between Indian higher education institutions (HEIs) and industries, hindering gains from intellectual property (IP) commercialization. It identifies key challenges such as divergent goals, cultural differences, communication gaps, and the need for trust-building.

Key Highlights:

  • Industry-academia collaborations in Indian higher education are underutilized, hindering potential gains from IP commercialization and technology transfers.
  • Collaborative success requires shared goals, addressing cultural differences, establishing effective communication, and building trust.

Key Challenges:

  • Divergent Goals: Misalignment between HEIs’ focus on theoretical knowledge and industries’ profit-driven practical applications.
  • Cultural Differences: Varied approaches to data scrutiny and application development create challenges in collaboration.
  • Communication Gaps: Lack of understanding of industry regulatory processes and language differences hinder effective partnerships.
  • Building Trust: Fear of research results being published without considering commercial implications, requiring clear agreements.

Key Terms:

  • Intellectual Property (IP)
  • Technology Transfer
  • Collaborative Goals
  • Cultural Gap
  • Communication Channels
  • Trust Building
  • Short-term Collaborations
  • Long-term Research Collaborations
  • Symbiotic Relationship

Key Phrases:

  • Shared goals crucial for collaboration success.”
  • “Cultural gap between academia and industry must be bridged.”
  • “Effective communication channels and trust-building are essential.”
  • “Clear agreements on IP and publication to ensure transparency.

Key Examples:

  • Collaboration between HEI and renewable energy company highlights cultural differences.
  • Pharmaceutical company collaboration emphasizes the need for understanding regulatory processes.
  • University-tech company collaboration for software application development showcases IP arrangement challenges.

Key Facts:

  • Many Indian HEIs miss out on capitalizing on research through IP commercialization.
  • Lack of collaboration hampers gains from patents, licensing, and start-up ventures.

Critical Analysis:

  • The article highlights crucial challenges in industry-academia collaborations and emphasizes the importance of addressing them for mutual benefit.
  • The need for effective communication, trust-building, and clear agreements is appropriately underscored.

Way Forward:

  • Foster a culture of open dialogue and flexibility.
  • Implement training programs for understanding industry processes.
  • Encourage short-term collaborations for quick problem resolution.
  • Promote long-term research collaborations for cutting-edge technology development.
  • Government funding agencies should announce research grants and encourage joint project proposals.

By addressing these challenges and fostering collaboration, Indian higher education institutions and industries can create a mutually beneficial ecosystem.

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India’s Global Talent Competitiveness Ranking falls to 103

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Global Talent Competitiveness Index (GTCI)

Mains level : NA

Central Idea

  • India’s ranking in the Global Talent Competitiveness Index (GTCI) has significantly declined from 83 a decade ago to 103 in the latest report released this month.
  • India now finds itself positioned between Algeria (ranked 102) and Guatemala (ranked 104), all classified as lower-middle-income countries.

About Global Talent Competitiveness Index (GTCI)

  • The GTCI ranks 134 countries based on their ability to grow, attract, and retain talent.
  • It is released by INSEAD, a partner and sponsor of the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)Davos, Switzerland recently.
  • INSEAD is one of the world’s leading and largest graduate business schools with locations all over the world and alliances with top institutions.
  • The report ranks countries based on 6 pillars:
  1. enable
  2. attract
  3. grow
  4. retain talent
  5. vocation and technical skills
  6. global knowledge skills

India’s Ranking and Comparisons

  • Rank 103: India’s current rank is well below the median score of the countries assessed in the GTCI.
  • BRICS Nations: India’s performance in the GTCI is the weakest among the BRICS countries. China leads the group at rank 40, followed by Russia at 52, South Africa at 68, and Brazil at 69.
  • Top Three Countries: These are Singapore, Switzerland, and the United States.
  • Skills Mismatch: India faces an increased skills mismatch and difficulties in finding skilled employees, resulting in its low rankings in the ‘Employability’ and ‘Vocational and Technical Skills’ categories.
  • Best-Performing Area: India’s best-performing area in the GTCI is “Global Knowledge Skills,” driven by innovation and software development, contributing to its 69th position in the “Talent Impact” sub-pillar.

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Maratha reservation: Why everyone wants a ‘sarkari naukri’ in New India

Central idea 

The article explores the paradox of a “New India” emphasizing private enterprise while various communities express a strong desire for state involvement. It delves into caste-based demands, the significance of the state as a safe haven, and the challenges arising from unchecked markets and weakened labour laws.

Key Highlights:

  • Caste-based Demands: Yadav men in Gurugram seek the creation of an “Ahir regiment,” while Marathas in Maharashtra demand reservations.
  • Skill Development: Skill development programs aim to prepare youth for private sector jobs, but a Dalit youth in Ranchi desires government jobs for the respect they offer.
  • State’s Significance: Despite the emphasis on private enterprise in “New India,” many still seek social and economic mobility facilitated by the state.
  • Arbitrary State Action: The perception of an overweening state, especially in curbing perceived enemies, leads people to consider the state as a safe haven.
  • Regulation and Market: Expansion of private enterprise is accompanied by the state’s neglect of regulating the market, exposing vulnerabilities of the less privileged.
  • Labour Laws: Weakening labour laws favors private sector employers, making state jobs more appealing due to higher respectability and security.

Challenges and Concerns:

  • Arbitrary State Actions: Fear of arbitrary state actions undermines the idea of a free and open society.
  • Market Unchecked: Lack of market regulation exposes vulnerable individuals to the excesses of the private sector.
  • Weakened Labour Laws: Dilution of labour laws jeopardizes decent working conditions and job security.

Analysis:

  • Desire for State Involvement: Despite the push for a market-led society, people prefer the state for security and protection against arbitrary actions.
  • State’s Responsibility: The state’s retreat from regulating the market has shifted the balance, making state jobs more attractive.
  • Contradictions in New India: The narrative of private enterprise coexists with a strong desire for state involvement, indicating contradictions in the idea of “New India.”

Key Data:

  • Skill India Programme: Launched in 2015 with the aim to train 402 million people by 2022.
  • 2015 Budget Allocation: Rs 5,040 crore allocated for skill development.
  • 11th Five Year Plan: (2007-2012) Witnessed the formulation of programs for skill development.

Key Terms:

  • Ahir Regiment: Demands for a caste-specific army regiment by the Yadav community in Gurugram.
  • Skill Development Centres (SDCs): Private-run centers providing training in various domains.
  • Maratha Reservations: Ongoing demand for reservations by the Maratha community in Maharashtra.
  • New India: Characterized by the emphasis on private enterprise and entrepreneurial spirit.

Way Forward:

  • Balanced State Involvement: Find a balance where the state ensures security without impinging on individual freedoms.
  • Market Regulation: Reinstate appropriate regulations to protect vulnerable individuals from market excesses.
  • Labour Laws: Reevaluate and strengthen labour laws to ensure decent working conditions and job security.
  • Public Awareness: Educate the public about the importance of a balanced relationship between the state and private enterprise.
  • Inclusive Policies: Implement inclusive policies that address the concerns of different communities and promote social and economic mobility.

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PM Vishwakarma Scheme: Empowering Traditional Craftspeople

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : PM Vishwakarma Scheme

Mains level : Not Much

vishwakarma

Central Idea

  • PM inaugurated the PM Vishwakarma scheme in New Delhi on Vishwakarma Jayanti.
  • This initiative aims to provide government support to workers engaged in traditional crafts and skills.
  • The scheme was first announced during the Independence Day speech.

PM Vishwakarma Scheme

  • The PM Vishwakarma Scheme boasts an impressive allocation of Rs 13,000 crore, fully funded by the Central government.
  • It aims to benefit individuals predominantly from the OBC community engaged in traditional skills and crafts such as carpentry, gold-smithing, masonry, laundry services, and more.
  • The scheme derives its name from Vishwakarma, a revered figure in Hindu mythology known as the architect of the gods.
  • Vishwakarma was the divine carpenter and master craftsman responsible for crafting the gods’ weapons, building their cities and chariots.
  • He is considered the patron deity of workers, artisans, and artists.

Eligibility for the Scheme

  • Supported Sectors: The PM Vishwakarma Scheme extends assistance to families associated with 18 diverse sectors, including carpentry, boat making, blacksmithing, goldsmithing, pottery, and more.
  • Registration: Vishwakarma workers can register for free through Common Services Centres using the biometric-based PM Vishwakarma portal.

Features of the Scheme

  • Recognition: Workers will receive recognition through the PM Vishwakarma certificate and ID card.
  • Skill Upgradation: The scheme offers basic and advanced training to enhance skills.
  • Toolkit Incentive: Artisans receive a toolkit incentive of ₹15,000.
  • Credit Support: Collateral-free credit support is provided up to ₹1 lakh (first tranche) and ₹2 lakh (second tranche) at a concessional interest rate of 5%.
  • Digital Transactions: Incentives for digital transactions and marketing support are available.
  • Knowledge Enhancement: A toolkit booklet, available in 12 Indian languages with accompanying videos, helps workers stay updated on new technologies in their field.
  • Skill Training Stipend: Artisans can benefit from a stipend of Rs 500 for skill training and Rs 1,500 for purchasing modern tools.
  • Coverage: The scheme aims to cover five lakh families in the first year and 30 lakh families over five years.
  • Global Integration: It also seeks to integrate Vishwakarma into domestic and global value chains.

Need for such scheme

  • Traditional craftsmen and skilled artisans, often taught these crafts by family elders, have encountered several hurdles.
  • These include a lack of professional training, access to modern tools, geographical remoteness from relevant markets, and limited capital for investment.

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What is the Vishwakarma scheme, launched for those engaged in traditional crafts and skills

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : PM Vishwakarma scheme and its provisions

Mains level : key challenges faced by professionals engaged in traditional crafts and skills and significance of PM Vishwakarma scheme,

What’s the news?

  • On September 17, Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the PM Vishwakarma scheme in New Delhi on the occasion of Vishwakarma Jayanti.

Central idea

  • Recently launched, the PM Vishwakarma scheme, introduced during his Independence Day speech a month earlier, aims to support traditional craftsmen and economically marginalized communities, especially the OBC, while also serving as a strategic move ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.

About Vishwakarma

  • Vishwakarma, a revered figure in Hindu mythology, is regarded as the divine architect of the gods, a master craftsman, and a divine carpenter.
  • He is celebrated as the patron deity of workers, artisans, and artists, responsible for crafting the gods’ weapons, cities, and chariots.
  • The scheme takes its name from this emblematic figure, symbolizing the recognition and empowerment of skilled laborers.

What is the Vishwakarma scheme?

  • The Vishwakarma scheme is a new government initiative fully funded by the central government and has a budgetary allocation of Rs 13,000 crore.
  • The scheme is designed to address the challenges faced by professionals engaged in traditional crafts and skills, often passed down through generations within their families.
  • This includes artisans such as carpenters, goldsmiths, masons, laundry workers, barbers, and others engaged in traditional crafts and skills.
  • The scheme has ambitious coverage goals, aiming to support five lakh families in the first year and eventually reaching 30 lakh families over five years.
  • It also seeks to integrate Vishwakarmas into both domestic and global value chains.

Eligibility Criteria

  • Workers engaged in traditional crafts and skills are eligible.
  • Emphasis is placed on individuals facing specific challenges, such as:
    • Lack of access to modern tools and equipment.
    • Absence of professional training for their work.
    • Geographical distance from markets relevant to their craft.
    • Limited availability of capital for investment in their trade.
  • The scheme particularly targets marginalized and socially backward communities, including the Other Backward Classes (OBC) groups.
  • Eligible individuals may include those who have acquired their skills through family traditions or apprenticeships. Top of Form

Benefits offered by the Vishwakarma Scheme

  • Free Registration: Vishwakarma workers can register for free through Common Services Centers using the biometric-based PM Vishwakarma portal.
  • Recognition: Workers will receive recognition through the PM Vishwakarma certificate and ID card.
  • Skill Upgradation: The scheme offers both basic and advanced training to improve the skills of artisans.
  • Toolkit Incentive: Artists will receive a toolkit incentive of ₹15,000
  • Collateral-Free Credit: Workers can avail of collateral-free credit support up to ₹1 lakh (first tranche) and ₹2 lakh (second tranche) at a concessional interest rate of 5%.
  • Digital Transactions Incentive: The scheme provides incentives for digital transactions and offers marketing support.
  • Toolkit Booklet: To keep artisans informed about new technologies in their field, a toolkit booklet has been released in 12 Indian languages, accompanied by video elements.
  • Additional benefits: Other benefits include a stipend of Rs 500 for skill training and Rs 1,500 to purchase modern tools.

Common challenges faced by professionals engaged in traditional crafts and skills

  • Lack of Access to Modern Tools and Equipment: Many professionals in traditional crafts may not have access to modern tools and equipment, limiting the efficiency and quality of their work.
  • Limited Professional Training: Traditional artisans often learn their skills through family traditions or apprenticeships, which may not provide formal professional training, potentially resulting in outdated techniques.
  • Limited Capital for Investment: Traditional craftsmen may face difficulties in securing capital for purchasing materials, tools, or expanding their businesses, which can constrain their growth.
  • Inadequate Recognition and Marketing: Traditional artisans may struggle with marketing and promoting their products effectively, leading to challenges in reaching a broader customer base.
  • Competition from Mass Production: The rise of mass-produced goods can threaten traditional artisans who produce handcrafted items, impacting their livelihoods.
  • Skills Preservation and Succession: Ensuring the preservation of traditional skills and passing them on to the next generation can be a challenge, as younger generations may not always be interested in pursuing these crafts.
  • Financial Insecurity: Irregular income patterns common in traditional crafts can lead to financial instability, especially due to seasonal demand or market fluctuations.

Significance of the Vishwakarma Scheme

  • Empowering Traditional Artisans: The Vishwakarma Scheme is significant as it aims to empower and uplift traditional artisans and craftsmen engaged in various trades. It recognizes their importance in India’s cultural and economic fabric.
  • Social and Economic Inclusion: The scheme targets marginalized communities, especially the OBC groups, and provides them with opportunities for skill development and financial support, thereby promoting social and economic inclusion.
  • Preserving Cultural Heritage: By supporting traditional crafts and skills, the scheme contributes to the preservation of India’s rich cultural heritage. It ensures that age-old craftsmanship is not lost to modernization.
  • Recognition and Certification: The scheme provides recognition to artisans through the PM Vishwakarma certificate and ID card, boosting their status and recognition in society.
  • Financial Security: By offering collateral-free credit support and financial incentives, the scheme provides financial security to artisans, helping them invest in their crafts and improve their livelihoods.
  • Digital Integration: Encouraging digital transactions and offering incentives for digital business practices promotes financial literacy and inclusion among traditional artisans.
  • Integration with Global Value Chains: By aiming to integrate Vishwakarmas with domestic and global value chains, the scheme opens up opportunities for artisans to access broader markets and participate in the global economy.

Conclusion

  • The PM Vishwakarma scheme represents a significant step toward empowering traditional craftsmen by providing them with the tools, training, and financial support they need to thrive in an ever-changing world. As this scheme unfolds, it holds the potential to transform the lives of countless skilled workers and contribute to the nation’s growth and development.

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Fostering India’s demographic dividend by upskilling

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Skill development initiatives, employment generation schemes etc

Mains level : India's demographic dividend, a window of opportunity, skill development initiatives, challenges and way forward

demographic

What’s the news?

  • India has a unique window of opportunity to unlock the potential of its youth with 1.1 billion people estimated to be in the working age group (15-64) by 2047.

Central idea

  • World Youth Skills Day, observed annually since 2014, highlights the importance of investing in the skills of youth to foster future employment and entrepreneurial spirit. With a significant youth population, India stands poised to unlock the potential of working-age individuals. However, without sufficient opportunities, the youth bulge could transform into a demographic bomb.

What is demographic dividend?

  • Demographic dividend, as defined by the United Nations Population Fund, is the economic growth potential that can result from shifts in a population’s age structure, mainly when the share of the working-age population is larger than the non-working-age share of the population

India’s robust youth skills program

  • The Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MSDE) operates its umbrella scheme, the Skill India Mission launched in 2015- objective to develop a skilful youth workforce of the future- Providing proper skillset training to over 400 million young people by the year 2022
  • Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY)– a skill certification scheme of the MSDE implemented by- National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC)- aims to mobilise and equip the youth population with the necessary skill sets training.
  • National Skills Qualifications Framework (NSQF)- to enable candidates to acquire desired competency levels
  • Recognition of Prior Learning Learning (RPL)—skill certification for youth, especially in the unregulated sectors
  • Kaushal—a hands-on awareness-based approach with the intention of attracting potential candidates for skill training
  • Rozgar Mela—a career placement fair for young jobs seekers.
  • PMKVY 2.0, which ran from 2016 to 2020, aimed to equip 10 million young people with demand-driven skill sets through short-term training and Recognition of Prior Learning.
  • PMKVY 3.0, launched in 2020-21, provided training to over 7.36 lakh candidates, including a specialized crash course for COVID warriors.
  • Skill Hub Initiative was introduced to align vocational training with the National Education Policy 2020 and create a skilled workforce aligned with industry needs.
  • PMKVY 4.0 will be launched soon to take skill development to a wider young segment- it will also cover niche new age technologies such as coding, Artificial Intelligence (AI), robotics, mechanotrics, Internet of Things (IOT), 3D-printing, drones, and developing other soft skills.
  • The NAPS launched in 2016 has been promoting Apprenticeship in the country through financial incentives, technology, and advocacy support.
  • PM-YUVA was launched in 2016 as an all-India scheme to promote business studies, and facilitate access to entrepreneurship support networks and start-ups ideas for the youth.
  • Project AMBER strives to provide holistic skilling to foster quality jobs, improved employment opportunities and retention methods.
  • The Skill Loan Scheme was launched in July 2015 to provide finance to the youth for enrolment in skill development courses

Challenges regarding India’s youth skills enabling journey

  • According to the International Labour Organisation (ILO), India is projected to face a significant skill deficit of 29 million by 2030.
  • Skill development programs have suffered from underutilization of funds and high dropout rates.
  • Gender disparity in India’s workforce, with a female labor participation rate of only 22
  • Only a fraction of certified individuals has found jobs through the skill development programs.

Way forward

  • Enhance the effectiveness of basic education– incorporating relevant and practical skills training, updating curricula– align with industry needs, and promoting experiential learning approaches.
  • Foster closer collaboration between skill development initiatives and industries to ensure the relevance of training programs.
  • Promote gender equality in skill development programs– encouraging more women to participate in training, providing support systems tailored to their needs, and creating opportunities for women to enter non-traditional sectors.
  • Address the funding gap and ensure effective utilization of resources in skill development initiatives.
  • Develop robust job placement and retention strategies, including establishing strong linkages with industries, facilitating internships and apprenticeships.
  • Regularly assess labor market needs and trends to update skill training programs.
  • Conduct public awareness campaigns to promote vocational skills as aspirational career choices

Conclusion

  • India’s journey towards youth skill development has witnessed commendable efforts. However, addressing the skill deficit and unlocking the true potential of the youth requires continued investment, policy enhancements, and stakeholder collaboration. Through concerted efforts, India can maximize its demographic dividend for the workforce of the future.

Also read:

India’s Population Growth: Dividend or a Disaster?

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Demographic Advantage: India vs. China

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Demographic Dividend

Mains level : Read the attached story

demo india china

Central Idea: Pew Survey Report

  • The current median age in India is 28, compared to China’s 39, indicating India’s demographic advantage will persist until the end of the century.
  • China’s youth population is declining, and the aging population is rising, leading to concerns about employment and stability.

Demographic Dividend

Definition Economic growth potential results from a favourable demographic structure, particularly a large working-age population relative to the dependent population (children and elderly).
Age structure “Bulge” in the working-age population due to declining fertility rates and improved life expectancy.
Economic benefits Increased productivity, higher savings, and greater economic output.
Increased consumption Rise in disposable income, stimulating consumer spending and demand.
Savings and investments Opportunity for higher savings and productive investments.
Window of opportunity Time-limited period to harness the potential of the young workforce.
Challenges and prerequisites Effective policies and investments in education, skill development, healthcare, job creation, and infrastructure.

 

Demographic Advantage for India

The current median age of 28 in India signifies a young population, which brings several advantages:

  • Demographic advantage: A young population contributes to economic growth and development.
  • Productive workforce: With a large working-age population, India has the potential for a productive workforce.
  • Long-term economic growth: The young population offers a demographic dividend for sustained economic growth with investments in education, skills, and job creation.
  • Market potential: The young population represents a significant consumer market, stimulating economic activity.
  • Addressing societal challenges: Opportunities arise to address education, healthcare, and social welfare needs among the youth.

India’s Edge over China

(1) Job Market

  • Graduates facing difficulty finding employment: A large number of college and university graduates in China struggle to secure jobs, facing job market challenges exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Impact of the pandemic on employment: COVID-19 lockdowns and layoffs in key sectors have negatively affected China’s job market, particularly for the “post-’00s” generation who grew up during rapid economic growth.

(2) Urban Joblessness

  • Rising joblessness among young urbanites: One out of every five young urbanites in China is without work, leading to a growing problem of joblessness.
  • Official jobless rate for urban youth: China’s National Bureau of Statistics reported a 19.9% jobless rate for urban youth aged 16 to 24 in July, the highest since the release of youth employment data in 2018.

Factors Contributing to China’s job market challenges

  • Supply-demand contradiction: China’s economic growth decline and the impact of COVID-19 have created a supply-demand contradiction in the job market.
  • Issues with the education sector: Some argue that the problem lies within China’s education sector, and finding jobs for educated youth has become a perennial crisis.
  • Shifting focus to qualitative growth: Despite China’s focus shifting from quantitative to qualitative growth, the challenge of employment for educated youth persists.

Where does India stand?

  • Challenges for school leavers and graduates: India faces challenges with school leavers, liberal arts graduates, and engineers from low-grade colleges who struggle to find employment.
  • Shortage of specific skilled personnel: While facing a surplus of certain graduates, India experiences a shortage of skilled workers in various fields, such as plumbing, electrical work, and artisanal crafts.

Issues in India’s Skilling Efforts

  • Inadequacies in skill development initiatives: Entities like the National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) have not delivered effective skilling programs, focusing on short courses rather than comprehensive skill acquisition.
  • Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs): The potential of ITIs to address the skill gap has been hampered by resistance from state governments and the failure of partnerships with industrial enterprises.
  • Private Skilling institutes: Private Skilling institutes, often in the informal sector, have emerged to fill some of the gaps left by government initiatives.

NEP and Vocational Training in India

  • Vocational segmentation in NEP 2020: NEP 2020 introduces vocational training from 6th to 8th grade to improve students’ skills in specific fields.
  • Need for continued vocational training: To be effective, vocational segmentation should continue at the secondary level, with dedicated schools focused on producing skilled artisans and specialists.
  • Challenges in vocational education: Similar to China, vocational education in India faces challenges in attracting students compared to traditional academic paths.

Way forward

  • Emulating Germany’s model: Germany’s emphasis on respecting and valuing vocational specializations can serve as a model for India.
  • Success of vocational education in other countries: Several countries, including Singapore and to some extent, China, have successfully implemented vocational education systems.
  • Addressing inequalities in education: In China, challenges remain in providing quality education for rural students, which can limit their access to better job opportunities.

 

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[pib] Grameen Udyami Scheme

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Grameen Udyami Scheme

Mains level : Not Much

grameen

The Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship the felicitation program of 200 tribal women under the Grameen Udyami Scheme.

Grameen Udyami Scheme

  • It was launched to augment skill training in tribal communities for their inclusive and sustainable growth.
  • It is a unique multiskilling project, funded by National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) that aims to train tribal students in select states.
  • It is implemented under Sansadiya Parisankul Yojana.
  • Under the program, 49 ST clusters in 15 states of India have been selected by 40 tribal MPs of Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha.
  • Under their leadership, the scheme in respective clusters is being implemented.
  • One development associate is appointed by the MPs in each cluster.

Stated objectives

  • Increase in Rural/Local Economy
  • Enhance employment opportunities
  • Reduce forced migration due to lack of local opportunities
  • Conservation of natural resources

Scope of the project

  • The project is being implemented in six states – Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand, and Gujarat.

Benefits

  • Transportation, boarding & lodging during the learning period is provided to candidates
  • The training under the project will be conducted in the job roles which are relevant to the local economy.

 

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National Education Alliance for Technology (NEAT) Scheme

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : NEAT Scheme

Mains level : HRD schemes for coding skills

NEAT, first-of-its-kind government scheme, set in motion over two years ago, has finally taken shape, bringing courses offered by a group of edtech platforms within the reach of college and university students from socio-economically disadvantaged backgrounds.

NEAT Scheme

  • The National Education Alliance for Technology (NEAT) is implemented by the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE).
  • It aims to act as a bridge between edtech companies, academic institutions and students.
  • The initiative was taken after a Ministry of Education review noted that learning tools developed by edtech platforms that can supplement classroom teaching need to be made more accessible.
  • Accordingly, it was proposed that a portal be created where edtech platforms can be roped in to display their products after a shortlisting process.

What are the products on display in the portal?

  • The NEAT portal has separate sections listing products for students and educational institutes respectively.
  • The companies were shortlisted by independent expert committees leaving no room for favouritism, he said.
  • Under the B2B (business to business) segment of the portal, courses are on offer for higher education institutes to purchase in bulk for their students.
  • And the B2C (business to customer) section lists courses that eligible students can browse through and choose from.
  • The courses range from accounting and finance to coding, including advanced programming languages like python.

How to enroll into this scheme?

  • There are two different ways through which students can enroll under the scheme.
  • The basic objective of the scheme is to make students from disadvantaged backgrounds aware of the availability of such opportunities that can help them learn new skills or polish existing ones.
  • In that regard, the AICTE reached out to higher education institutes across the country, directing them to inform students about the portal and enroll them based on their needs and consent.
  • The edtech platforms have been allowed to charge fees as per their policies.

How will it benefit students from backward communities?

  • In order to do that, the government has mandated that every shortlisted company will have to offer free coupons to the extent of 25 per cent of the total registrations for their solution through NEAT portal.
  • Through this route, the government created a bank of 12.15 lakh free coupons over the last two years.
  • And it has now started distributing those coupons among students belonging to SC/ST/OBC and EWS categories with the annual family income cap fixed at Rs 8 lakh.

What are the courses in demand?

  • The top five courses in terms of demand are python programming, C, C++, Java programming, data science, life science and healthcare analysis, and interview preparation.

 

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[pib] DigiSaksham Initiative

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Digi-Saksham

Mains level : Various initiaitves for Skilling India

The Ministry of Labour and Employment has launched DigiSaksham Initiative.

DigiSaksham

  • It is joint initiative with Microsoft India is an extension of the Government’s ongoing programs to support the youth from rural and semi-urban areas.
  • Through DigiSaksham initiative, free of cost training in digital skills including basic skills as well as advance computing, will be provided to more than 3 lakh youths in the first year.
  • The Jobseekers can access the training through National Career Service (NCS) Portal.
  • DigiSaksham will be implemented in the field by Aga Khan Rural Support Programme India (AKRSP-I).

Training offered

  • Under the initiative, there will be basically three types of training viz. Digital Skills – Self paced learning, VILT mode training (Virtual Instructor led) and ILT mode training (Instructor led).
  • The ILT training which is in person training would be conducted at the Model Career Centres (MCCs) and National Career Service Centres (NCSC) for SCs/STs across the country.
  • Students will be able to access training in areas like Java Script, Data Visualisation, Advance Excel, Power Bi, HTML, Programming languages, software development fundamentals, Introduction to coding etc.

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[pib] PM-DAKSH Scheme

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : PM-DAKSH Scheme

Mains level : Various initiaitves for Skilling India

Union Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment has launched the ‘PM-DAKSH’ Portal and ‘PM-DAKSH’ Mobile App.

About PM-DAKSH Scheme

  • The PM-DAKSH stands for Pradhan Mantri Dakshta Aur Kushalta Sampann Hitgrahi (PM-DAKSH) Yojana.
  • It is being implemented by the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment from the year 2020-21.
  • Under this scheme, eligible target group are being provided skill development training programmes on (i) Up-skilling/Re-skilling (ii) Short Term Training Programme (iii) Long Term Training Programme and (iv) Entrepreneurship Development Program (EDP).
  • These training programs are being implemented through Government Training Institutes, Sector Skill Councils constituted by the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship and other credible institutions.

PM-DAKSH Portal/App

  • Any person can get all the information related to skill development training at one place by visiting the ‘PM-DAKSH’ Portal.
  • Also, with just one click, one can get information about skill development trainings happening near him/her and he/she can easily register himself/herself for skill training.

Some of the features of this portal are as follows:

  • Availability of all information related to skill development at one place for Scheduled Castes, Backward Classes and Safai Karamcharis.
  • Facility to register for the training institute and program of their interest.
  • Facility to upload desired documents related to personal information.
  • Facility to register the attendance of the trainees through face and eye scanning during the training period.
  • Monitoring facility through photo and video clip during training etc.

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Skilling in India: Issues and Suggestions

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Not much

Mains level : Unemployment in India

PM has yet again underscored the importance of a skilled workforce for achieving the goal of becoming Atma-nirbhar Bharat.  India still continues to be a country that faces one of the highest shortages of skilled workforce.

Unemployment vs Skills

  • On one hand, companies in India face an acute shortage of skilled manpower and, on the other, India has millions of educated unemployed.
  • The data for this chart is for the January to April 2021 period, when the overall unemployment rate in the country was 6.83%.
  • In comparison, those with graduation (or even higher degrees) face almost three times the unemployment level.
  • At over 19% unemployment rate, one in every five Indians who graduate (or even better) is unemployed.

What explains this contradiction?

  • The lack of skill is definitely the only answer.

What is Skilling?

  • National Council of Applied Economic Research, 2018 — aptly titled “No time to lose”.
  • This report explains that there are three types of skills.
  1. Cognitive skills: basic skills of literacy and numeracy, applied knowledge and problem-solving aptitudes, and higher cognitive skills such as experimentation, reasoning, and creativity.
  2. Technical and vocational skills: physical and mental ability to perform specific tasks using tools and methods in any occupation.
  3. Social and behavioral skills include working, communicating, and listening to others.
  • Different levels of these three types of skills can be combined to further classify skills into foundational, employability, and entrepreneurial skills.

What is the scale of the skilling challenge facing India?

According to the 2018 report by NCAER, India had about 468 million people in its workforce.

  • Informal sector: Around 92% of them were in the informal sector.
  • Illiteracy: Around 31% were illiterate, only 13% had primary education, and only 6% were college graduates.
  • No vocational training: Further, only about 2% of the workforce had formal vocational training, and only 9% had non-formal vocational training.
  • Out of more than 5 lakh final year bachelors students aged 18–29 who were surveyed, around 54% were found to be “unemployable”.

Opportunities for India

  • India has entered a demographic sweet spot that will continue for another two to three-decade.
  • There is a great opportunity for India to improve both its social and economic outcomes if a higher number of workers are productively employed.

What is at stake?

  • If the skilling issue is not resolved, India risks forfeiting its so-called “demographic dividend”.
  • But whether this will turn into a demographic dividend or not will depend entirely on how many of those in the working-age bracket are working and becoming prosperous.
  • If they are not in well-paying jobs, the economy would not have the resources to take care of itself since with each passing year, the proportion of dependents will continue to rise after 2040.
  • To put it simply, to attain its rightful place and realize its aspirations, India must become rich before it gets old.

The skilling paradox

  • Indians have excelled in technical expertise at the global level — be it medicine or engineering. Then what explains India’s domestic skilling paradox?
  • A big part of the trouble is the starting condition. Over 90% of India’s workforce is in the informal sector.

India is trapped in a vicious cycle:

  1. Greater workforce informality leads to lower incentives to acquire new skills. Faced with inadequately skilled workers, businesses often choose to replace labor with machinery.
  2. That’s because “skilled labor and technology are complementary, but unskilled labor and technology are substitutes”.
  3. This, in turn, leads to still fewer formal jobs.

What can be done to break this cycle?

  • A distinct disadvantage with India’s approach towards skilling has been to ignore and match the demands of the market.
  • For the most part, skills have been provided in a top-down fashion.
  • Given the way market demands fluctuate — for instance, how the Covid pandemic has upended supply chains — skilling efforts must try to anticipate the needs of the market.

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[pib] PMKVY 3.0

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : PMKVY

Mains level : Skill Development

The Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MSDE) has launched Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY) 3.0.

Note the differences between all three versions of PMKVY.

PMKVY 3.0

  • PMKVY 3.0 envisages training of eight lakh candidates over the scheme period of 2020-2021.
  • This phase three will focus on new-age and COVID-related skills.
  • The 729 PM Kaushal Kendras (PMKKs), empanelled non-PMKK training centres and more than 200 industrial training institutes under Skill India will be rolling out under it.
  • On the basis of the learning gained from PMKVY 1.0 and PMKVY 2.0, the MSDE has improved the newer version of the scheme to match the current policy doctrine and energize the skilling ecosystem.

Implementation

  • PMKVY 3.0 will be implemented in a more decentralized structure with greater responsibilities and support from States/UTs and Districts.
  • District Skill Committees (DSCs), under the guidance of State Skill Development Missions (SSDM), shall play a key role in addressing the skill gap and assessing demand at the district level.
  • The new scheme will be more trainee- and learner-centric addressing the ambitions of aspirational Bharat.
  • PMKVY 2.0 broadened the skill development with the inclusion of Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) and focus on training.
  • With the advent of PMKVY 3.0, the focus is on bridging the demand-supply gap by promoting skill development in areas of new-age and Industry 4.0 job roles.

Back2Basics: PMKVY 1.0

  • PMKVY is a skill development initiative scheme of the Government of India for recognition and standardization of skills launched on16 July 2015;.
  • The aim of the scheme is to encourage aptitude towards employable skills and to increase the working efficiency of probable and existing daily wage earners, by giving monetary awards and rewards and by providing quality training to them.
  • For this qualification plans and quality, plans have been developed by various Sector Skill Councils (SSC) created with the participation of Industries.
  • National Skill Development Council (NSDC) has been made coordinating and driving agency for the same.

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Investing in India’s youth

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Right to Education Act, Skill India Mission

Mains level : Paper 2- Skill development of youth in India

Significant progress has been made in India on the skill development front. However, there are many challenges that are needed to be tackled through policy measures and their effective implementation. The article deals with the issue.

Progress in skill development in India

  • Evidence shows that many people develop 21st-century skills on the job, or from courses that focus on practical application of skills, rather than in schools.
  • India has laid the foundation for delivering on the vision of making quality skills development programmes available to the youth.
  • Vocational education can be a route for many to gain specific skillsets, such education formats are referred to as Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET).
  • The National Skill Development Policy was launched in 2009 and revamped in 2015, recognising the challenge of skilling with speed and high standards.
  • The Skill India Mission was launched soon after, with the vision for making India the “skill capital” of the world.

Key finding and recommendations of the UNESCO’s State of the Education Report for India

  • The report focuses on vocational education and training and showcases the growth of the skills development sector.
  • It also provides practical recommendations to ensure that policy is effectively implemented.
  • One of the biggest challenges for expanding the reach of TVET-related courses has been the lack of aspiration and stigma attached to jobs such as carpentry and tailoring.
  • Considerable effort, including information campaigns involving youth role models, would help in improving the image of vocational education.
  • At the same time, common myths around TVET need to be debunked.
  • Research is now proving that TVET graduates for entry level jobs can get paid as much as university graduates.
  • Moreover, students from vocational streams typically take less time to find jobs as compared to university graduates.
  • The report emphasises the need for expanding evidence-based research.
  • High-quality research based on careful data-gathering and analytics can add value to all aspects of TVET planning and delivery.

Emphasis on vocational education in NEP

  • The new National Education Policy (NEP) aims to provide vocational education to 50% of all learners by 2025.
  • Schools are encouraged to provide students access to vocational education from Grade 6 onwards and to offer courses that are aligned to the local economies and can benefit local communities.
  • For the vision of the NEP to be fulfilled, a robust coordination mechanism for inter-ministerial cooperation is necessary for bringing the skills development and vocational education systems together.

Conclusion

Effective implementation of the policies for skill development is essential for capitalising on the country’s demographic dividend.

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[pib] Kumhar Sashaktikaran Yojana (KSY)

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Kumhar Sashaktikaran Yojana (KSY)

Mains level : Welfare schemes for various vulnerable sections of population

The Centre has distributed 100 electric potter wheels to 100 trained artisans under the KSY.

Try this question from CSP 2018:

Q. Consider the following provisions under the Directive Principles of State Policy as enshrined in the Constitution of India:

  1. Securing for citizens of India a uniform civil code.
  2. Organising village panchayats.
  3. Promoting cottage industries in rural areas.
  4. Securing for all the workers reasonable leisure and Cultural opportunities.

Which of the above are the Gandhian Principles that are reflected in the DPSP?

(a) 1, 2 and 4

(b) 2 and 3

(c) 1, 3 and 4

(d) 1, 2, 3 and 4

Kumhar Sashaktikaran Yojana

  • KSY is an initiative of the Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) for the empowerment of potters’ community in the remotest of locations in the country.
  • It reaches out to the potters in U.P., M.P., Maharashtra, J&K, Haryana, Rajasthan, West Bengal, Assam, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Odisha, Telangana and Bihar.

Benefits provided

This program provides the following support to potters.

  • Training for advanced pottery products
  • Latest, new technology pottery equipment like the electric Chaak
  • Market linkages and visibility through KVIC exhibitions

Back2Basics: KVIC

  • The KVIC is a statutory body formed in April 1957 under the ‘Khadi and Village Industries Commission Act of 1956’.
  • It is an apex organisation under the Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, with regard to khadi and village industries within India.
  • It seeks to plan, promote, facilitate, organise and assist in the establishment and development of khadi and village industries in the rural areas.
  • Its head office is in Mumbai, whereas its six zonal offices in Delhi, Bhopal, Bangalore, Kolkata, Mumbai and Guwahati.

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Skill India For Atmanirbhar Bharat

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan

Mains level : Paper 3- Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan and need for skilling the youth.

As India embarks on the path of self-reliance through Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan, it has to nurture the skilled workforce. This article highlights the need to upgrade the skills or upskill the youth to meet the employment needs of technology-driven 21st century.

Context

  • The effects of the pandemic are expected to have a lasting impact on every sphere of activity.
  • Considering this impact, India announced the Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan to propel the country on the path of self-sustenance.

Objectives

  • Atmanirbhar Bharat has twin objectives- short term and long term.
  • 1) Reviving different spheres of the economy in the short term.
  • 2) Insulating India from any future global economic downturn, by making it robust in the long run.
  • The Abhiyan seeks to build capacities across sectors and promote local products.
  • Further, it would focus on scaling up manufacturing, accelerating infrastructure development, attracting investments and promoting a consumption-led growth.

Youth: Strength of India

  • About 65 per cent of India’s population is below 35 years and 50 per cent is below 25 years.
  • With a huge, educated young population, India is uniquely poised to realise its demographic potential.
  • The fact that Indians are heading several MNCs shows that there is no dearth of knowledge and talent in the country.
  • However, we need to upgrade the skills or upskill the youth to meet the employment needs of technology-driven 21st century.

Opportunities and challenges

  • Pandemic and is being seen by many as an opportunity to upgrade their knowledge and acquire new skills.
  • The fourth industrial revolution has triggered a paradigm change in which digital technology drives the job market.
  • Remote working with increasing adoption of digital technology might continue to be dominant mode of working for the near future.
  • It is estimated that nearly 70 per cent of the world’s learners are affected by school closures due to pandemic across education levels.
  • Artificial intelligence, machine learning, data science, cloud computing and Internet of Things will be area of interest for companies.
  • With people opting to online buying, companies will seek to adopt new online marketing strategies.
  • Another important issue that needs to be addressed is ensuring equitable employment through higher participation of women in the workforce.

Way forward for Atmanirbhar Bharat

1) Local to glocal

  • There have been some reassuring developments with an accent on “local to glocal”
  • The production of several lakh PPE kits, a collaboration of automobile industries to produce ventilators, manufacture of more than 70 Made in India products by the DRDO are just a few examples of the capability of Indian scientists, IT professionals and technocrats.

2) Reducing import

  • We must aim to gradually reduce imports in every sector from crude oil to heavy machinery.
  • This reduction should be based on the locally available resources, talent, and skills of the human capital.

3) Globally competitive product

  • While remaining vocal about local, we must aim at making Indian products to be globally competitive. 
  • We should try to stay ahead in the innovation-led knowledge economy.
  • PSUs and the private sector should not only complement but collaborate wherever feasible.
  • The private sector must massively step up investments R&D. PSUs too need to modernise in terms of technology.

Consider the question “Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan has the aim of reviving the Indian economy. Examine its objective and how it seeks to revive the economy”

Conclusion

To remain globally competitive with a well-assured future, we need to focus on “skills, scale and speed”. India has the potential to emerge as the global hub for providing skilled manpower to other nations.

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[pib] ASEEM Portal

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : ASEEM Portal

Mains level : Atmanirbhar Bharat

Union Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship has launched Aatmanirbhar Skilled Employee-Employer Mapping (ASEEM) portal to help skilled people find sustainable livelihood opportunities.

There are various web/portals/apps with peculiar names such as YUKTI, DISHA, SWAYAM etc. Their core purpose is similar with slight differences. Pen them down on a separate sheet.

ASEEM Portal

  • ASEEM refers to all the data, trends and analytics which describe the workforce market and map demand of skilled workforce to supply.
  • It is developed and managed by National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) in collaboration with Bengaluru-based Company named Betterplace.
  • It is an AI-based portal which will map details of workers based on regions and local industry demands and will bridge the demand-supply gap of skilled workforce across sectors.
  • It will provide employers with a platform to assess the availability of a skilled workforce and formulate their hiring plans.
  • It will also provide real-time granular information by identifying relevant skilling requirements and employment prospects.

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Learning Platform “Skills Build Reignite”

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Skills Build Reignite

Mains level : NA

MSDE-IBM Partnership has unveiled Free Digital Learning Platform “Skills Build Reignite” to reach more job seekers & provide new resources to business owners in India.

There are various web/portals/apps with Hindi acronyms such as YUKTI, DISHA, SWAYAM etc. Their core purpose is similar with slight differences. Pen them down on a separate sheet under the title various digital HRD initiatives.

Skills Build Reignite

  • The SkillsBuild Reignite tends to provide job seekers and entrepreneurs, with access to free online coursework and mentoring support designed to help them reinvent their careers and businesses.
  • It is a long term institutional training to the nation’s youth through its network of training institutes and infrastructure.
  • IBM will provide multifaceted digital skill training in the area of Cloud Computing and Artificial Intelligence (AI) to students & trainers across the nation in the National Skill Training Institutes (NSTIs) and ITIs.
  • Directorate General of Training (DGT) under the aegis of the Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship (MSDE) is responsible for implementing the program.
  • Job seekers, individual business owners, entrepreneurs and any individual with learning aspirations can now tap into host of industry-relevant content on topics including AI, Cloud, Data analytics etc.

Features

  • Its special feature is the personalized coaching for entrepreneurs, seeking advice to help establish or restart their small businesses as they begin to focus on recovery to emerge out of the COVID 19 pandemic.
  • Courses for small business owners include, for example, financial management, business strategy, digital strategy, legal support and more.
  • Plus, IBM volunteers will serve as mentors to some of the 30,000 SkillsBuild users in 100 communities in at least five major regions worldwide to help reinvigorate local communities.

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Skill University

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : UGC Act of 1956, NAAC regulations

Mains level : Paper 3- Issues with employment and skill developement

This article highlights the utility of skill education in India. There are several benefits in its adoption. But it would require several regulatory changes. So, what are these changes?Read to know…

3 issues with our university education

  •  The differential lockdown outcomes for skilled and unskilled workers highlight our university system’s pre-existing conditions. These are-
  • 1) Broken employability promises.
  • 2) Poor employer connectivity.
  • 3) Poor return on private investment that frustrate parents and students.

4 ways in which skill university differs from traditional university

  • A skill university differs from a traditional university in four ways.
  • 1) It prays to the one god of employers; for governance, faculty, curriculum, and pedagogy.
  • 2) It has four classrooms; on-campus, on-line, on-site, and on-the-job.
  • 3) It offers modularity between four qualifications; certificates, diplomas, advanced diplomas, and degrees.
  • 4) And it has four sources of financing — employers, students, CSR, and loans though employers contribute more than 95 per cent of the costs.
  • Fro example,  in the case of Gujrat government’s skill university, 97 per cent of the university’s budget comes from employers.

5 ways in which the universities are broken globally

  • First is broken promises.
  • The world produced more graduates in the last 35 years than 700 years before.
  • Second is broken financing.
  • More than 50 per cent of $1.5 trillion in student debt was expected to default even before the COVID pandemic.
  • Indian bank education loans have high NPAs.
  • The third is broken inclusiveness.
  • The system works for privileged urban males studying full-time, but today’s students are likely to be female, poor, older, rural, or studying part-time.
  • Fourth is broken flexibility.
  • Employed learners will cross traditional learners in three years, but they need on-demand, on-the-go, always-on, rolling admissions, continuous assessment, and qualification modularity.
  • And finally is broken openness. 
  • Google knowing everything makes learning how to learn a key 21st-century skill.
  • Yet too many universities are stuck in knowing.

Let’s look into the regulatory changes needed for the Skill University

  • Skill universities are a scalable, sustainable, and affordable vehicle to massify higher education by innovations in finance.
  • But they need regulatory change.

Following are the 3 types of regulatory changes needed

1. Changes needed in the  UGC Act of 1956

  •  Clause 8.2.6 needs to be rewritten to equalise four classrooms -online, on-site, on-campus, and on-job-and section 22 (3) to recognise apprenticeship linked degree programmes.
  • The UGC Teacher Regulations of 2018 need rewriting: Clause 3.3.(I),(II) to redefine the qualifications, roles and numbers of teachers required, and clause 4 to recognise industry experience as a teaching qualification.
  • The UGC Online Regulations 2018 need to be rewritten: Clause 4(2) and 7(2)(3) to allow innovation, flexibility, credit frameworks, and relevance in online curriculums.
  • Clause 7(2)(2) to allow universities to work with any technology platforms.

2. Changes needed in NAAC IQAC regulations

  • Criteria 1 and 1.2.2 to include work-based learning and work integrated learning.
  • Criteria 1.1.3 to include life skills and proctored/evaluated internships.
  • Criteria 2 and 2.3.1 to integrate online learning with university programmes.
  • Criteria 2 and 2.4.1, 3 and 6 need to be modified to recognise teachers with industry experience, and include industry-based research.
  • Criteria 4 and 4.1.2 to include industry workplaces and online classrooms as campus extensions.
  • Criteria 5 and 5.2.1 needs to be rewritten to incorporate apprenticeships.

3. Changes needed in Apprenticeship Act of 1961

  • Clause 2, 8, 9, 21 and 23 of The Apprenticeship Act of 1961 also needs to be modified to allow and lift the licence raj for degree-linked apprentices and recognise skills universities.

Consider the question “Skill universities, which would go a long way in increasing the employability in India are need of the hour. In light of this, examine the issues that the skill education faces and suggest the changes our education system needs to impart the proper skill education.”

Conclusion

Covid crisis has amplified the problems with our education system. So, the adoption of skill universities will help us improve the skill of our youth and achieve more inclusive employment, employability and education.

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SWADES (Skilled Workers Arrival Database for Employment Support) Initiative

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : SWADES

Mains level : Various employment measures

The Union Govt. has launched a new initiative SWADES (Skilled Workers Arrival Database for Employment Support) to conduct a skill mapping exercise of the returning citizens under the Vande Bharat Mission.

In the first go, one may get reminded of the SWADESH Darshan Scheme… Please beware! This SWADES initiative has nothing to do with the tourism sector!

SWADES Initiative

  • SWADES is a joint initiative of the Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship (MSDE), the Ministry of Civil Aviation and the Ministry of External Affairs.
  • MSDE’s implementation arm National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) is supporting the implementation of the project.
  • It aims to create a database of qualified citizens based on their skillsets and experience to tap into and fulfil the demand of Indian and foreign companies.
  • The collected information will be shared with the companies for suitable placement opportunities in the country.
  • The returning citizens are required to fill up an online SWADES Skills Card.
  • The card will facilitate a strategic framework to provide the returning citizens with suitable employment opportunities through discussions with key stakeholders including.

Data on the returnees

  • Amongst the data gathered so far, the top countries from where the citizens are returning are UAE, Oman, Qatar, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia.
  • As per the skill mapping, these citizens had been primarily employed in sectors such as oil & gas, construction, tourism & hospitality, Automotive and Aviation.
  • The data also suggests that the States which have shown highest returning labour are Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Karnataka and Telangana.

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Youth can be a clear advantage for India

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Not much.

Mains level : Paper 2-Policy framework needed to reap the benefits of demographic dividends.

Context

The demographic dividend is close to five-decade-long demographic opportunities that can be leveraged only with suitable policies and programmes

 The youngest population in the world

  • Median age at 28 years: By 2022, the median age in India will be 28 years.
    • In comparison, it will be 37 in China and the United States.
    • 45 in western Europe, and 49 in Japan.
  • The demographic dividend
    • The working-age population more than non-working: India’s working-age population has numerically outstripped its non-working age population.
    • An extraordinary opportunity: A demographic dividend, said to have commenced around 2004-05, is available for close to five decades.

The two caveats

  • The demographic dividend is an extraordinary opportunity. There are, however, two caveats.
  • First: Dividend available in different states at different times.
    • India’s population heterogeneity ensures that the window of demographic dividend becomes available at different times in different States.
    • Example of Kerala vs. Bihar: While Kerala’s population is already ageing, in Bihar the working-age cohort is predicted to continue increasing till 2051.
    • Decline in 11 major states by 2031: By 2031, the overall size of our vast working-age population would have declined in 11 of the 22 major States.
  • Second: Many factors that matter for harnessing the dividend
    • Factors that matter: Harnessing the demographic dividend will depend upon the-
    • Employability of the working-age population.
    • Health.
    • Education.
    • Vocational training and skill.
    • Besides appropriate land and labour policies, as well as good governance.
    • Demography is not destiny: India will gain from its demographic opportunity only if policies and programmes are aligned to this demographic shift. Demography is not destiny.

Need for skills

  • Need for the additional jobs: The Economic Survey 2019 calls for additional jobs to keep pace with the projected annual increases in the working-age population.
  • Lack of education and skills: UNICEF 2019 reports that at least 47% of Indian youth are not on track to have the education and skills necessary for employment in 2030.
    • Possibility of demographic disaster: The projected demographic dividend would turn into a demographic disaster if an unskilled, under-utilised, and frustrated young population undermines social harmony and economic growth.
  • Poor learning outcomes: While over 95% of India’s children attend primary school, the National Family Health Surveys (completed up to 2015-16) confirm that poor infrastructure in government schools, malnutrition, and scarcity of trained teachers have ensured poor learning outcomes.

What needs to be done?

  • Adopt a uniform school system: A coordinated incentive structure prompting States to adopt a broadly uniform public school system focusing on equity and quality will yield a knowledge society faster than privatising school education can accomplish.
  • Ensure training in line with the market demand: Most districts now have excellent broadband connectivity-
    • Let geography not trump demography: Irrespective of a rural or urban setting, the public school system must ensure that every child completes high school education, and is pushed into appropriate skilling, training and vocational education in line with market demand.
  • Invest and modernise: Modernise school curricula, systematically invest in teacher training so that they grow in their jobs to assume leadership roles while moving beyond the tyranny of the syllabus.
  • Use of technology: Deploy new technology to accelerate the pace of building human capital by putting in place virtual classrooms together with massive open online courses (MOOCS) to help prepare this huge workforce for next-generation jobs.
    • Investing in open digital universities would further help yield a higher educated workforce.

Focus on women

  • Translating literacy into skill: Growing female literacy is not translating into relevant and marketable skills.
    • A comprehensive approach is needed to improve their prospects vis-à-vis gainful employment.
    • Need of the flexible policies: Flexible entry and exit policies for women into virtual classrooms, and into modules for open digital training, and vocational education would help them access contemporary vocations.
  • The need for equal pay: Equal pay for women will make it worth their while to stay longer in the workforce.
  • The deferred bonus: Economist Yogendra Alagh has written that the significance of this “deferred bonus” (women entering the workforce), could be higher than the immediate benefits of the dividend from shifts in population age structure.

Health care

  • In India, population health is caught between the rising demand for health services and competition for scarce resources.
  • Impact of economy on rural health: The National Sample Survey Office data on health (75th round, 2018), shows that a deep-rooted downturn in the rural economy is making quality health-care unaffordable.
    • People are availing of private hospitals less than they used to, and are moving towards public health systems.
    • Diverting public investment from However, central budget 2020-21 lays emphasis on private provisioning of health care which will necessarily divert public investment away from public health infrastructure.
  • The Ayushman Bharat Yojana: It links demand to tertiary in-patient care.
    • This promotes earnings of under-utilised private hospitals, instead of modernising and up-grading public health systems in each district.
  • We need to assign 70% of health sector budgets to integrate and strengthen primary and integrated public health-care services and systems up to district hospital levels.
    • Include out-patient department and diagnostic services in every health insurance model adopted, and-
    • Implement in ‘mission mode’ the Report of the High-Level Group, 2019, submitted to the XV Finance Commission.
  • The elderly population in India is projected to double from 8.6% in 2011 to 16% in 2040.
    • This will sharply reduce the per capita availability of hospital beds in India across all major States unless investments in health systems address these infirmities.

Conclusion

The policies that we adopt and their effective implementation will ensure that our demographic dividend, a time-limited opportunity, becomes a boon for India.

 

 

 

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