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

Aug, 03, 2019

[pib] SANKALP Scheme


  • Minister of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship has reviewed the World Bank loan assisted “Skills Acquisition and Knowledge Awareness for Livelihood Promotion (SANKALP) programme.

Why in news?

  • All 36 States/ UTs across country have submitted their consent for participation in SANKALP.
  • In addition to these State grants of Rs 10 lakh each also released to 117 aspirational districts under Aspirational Skilling Abhiyaan.


  • SANKALP is an outcome-oriented centrally sponsored programme of Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship (MSDE) with a special focus on decentralized planning and quality improvement.
  • The project is implemented with the support of World Bank monetarily in line with the objectives of National Skills Development Mission (NSDM).
  • It focuses on the overall skilling ecosystem covering both Central & State agencies.
  • Under SANKALP four key result areas have been identified viz:
  1. Institutional Strengthening (at National, State & District level)
  2. Quality Assurance Quality Assurance of skill development programs
  3. Inclusion of marginalized population in skill development and
  4. Expanding Skills through Public Private Partnerships (PPPs)
Jun, 05, 2019

[pib] Jan Shikshan Sansthans


  • Fee for SC/ST candidates, who join vocational training under Jan Shikshan Sansthans (JSS), has been waived off.
  • These decisions aim to further strengthen the skill ecosystem benefiting those in the underprivileged sections of society.

About Jan Shikshan Sansthan (JSS)

  • The scheme of JSS was initially launched in 1967 as Shramik Vidyapeeth, a polyvalent or multi-faceted adult education institution.
  • Formerly under the Ministry of Human Resources Development, JSS was transferred to the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship in 2018.
  • It was aimed at improving the vocational skills and quality of life of the industrial workers and their family members as well as those persons who had been migrating from rural to urban settings.
  • Now it has challenging mandate of providing vocational skills to non-literate, neo-literates as well as school drop-outs by identifying skills that have a market in the region of their establishment.

Scope of work of JSS includes:

  • Develop/Source appropriate curriculum and training modules covering vocational elements general awareness and life enrichment components.
  • Wherever possible, JSSs are encouraged to undertake training equivalent to courses designed by the Directorate of Adult Education, National Institute of Open Schooling and Director General, Employment & Training.
  • Provide training to a pool of resource persons and master trainers for conducting training as also availability of infrastructure and training – specific equipment.
  • Administer simple tests and award certificates.
  • Network with employers and industries for trainees to get suitable placements
Apr, 13, 2019

2 West Bengal govt schemes win UN awards


  • Two schemes of the West Bengal government for skill development and distribution of bi-cycles to students have won the prestigious World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) awards of the United Nations.
  • The schemes are “Utkarsh Bangla” and “Sabooj Sathi”.
  • The WB government had received another UN award in 2017 for its ‘Kanyashree’ project, a targeted conditional cash transfer scheme aimed at promoting education among girls.

Utkarsh Bangla

  • The “Utkarsh Bangla” project aims at creating a pool of skilled candidates who are industry ready.
  • It is meant especially for school dropouts.
  • Out of 1062 nominations in 18 categories, Utkarsh Bangla got the topmost award and emerged a winner in Capacity Building category.

Sabooj Sathi

  • Sabooj Sathi is a scheme for distribution of bi-cycles to estimated 40 lakh students of class IX to XII studying in Govt. run and Govt. aided Schools and Madrashas.
  • The scheme was launched in September 2015.


  • WSIS Prizes is an international contest to create an effective mechanism to evaluate and recognise individuals, governments and private bodies for outstanding success in implementing development oriented strategies that leverage the power of ICTs as an enabler of the development.
  • The contest, organised by the WSIS in Geneva, was first held in 2012.
Feb, 28, 2019

[pib] SHREYAS Scheme


Mains Paper 3: Economy | Development & employment

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Shreyas Scheme

Mains level: Skill Education in India


  • The Ministry of HRD has launched the Scheme for Higher Education Youth in Apprenticeship and Skills (SHREYAS) for providing industry apprenticeship opportunities.


  • It is a programme conceived for students in degree courses, primarily non-technical, with a view to introduce employable skills into their learning, promote apprenticeship and also amalgamate employment facilitating.
  • SHREYAS portal will enable educational institutions and industry to log in and provide their respective demand and supply of apprenticeship.
  • The matching of students with apprenticeship avenues will take place as per pre-specified eligibility criteria.

Objectives of the Scheme

  • To improve employability of students by introducing employment relevance into the learning process of the higher education system
  • To forge a close functional link  between education and industry/service sectors on a sustainable basis
  • To provide skills which are in demand, to the students in a dynamic manner
  • To establish an ‘earn while you learn’ system into higher education
  • To help business/industry in securing good quality manpower
  • To link student community with employment facilitating efforts of the Government

Operation of the Scheme

  • The primary scheme will be operated in conjunction with National Apprenticeship Promotion Scheme (NAPS) which provides for placing of apprentices upto 10% of the total work force in every business/industry.
  • The scheme will be implemented by the Sector Skill Councils (SSCs) , initially the Banking Finance Insurance Services (BFSI), Retail, Health care, Telecom, Logistics, Media, Management services, ITeS and Apparel.


  • Under the NAPS scheme, Central Government shares 25% of the stipend per month subject to a maximum of Rs.1500 p.m during the period of the apprenticeship.
  • Apart from that, an amount upto Rs.7500 will be met towards basic training cost, where needed.


1st Track:  Add-on apprenticeship

  • The students who are currently completing the degree programme would be invited to choose a job role of their choice from a selected list of apprenticeship job roles given by the Sector Skill Councils of the MoSDE.
  • At the end of the apprenticeship period, there would be a test conducted by the Sector Skill Council concerned and successful students would get skills certificate in addition to their degree certificate.

2nd track: Embedded Apprenticeship

  • Under this approach, the existing B.Voc programmes would be restructured into B.A (Professional), B.Sc (Professional) or B.Com (Professional) courses – which would include a mandatory apprenticeship ranging from 6 to 10 months depending on the requirement of the skill.
  • During the apprenticeship period, the student would get a monthly stipend of about Rs. 6,000 per month by the industry, 25% of which would be reimbursed under the NAPS programme.

3rd Track: Linking National Career Service with Colleges

  • Under this, the National Career Service (NCS) portal of Ministry of Labour& Employment would be linked with the Higher Education institutions.
  • As of now, more than 9,000 employers have posted requirement of more than 2 lakh vacancies, for which the students can get considered.
Feb, 21, 2019

[op-ed snap] A human-centric approach to unlock growth


Mains Paper 3: Science & Technology | Awareness in the fields of IT, Space, Computers

From the UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Basic concepts behind of Artificial Intelligence

Mains level: Article gives a clear picture of Jobs and skilling challenges related to Artificial Intelligence



  • Industry 4.0 is a double-edged sword.
  • On one side, we have an artificial intelligence (AI)-driven $15.7 trillion game-changer that is unfolding.
  • On the other side, it’s this (cutting-edge technologies such as AI) that will disrupt 70% of market leaders across industries in the next 10 years.
  • The availability of relevant talent (or the lack of it) will decide which way industries (and nations) will go.
  • Countries have started to put in place national digital skills strategies, including in Asia.

Changes in Jobs due to the advent of AI

  • it’s about time we put to rest the fear-mongering narrative of job losses and underpinned the real issue—the global skill crisis.
  • Smart machines will replace millions of jobs worldwide, but, newer jobs will be created in greater numbers.
  • The World Economic Forum estimates 75 million jobs may be displaced, but 133 million new roles may emerge globally in a few years.
  • These new jobs will be different and will require higher application of cognitive skills alongside working with deep technologies.

Is Indian IT doing enough towards re-skilling?

  • Many companies have their own learning platforms that are being used extensively.
  • Others are tapping into their partner networks and massive open online courses.
  • Also, as an industry, we need to have deeper engagements with academia, CoEs and research labs to reach our optimum potential.
  • Indian IT is taking convincing strides to sustain its position as the preferred transformational partner for global clients.
  • Towards this, investments of about 10,000 crore oave been earmarked for re-skilling.

Competition from other countries

  • Other nations, such as Singapore, China, France, Canada, and Egypt, have begun to invest significantly towards creating digital talent.
  • As many as 20 countries across the globe have adopted AI National Strategy.
  • Governments worldwide recognise the inevitable shift and are adopting AI, analytics, and allied technologies to deliver citizen-centric services, including rthe eal-time response.

Indian Government’s Response

  • The government doubled its Digital India budget to $480 million in 2018-19, which will be used for research and training in deep tech.
  • In the interim budget this year, the announcement of the National AI Centre, AI portal, and the identification of nine areas to be driven by technology are positive steps towards evangelisation.
  • Karnataka government along with Nasscom has launched a CoE for data science and AI.

Other areas that need reforms

  • Universities will have to re-train to ensure students are employable in the digital era.
  • We produce 2.6 million STEM graduates annually, but their employability is considerably low.
  • Investment in research is another area where we lag. Sponsored research in our top institutions is between $120-140 million annually, while comparable estimates in the American colleges are between $1-1.5 billion.
  • Increasingly, universities will require great access to patient capital.


  • This industry has never been constrained by demand. We have to ensure that we get the supply side of the equation right in real quick time, and policies and strategies must translate into immediate action.
  • The choice is no more about being the bigger fish —but being the faster one.


Jan, 28, 2019

Skill Ministry strengthens Jan Shikshan Sansthans


Mains Paper 3: Economy | Development & Employment

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Jan Shikshan Sansthan, NSQF

Mains level: State of skill development institutes in the country


  • The government unveiled new guidelines for Jan Shikshan Sansthans (JSS) aligning them to the National Skills Qualification Framework with an aim to providing standardised training across sectors.

About Jan Shikshan Sansthan (JSS)

  1. The scheme of JSS was initially launched in 1967 as Shramik Vidyapeeth, a polyvalent or multi-faceted adult education institution.
  2. Formerly under the Ministry of Human Resources Development, JSS was transferred to the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship in 2018.
  3. It was aimed at improving the vocational skills and quality of life of the industrial workers and their family members as well as those persons who had been migrating from rural to urban settings.
  4. Now it has challenging mandate of providing vocational skills to non-literate, neo-literates as well as school drop-outs by identifying skills that have a market in the region of their establishment.

Scope of work of JSS includes:

  • Develop/Source appropriate curriculum and training modules covering vocational elements general awareness and life enrichment components.
  • Wherever possible, JSSs are encouraged to undertake training equivalent to courses designed by the Directorate of Adult Education, National Institute of Open Schooling and Director General, Employment & Training.
  • Provide training to a pool of resource persons and master trainers for conducting training as also availability of infrastructure and training – specific equipment.
  • Administer simple tests and award certificates.
  • Network with employers and industries for trainees to get suitable placements

Benefits of new Norms

  1. JSS guidelines have been reformed keeping in mind the diverse stake-holders engaged in running these institutions.
  2. The JSS can play an important role in bridging information asymmetry between skill training and market opportunities thereby giving an impetus to the creation of a workforce equipped in technology-driven skills.
  3. By aligning JSSs to the National Skill Framework, the government aims to provide standardised training across sectors.

Impactful progress till now

  1. Out of the 247 active JSSs, 43 have been established across 42 Aspirational Districts identified by NITI Aayog.
  2. The ministry will soon be introducing a few more in the LWE (left-wing extremism affected) regions to promote skill development of the youth in the region.
  3. In the past five years, over eight lakh people have benefitted from the JSS scheme. More than 86,000 men have been registered.
  4. More importantly there has been an unprecedented surge in the registration of women, with over 7 lakh registrations.
  5. It further said the JSSs have helped open over 1 lakh bank accounts under Jan Dhan Yojana and mobilised around 7.5 lakh beneficiaries who were enrolled in PM Suraksha Bima Yojana.
  6. With a substantial rise in establishment of more than 1 lakh entrepreneurs, JSS has successfully generated employment across various sectors.


National Skills Qualification Framework

  1. The National Skills Qualifications Framework (NSQF) is a competency-based framework that organizes all qualifications according to a series of levels of knowledge, skills and aptitude.
  2. These levels, graded from one to ten, are defined in terms of learning outcomes which the learner must possess regardless of whether they are obtained through formal, non-formal or informal learning.
  3. NSQF in India was notified on 27th December 2013.
  4. All other frameworks, including the NVEQF (National Vocational Educational Qualification Framework) released by the Ministry of HRD, stand superceded by the NSQF.
Nov, 01, 2018

Karnataka launches SC/ST entrepreneurship scheme


Mains Paper 2: Governance | Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Particulars of the Samruddhi Scheme

Mains level: Promoting entrepreneurship skills to socio-economically backward youths


Samruddhi Scheme

  1. The Karnataka social welfare department has officially launched ‘Samruddhi”, a programme that partners at least 30 private companies for skill development of youngsters from economically and socially backward sections.
  2. The K’taka government had data on the beneficiaries of similar grants in the past but there was no machinery to track the progress or utilization of these funds.
  3. The Samruddhi scheme follows the Unnati and Airavata schemes which also targeted socially marginalised communities and helped provide them skill development and alternate means of employment.

Particulars of the Scheme

  1. The minimum age limit for a SC/ST youth is 21 and one must have an SSLC (10th standard) certificate.
  2. Selected beneficiaries can choose from about 200 specific skill sets and be trained by the private company.
  3. They will be given a period of two months to show that they have the land or space for it, or have access to the same.
  4. Various grants of up to Rs 10 lakhs would be given to deserving youth after successful completion of training to open an outlet.
  5. This is a move away from traditional business loans as we saw a potential for misuse in the loans.
  6. These seed grants are secure and will directly reach the intended beneficiaries.

Bringing in more transparency

  1. The scheme aims to streamline grants given by the social welfare department to eligible beneficiaries and link them with industry to track the progress of such programmes.
  2. This brings in transparency to distribution of funds, and avoids misuse.
Oct, 25, 2018

[pib] Cabinet nod for Indian Institute of Skills


Mains Paper 3: Economy | Development & Employment

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Indian Institute of Skills, Skill India Mission

Mains level: State of skill development institutes in the country


IISs at different locations

  1. The Union Cabinet has approved the setting up of Indian Institute of Skills (IISs) at different locations across the country in PPP.
  2. The PPP Models will be explored for promotion of IIS at select locations based on demand and available infrastructure.

Benefits of IISs

  1. The IISs shall providing high quality skill training, applied research education and a direct and meaningful connection with industry.
  2. The setting up of IISs shall augment the global competitiveness of key sectors of Indian economy
  3. It will provide opportunity to aspiring youth across the country to have access to highly skilled training.
  4. By leveraging advantages of private sector enterprise and public capital in terms of Government land, it would create new institutes of expertise, knowledge and competitiveness.
Oct, 24, 2018

[op-ed snap] India and the new face of globalization


Mains Paper 3: Economy | Effects of liberalization on the economy

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Not much

Mains level: Fourth industrial revolution and how India can benefit from it


Evolution of globalization

  1. Globalization itself is evolving, with changes in global trade flows, capital flows, and the Fourth Industrial Revolution
  2. Trade flows have attracted more attention than capital flows and technological changes as drivers of globalization
  3. Trade in services are now increasing at a much faster pace than trade in goods

Advantage India

  1. India’s trade characteristics are well aligned with the new face of globalization
  2. India’s global trade has been spearheaded by exports of modern services
  3. Technology has enabled services to be digitized and transported long distances at low costs without compromising on quality
  4. The internet has enabled firms to sell services without crossing national borders, and dramatically increased the size and the scope for exploiting cost differentials in services compared to trade in goods

Changes in capital flow

  1. Globalization of capital flows is also evolving with huge implications for macroeconomic management and growth
  2. Remittances, which tend to be more resilient, have been the dominant form of capital inflow into India
  3. They have often exceeded foreign direct investment and other capital inflows in the past
  4. Many long-term investors, such as pension funds and insurance companies, which are ideally suited for human and physical infrastructure investments, see India as an important investment destination
  5. There is increasing interest from global investors in solar power, water management, waste management, affordable housing and much more
  6. There is also increasing interest, both from philanthropic and private foundations, in promoting public-private partnerships and maximizing finance for welfare development

Impact of the technological revolution

  1. New technological revolution has huge spillovers and externalities
  2. Data and information technology is now the lifeblood of the global economy, fuelling ideas for new products and services, and advancing the transnational flow of trade, capital, and ideas
  3. The shift in value from physical to digital information services will only increase
  4. The new era of innovation, in which cutting-edge technologies are replacing old production methods has impacted everybody
  5. India faces the challenge of how to capitalize on their comparative advantage, benefit from new technology, and create more jobs

Need to build human capital

  1. While investment in physical infrastructure has attracted the attention of policymakers in the past, investment in building human infrastructure has become even more important
  2. Given India’s young population, and to benefit from its demographic dividend, India needs to dramatically scale up investments in human infrastructure
  3. India’s demographic dividend suggests that 7-10 million people will join the labour force every year

Gaps in system

  1. Less than 4 million receive skill training
  2. Early learning and stimulation interventions for children under three are virtually non-existent
  3. Less than 17% of government schools provide one or two years of pre-primary education
  4. Less than 15% of rural children in grade 2 can read at the expected level

Way forward

  1. India faces a dual challenge—demographic dividend and rapid technological change
  2. Technological progress is placing a higher premium on skills, and any failure of countries to lay the groundwork for their citizens to lead productive lives will not only carry a high cost, but it will also generate more inequality and conflict
  3. India needs to invest in people—through education, health, nutrition, social protection, and skills
  4. Scaling up investments in human capital to promote growth and prevent digital divide is an easy call for the policymakers
Oct, 11, 2018

Cabinet nod to merger of skill development bodies


Mains Paper 3: Economy | Development & Employment

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: NSDA, NCVT, NCVET

Mains level: State of skill development institutes in the country and measures to improve their quality



  • The Union cabinet on has approved the merger of the National Council for Vocational Training (NCVT) and the National Skill Development Agency (NSDA).
  • The merger is aimed to consolidate fragmented regulatory structures and improve the outcome of the Skill India mission.

National Council for Vocational Education and Training (NCVET)

  1. The merged entity would be called the NCVET.
  2. The NCVET will regulate the functioning of entities engaged in vocational education and training, both long-term and short-term, and establish minimum standards for the functioning of such entities.
  3. The primary functions of NCVET will include recognition and regulation, assessment, approval of qualifications developed by different bodies and industry governed sector skill councils.
  4. The merger would bring in accountability in skill sector that caters to nearly 15 million students at any given time.
  5. This reform will ultimately increase credibility of the skill sector and encourage greater private investment.

About NCVT and NSDA

  1. The NCVT was a regulator and assessment body of the long-term skill education space comprising more than 13,000 industrial training institutions.
  2. While the NSDA was policy formulating bodies of the skill development ministry helping it devise training and industry collaboration policy for the Skill India mission.
  3. The NCVT had been in existence for more than four decades as part of the directorate general of training, while the NSDA was a relatively new body that came into force in 2013.
Oct, 04, 2018

[pib] India and Asian Development Bank (ADB) sign up for India’s First Global Skills Park


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Global Skills Park

Mains level: Enhancing skill development ecosystem in India



  • Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Government of India signed a $150 million Loan Agreement in today to establish a Global Skills Park (GSP) in Madhya Pradesh.

Global Skills Park (GSP)

  1. It is the First Multi-Skills Park in India, to enhance the quality of Technical and Vocational Education And Training (TVET) System in the State and create a more skilled workforce.
  2. The Project will help improve the quality and relevance of the State’s TVET programs.
  3. It will help impart advanced job-ready skills training of international standards that can meet the employment needs of the State’s emerging sectors.
  4. The Project will engage international TVET partners to support advanced training at the GSP who will bring global best practices in TVET management, training infrastructure, industry cooperation, and quality assurance.

About the GSP campus

  1. The new GSP campus, which will be established in Bhopal will consist of core Advanced Training Institutes including the Center for Occupational Skills Acquisition and the Center for Advanced Agricultural Training as well as other support services.
  2. The sole aim is focussed on entrepreneurship, training of trainers, and skill-related research.
  3. The campus will have training facilities focusing on skills for manufacturing, service, and advanced agricultural jobs, benefitting about 20,000 trainees and trainers.
  4. The Project will also help in modernizing 10 industrial training institutes across the state by renovating training infrastructure and upgrading skills courses to align with industry and market needs.
Aug, 07, 2018

[op-ed snap] Rebooting the system for a skills upgrade


Mains Paper 3: Economy | Development & employment

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Not much

Mains level: State of skill development institutes in the country and what can be done to improve quality


Poor state of ITIs

  1. Private Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs) are running in small shops, basements, tin sheds and even godowns in the country
  2. These facts come from the report of the Standing Committee on Labour (2017-18), on the “Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs) and Skill Development Initiative Scheme” of the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MSDE)
  3. It was submitted to Parliament few months ago

Disproportionate rise in the number of ITIs

  1. The ITIs were initiated in the 1950s
  2. In a span of 60 years, until 2007, around 1,896 public and 2,000 private ITIs were set up
  3. But in a 10-year period from 2007, more than 9,000 additional private ITIs were accredited
  4. This rise is not efficiency but a disregard for norms and standards

What has this led to?

  1. Private sector engagement in skill development has been taken up by standalone private training partners and not employers
  2. The latter could have made the system demand-driven
  3. The lack of a regulator for skill development, with teeth, has led to poor quality affiliation, assessment and certification

How did this malfunctioning start?

  1. It was due to instances of responsibility outsourcing, no oversight, connivance and an ownership tussle between the Central and State governments
  2. Private-ITI accreditation troubles started when the Quality Council of India (QCI), a private body, was hired due to “high workload of affiliation and shortage of government staff
  3. The QCI did not follow accreditation norms created by the National Council for Vocational Training (NCVT) and it appears that neither scale nor standard was achieved, but only speed

Centre-state jointly handling ITIs

  1. The ITIs have a unique functioning set-up. While they were formed under the government’s Craftsman Training Scheme, their day-to-day administration, finances and admissions are with State governments
  2. The NCVT performs an advisory role
  3. The ITIs often run into issues with no one to take ownership

How to improve the standards in ITIs

  1. A good point to start would be the Sharda Prasad Committee recommendations
  2. A better oversight is needed, with a national board for all skill development programmes
  3. The core work (accreditation, assessment, certification and course standards) cannot be outsourced
  4. Like every other education board (such as the CBSE), a board is required in vocational training that is accountable
  5. There should be a mandatory rating system for the ITIs that is published periodically
  6. A ranking of the ITIs on several parameters such as the one done by the National Assessment and Accreditation Council in tertiary education can be replicated
  7. There should be one system, with one law and one national vocational education and training system

Micro reforms needed in ITIs

  1. There is a critical need to reskill ITI teachers and maintain the student-teacher ratio
  2. Since technology obsolescence is a continuous challenge, financial support envisaged through the NSDC should be extended to the ITIs
  3. Institutional reforms such as moving the office of the Directorate General of Employment (the arm that has all data on employment) from the Ministry of Labour to the MSDE would help
  4. It would also complement the Directorate General of Training already under MSDE

Need for RIC

  1. Given the scale of our demographic challenge, a belief that financing from corporate social responsibility, multilateral organisations such as the World Bank, and the government will meet the financial needs for skill development is wishful thinking
  2. The only way to mobilise adequate resources the right way is to do skills training, and have equipment and tools that keep pace with changing needs and ensure that employers have skin in the game
  3. This is possible through a reimbursable industry contribution (RIC) — a 1-2% payroll tax that will be reimbursed when employers train using public/private infrastructure and provide data
  4. RIC, which is implemented in 62 other countries, was recommended in the 12th Plan

Way Forward

  1. The silos in which vocational training happens in India is unfortunate
  2. We need to create a unified national vocational system where the ITIs, NSDC private vocational trainers and vocational education in schools, and the other Central ministries conducting training gel seamlessly and can learn from, and work with each other
Jun, 19, 2018

[op-ed snap] Skill development of the Youth: Pay heed to the market


Mains Paper 3: Economy | Development & employment

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: International Labour Organisation, Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana

Mains level: Reaping benefits of India’s demographic dividend by better skilling


Unemployment in India to rise

  1. Coupled with a continual increase in voluntary unemployment, the International Labour Organisation expects unemployment in India to be higher in 2018
  2. In India, 65% of the population is below 35 years and unemployment, especially among youth, can limit the nation’s ability to reap the much-hyped demographic dividend

Enhancing youth employability

  1. A wide range of stakeholders, including the government, companies, civil society organizations, and for-profit enterprises are working either independently or in cohesion to enhance youth employability
  2. The government has also undertaken a structured approach via the establishment of the ministry of skill development and employment and the Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana
  3. Currently, four models are used for supporting youth employability in the country
  • The first model, or the self-employment model, work on the rationale that if youth are trained in a particular skill, they will have the capacity to become micro-entrepreneurs
  • The second model, or the employer-led model, trains youth in specific skills relevant to an enterprise and then absorbs the youth into their own value chain
  • The third, the placement-led model, provides training to youth and also established linkages with potential employers
  • Fourth, the market linkage model provides end-to-end support to self-employed youth, assisting them in earning better incomes

Causes of increasing unemployment

  1. Unemployment is higher among the formally educated in comparison to the illiterate
  2. There is higher youth unemployment in rural areas, while most interventions focus on urban areas
  3. There is a mismatch between the skill sets that industries require and the skill sets that youth are equipped with
  4. These structural challenges result in a demand-supply mismatch which can be summarized as
  • a mismatch between youth aspirations and the skills training being provided
  • mismatch in skills training and industry needs
  • poor industry buy-in for vocational training courses because of lack of standardization and universally accepted certification

Solutions for this problem

  1. The focus should be put on understanding aspirations, industry requirements and standardization across the skill-development value chain
  2. Well-designed interventions will be effective only if the candidates are willing, receptive and capable of absorbing the knowledge or skill being imparted by the intervention
  3. Counseling in skilling programmes is essential to align the aspirations of programme beneficiaries with the expected outcomes of training
  4. While designing programmes, it is critical to map skills being imparted to the specific needs of potential employers so that the skilling-to-employment loop is closed seamlessly
  5. When it comes to designing programmes that focus on self-employment or entrepreneurship, it is important to assess demand for the product or service and study policies or schemes that can be leveraged to enhance sales
  6. There is also scope for increased public-private partnerships
  7. Public-private partnerships (PPPs) can use existing under-utilized infrastructure available with educational institutions to facilitate vocational training and skill development

Way forward

  1. India’s demography provides a great opportunity for the country with regard to economic growth and development milestones
  2. Concentrated and evidence-backed efforts which can cohesively develop and strengthen youth aspirations, the skill development ecosystem and markets where youth can be employed are necessary for India to realize that opportunity
Apr, 06, 2018

[op-ed snap] ‘Skill India’ urgently needs reforms


Mains Paper 3: Economy | Development & employment

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Sharada Prasad Committee, Sector Skill Councils, Skill India, National Classification of Occupations 2015, National Skills Qualification Framework, National Sample Survey Office

Mains level: Various initiatives related to skill development and their impacts & shortcomings


Reaping demographic dividend

  1. Salvaging the Indian demographic dividend must be a key part of India’s growth story (Good intro)
  2. In 2016, the Government of India formed the Sharada Prasad Committee to rationalise the Sector Skill Councils (SSCs) and improve ‘Skill India’
  3. SSCs are employer bodies mostly promoted by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry, the Confederation of Indian Industry and other industry associations
  4. The committee submitted its report in 2016

Goals of Skill India

  1. To meet employers’ needs of skills
  2. To prepare workers (young and old) for a decent livelihood

Committee suggestions

  1. Each recommendation underlines that the vocational education/training (VET) is not just for underprivileged communities
  2. It is not a stopgap arrangement for those who cannot make it through formal education. It is for all of us
  3. It suggests concrete steps to ensure a mindset change, such as
  • having a separate stream for vocational education (in secondary education)
  • creating vocational schools and vocational colleges for upward mobility, and
  • having a Central university to award degrees and diplomas

What needs to be done for improving VET

  1. It requires a serious engagement of employers
  2. This can be done by aligning the courses to international requirements, ensuring a basic foundation in the 3Rs, and life-long learning
  3. It implies national standards for an in-demand skill set with national/global mobility that translates into better jobs
  4. We should have no more than 450 courses (Germany has only 340 courses) — in accordance with the National Classification of Occupations 2015
  5. National Skills Qualification Framework (NSQF) had recommended rationalization of qualification packs/job roles

Ethics and accountability issue

  1. There is a huge ethics and accountability issue if there is no credible assessment board and when there are too many sector skill councils, each trying to maximise their business
  2. The Sharada Prasad Committee had recommended that the number of SSCs should correspond to the National Industrial (Activity) Classification
  3. It has 21 economic activities across the entire economy

Policy steps that can be taken

  1. The first policy step should be towards a unification of the entire VET system
  • SSCs, which are supposedly industry representatives, should be engaging themselves with each pillar of the system, and not just NSDC-funded VTPs
  • ‘Skill India’ can have an impact only when all of them work together and learn from each other

2. The second step is to enhance employer ownership, responsibility and their ‘skin in the game’

  • Only 36% of India’s organized sector firms conduct in-firm training
  • There can be a reimbursable industry contribution model (applicable only to the organized sector)
  • It could ensure reimbursements for those companies undertaking training while rewarding industry for sharing and undertaking skilling until everyone in the company is skilled

3. The government should have surveys, once every five years, through the National Sample Survey Office, to collect data on skill providers and skill gaps by sector

  • Such data can guide evidence-based policy-making, as against the current approach of shooting in the dark

Way forward

  1. India can surely become the world’s skill capital but not with what it is doing right now
  2. The reforms suggested by the committee can be a good starting point for we cannot let another generation lose its dreams
Apr, 03, 2018

[pib] Mahila Kisan Shashaktikaran Pariyojana and Value Chain Initiatives


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Mahila Kisan Shashaktikaran Pariyojana (MKSP), Aajeevika Grameen Express Yojana, Deendayal Upadhyaya Grameen Kaushalya Yojana, DAY-NRLM,

Mains level: Schemes to promote entrepreneurship and skilling in rural India


Objective: In order to promote agro-ecological practices that increase women farmers’ income and reduce their input costs and risks, the Mission has been implementing the Mahila Kisan Shashaktikaran Pariyojana (MKSP).

  • More than 33 lakh women farmers were being supported under this scheme.
  • Further, about 8 lakh Mahila Kisans have been mobilized into 86,000 Producer Groups (PGs) which are federated into 126 Producer Companies (PCs).
  • These value chain development initiatives have contributed significantly to the farmers’ income from agriculture, horticulture, dairying, fisheries and Non-Timber Forest Produce (NTFP) related activities.
  • Small and marginal farmers producing Maize, Mango, Floriculture, Dairy, Goatery etc., have benefited significantly through the value chain interventions across different states. As of February 2018, more than 1.05 lakh SHG members have been covered under these interventions.

Community Livelihood Professionals

The community-driven implementation strategy is the cornerstone of the Mission.

More than 1.72 lakh community members have been trained and deployed to provide support to the community institutions in a variety of themes, such as bookkeeping, training and capacity building, financial services etc.  

This also includes more than 22,000 Community Livelihoods Resource Persons (CLRPs) such as Krishi Sakhi and Pashu Sakhi who provide 24 X 7 doorstep extension services to the small and marginal farmers including dairy farmers.

Start-up Village Entrepreneurship Programme & Aajeevika Grameen Express Yojana

  • As part of its non-farm livelihoods strategy, DAY-NRLM is implementing Start-Up Village Entrepreneurship Programme (SVEP) and Aajeevika Grameen Express Yojana (AGEY).
  • SVEP aims to support entrepreneurs in rural areas to set up local enterprises.
  • Implemented in 17 States since 2016-17, about 16,600 enterprises have been supported under SVEP resulting in gainful employment for about 40,000 persons.

Aajeevika Grameen Express Yojana (AGEY), was launched in August 2017 to provide safe, affordable and community monitored rural transport services to connect remote rural villages. As of March 2018, proposals from 17 States have been approved and 288 vehicles are operating.   

Deendayal Upadhyaya Grameen Kaushalya Yojana (DDUGKY) aims at building placement linked skills of the rual youth and place them in relatively higher wage employment sectors of the economy.

Rural Self Employment Training Institutes: The Mission is in partnership with 31 Banks and State Governments, is supporting Rural Self Employment Institutes (RSETIs) for skilling of rural youth to take up gainful self-employment. In FY 2017-18, a total of 4.23 lakhs candidates have been trained and 3.34 lakhs candidates have been settled.

Independent Assessment of DAY-NRLM: Institute of Rural Management Anand (IRMA), was entrusted to carry out the independent assessment of design, strategy and impacts of DAY-NRLM. As part of the study, survey of nearly 4500 households spanning across 746 villages was conducted during January – March 2017.

The results indicate that the households in the treatment areas:

  • Have a higher number of livestock assets as compared to control areas – On an average, each household in a Mission village had more than 2.34 productive livestock assets compared to a similar household in non-Mission village
  • Show a higher proclivity to save in formal institutions;
  • Have a higher loan size (about 67% more than the loan size in the control areas) and are more likely to borrow from formal financial sources; NRLM households also pay a lower rate of interest
  • Have 22% higher (net) income than the households in the control areas, largely due to income from enterprises. On an average, each NRLM village had 11 enterprises more than the non-NRLM villages – suggesting livelihood diversification in NRLM villages.
  • Participate more in PRIs – NRLM households participate 3 times more than their counterparts

Promotion of Farm Livelihoods: DAY-NRLM plans to

  • Include another 5 lakh women farmers under its farm livelihoods interventions like sustainable agriculture, livestock and NTFP based activities with major focus on North East states.
  • Further, the Mission aims at supporting an additional 75000 SHG member households through farm-based value chain initiatives.
  • It would also promote 15 large size farm-based producer enterprises to provide market linkages to women producers.
  • In addition, organic cultivation will be promoted in 1000 village clusters across States.

Promotion of Non-Farm Livelihoods: It is also expected that Start-Up Village Entrepreneurship Programme (SVEP) will support an additional 25000 entrepreneurs during the year 2018-19. In addition, it is expected that by March 2019, about 1500 vehicles will be operating across 17 States under Aajeevika Gram Express Yojana (AGEY).

Setting up of Rural Haats: Development of haats has emerged as one of the most important strategies to market SHG products and agricultural produce. To facilitate marketing of rural produce, it is proposed to set up haats at village and block levels in convergence with MGNREGS and the District and State level using DAY-NRLM resources. It is proposed to set up 4567 rural haats across the country during FY 2018-19

Enabling rural poor’s access to formal sources of finance: The Mission will continue to promote access of SHGs to bank credit and other financial services. In FY 18-19, it is planned to link 22 lakh SHGs to bank credit for total loan amount of Rs. 42500 crores, taking the SHG Bank loan outstanding to Rs. 75000 crore. The Mission will make efforts to expand Banking services to underserved regions through alternate channels in partnerships with various banks.

Rural Self Employment Training Institutes:

  • An increased involvement of State Government has been envisaged in planning and implementation of skill development of rural poor through RSETIs. This would facilitate better mobilization (using Kaushal Panjee app) and identification of needy candidates in rural poor households.
  • The mission is launching Standard Operating Procedures for greater transparency, efficiency and Quality assurance in the implementation of skill training in RSETIs.
  • Mission is facilitating partnership of Industry Bodies with RSETIs to enable scaling up of rural entrepreneurs.
Apr, 03, 2018

[pib] Deendayal Antodaya Yojana – National Rural Livelihoods Mission


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: DAY-NRLM

Mains level: Schemes for rural development


Related Ministry/Department: Ministry of Rural Development (MoRD)

Aim: Alleviating rural poverty & fostering diversified livelihoods through sustainable community institutions of poor

It is a flagship programme of the Ministry of Rural Development (MoRD) that seeks to alleviate rural poverty through building sustainable community institutions of the poor. The centrally sponsored programme is implemented in partnership with the State governments.

Community Institution Building – Financial year 2017-18

  • More than 82 lakh households mobilized into 6.96 lakh Self Help Group (SHGs) across the country.
  • More than 4.75 crore women have been mobilized into more than 40 lakh SHGs.
  • Cumulatively, these community institutions have been provided more than Rs. 4,444 crore as capitalization support.
Jan, 12, 2018

[op-ed snap] A global opportunity for the Indian workforce

Image source


Mains Paper 3: Economy | Development & employment

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Global Economic Prospects report, Gini coefficient, Annual State of Education Report, World Development Report

Mains level: Ways to improve skill development and employment


Global Economic Prospects report

  1. The World Bank’s latest “Global Economic Prospects” report shows that the second wave of change in the global labour market will play out over the next two decades
  2. Developing economies will be contributing to all of the addition in the global skilled labour force
  3. This is because the number of skilled workers in advanced economies is expected to decline

Global workforce and skilled workers

  1. Skilled workers have been defined as those having at least nine years of education
  2. The global skilled workforce is likely to increase from 1.66 billion workers in 2011 to 2.16 billion by 2040

What will this lead to?

  1. Improvement in the level of education and skill tends to increase income
  2. Rising income in the developing world will lead to a reduction in inequality
  3. The global Gini coefficient is estimated to decline from 65.8 in 2012 to 62.6 by 2030

Gains depend on adjustments

  1. India has benefited by integrating with the global economy
  2. The next wave of gains will depend on how well it adjusts to the changing economic and technological environment
  3. Policymakers will need to work on different levels to be able to create a competitive labour force

What needs to be done?

  1. First, India urgently needs to focus on education and skill development
  • The “Annual State of Education Report” periodically shows the depressing state of education in Indian schools
  • The World Bank also highlighted the problem in its “World Development Report” last year
  • Outcomes in education could be improved by better use of technology

2. Second, the World Bank in its analysis assumes that additional workers will get employed

  • India has not been able to create enough employment opportunities for people moving out of agriculture
  • The basic reason for this is India has not capitalized on labour-intensive manufacturing
  • Recent research shows that India’s competitive advantage in some of the labour-intensive sectors has actually declined in recent years
  • The legal and regulatory requirements in markets like land and labour make it difficult for firms to grow and take advantage of economies of scale
  • To be able to absorb its rising workforce, India needs to remove impediments in the manufacturing sector

3. Third, inequality has gone up in advanced economies

  • Even though inequality at the global level declined in recent decades, it has gone up in advanced economies as the national income share of wages came down
  • Therefore, the lingering risk of protectionism is unlikely to dissipate in a hurry
  • India will need to protect its interest in such an environment and look for opportunities to increase trade at both bilateral and multilateral forums
  • Adequate attention should be paid to currency management in the world of volatile capital flows
  • It will be difficult to grow at a faster pace without the backing of strong exports as exports are an important driver of growth and job creation

Way Forward

  1. An increasing number of skilled workers not only raises the potential growth but also reduces inequality within the country by reducing the skill premium
  2. A skilled labour force along with a focus on manufacturing and exports will help India grow at a faster rate in the medium to long run


Gini Coefficient

  1. Gini Coefficient is a popular statistical measure to gauge the rich-poor income or wealth divide
  2. It measures inequality of a distribution — be it of income or wealth — within nations or States
  3. Its value varies anywhere from zero to 1
  4. Zero indicates perfect equality and one indicates the perfect inequality
  5. Gini Coefficients can be used to compare income distribution of a country over time as well
  6. A general rise in Gini Coefficient indicates that government policies are not inclusive and may be benefiting the rich as much as (or even more than) the poor
Dec, 04, 2017

Government to enable skilled persons bag jobs abroad 


Mains Paper 3 : Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources.
Prelims level: Policy for skill India
Mains level: Steps being taken by Government for skilling people.
2016 Mains question: “Demographic Dividend in India will remain only theoretical unless our manpower becomes more educated, aware, skilled and creative.” What measures have been taken by the government to enhance the capacity of our population to be more productive and employable?


  1. India plans to make it easier for masons, carpenters and plumbers, among other skilled persons, to get jobs overseas.
  2. The skill development and entrepreneurship ministry is giving a final shape to the policy, which will be presented to the Union cabinet for its approval.
  1. The policy and the action plan will address the information asymmetry.
  2. Information Asymmetry exists across the globe for different skills and the basic minimum certification required for each skill in different countries.
  3. Currently, the skill development ministry does not have enough information on how many masons or plumbers are needed and in which countries.
  4. The new policy will help us map this requirement,
  1. India will have a surplus manpower of four-five crore over the next decade.
  2. Vision to make India the skilled capital of the world.
  3. Part of the larger vision to imparting skills to 50 crore youth by 2022.
Earlier Steps Taken
  1. Last year, government announced the launch of 50 India International Skill Centres to impart training to youth under the Pravasi Kaushal Vikas Yojana.
  2. The idea was to increase the employability and acceptability of Indian youth on global platforms.
Jul, 14, 2016

Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana

  1. News: The Cabinet cleared a Rs 12,000-crore revamped version of the Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY)
  2. Aim: To impart skills to over 1 crore people in the next 4 years – includes training to 60 lakh youths and certifying 40 lakh informally skilled workers
  3. Includes a mechanism to revive the traditional Guru-Shishya approach to train youth with the help of local craftsmen and trade practitioners
  4. Training centres will be categorised on the basis of their infrastructure and past performance and third party agencies will be deployed to validate their training efforts and placement records
  5. Members of Parliament will also be roped in to mobilise youth for training, monitor the scheme in their constituencies and post-training placement of trainees
Jul, 12, 2016

Google to train 2 mn developers in Android

  1. News: Google launched a program to train 2 million developers in India on Android, its mobile operating system, in the next 3-year period
  2. Aim: Enabling the developers to make innovative mobile applications on the platform and to make India the global leader in mobile app development
  3. Low rank: Google’s Play Store has over 1 million applications, and less than 4% of the top 1000 applications come from India
  4. Trivia: India is expected to have the largest developer population of 4 million by 2018, overtaking the US
Jul, 06, 2016

Scheme for apprenticeship training

  1. News: The Centre approved an outlay of Rs 10,000 crore towards National Apprenticeship Promotion Scheme
  2. Aim: To provide apprenticeship training to 50 lakh youth by 2020
  3. The scheme will provide financial incentives to employers to engage apprentices
  4. The Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship will share 25% of the total stipend payable to an apprentice with employers
  5. The government will also fund 50% of the total expenditure incurred by the employer in providing basis training to apprentices
Jul, 02, 2016

Skill banks to help India become the HR capital

  1. News: The plan to make India ‘the human resource capital’ of the world will first take off in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, with setting up of skill banks
  2. The Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship and the External Affairs Ministry will be co-operating on the vision
  3. Skill banks: To train potential immigrant workers in various job roles as per international standards
  4. Will impart skills across sectors where job opportunities exist or are likely to arise across different countries
  5. Before they emigrate, youth in skill banks would be made familiar with the respective local culture and language of the country they obtain a job
Jan, 14, 2016

Each district to have at least one skill development centre by 2017

Industry pledges commitment to the National Skill Development Mission.

  1. As part of the Skill India Development Mission, the union Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship has embarked upon a special industry initiative.
  2. To attract leading corporate to set up co-branded Corporate Skill Excellence Centres in PPP mode.
  3. The Government will provide various tax and non-tax incentives for corporates that set up Corporate Skill Excellence Centres as part of their core business or CSR activities.
  4. The CSR funds can be routed through National Skill Development Fund with specific outcomes.
Nov, 30, 2015

Centre to map country’s training infrastructure

  1. The govt is mapping the country’s existing training infrastructure, including thousands of private training institutes.
  2. The capacity created by private investment do not reflect in the official data, though they are doing well.
  3. As part of Skill India Mission NSSO will collect details about training institutions, their capacities for imparting different skill sets and their utilisation by young job market aspirants.
  4. This will help in assessing the shortfall in capacity and a plan for bridging the gap can be formulated and implemented.
Nov, 10, 2015

Singapore eyeing Skill India collaboration during Narendra Modi visit

  1. Singapore plans to hard sell the ITE concept of vocational training, aligning it with Modi’s pet Skill India.
  2. This will resolve one of the paradoxes of India is that it has an educated population but not a skilled one.
  3. The other agenda will be promoting urban planning concepts, enhancing trade and investment, improving connectivity and increasing engagement with the states.
Sep, 24, 2015

Uphill task for Skill India mission

The National Sample Survey Office has released data from its 2011-12 round on education and vocational training.

  1. The NSSO data showed that only 2.4% people had technical degrees, diplomas or certificates in fields like medicine, engineering or agriculture.
  2. Nearly 90% of employable people did not receive any vocational training, which poses a challenge to govt.’s Skill India mission.
  3. More than 70% males cited that supplementing household income was the main reason for not being enrolled in any educational institution.
  4. Domestic chores prevented more than half of the females from studies.
May, 03, 2015

National Skill Development Mission & its 3 parts

  1. The National Skill Development Mission, an umbrella body, has 3 institutions under it.
  2. National Council on Skill Development (Chairman = PM) – To give policy direction and review skill development efforts.
  3. National Skill Development Coordination Board (Chairman = Vice Chairman NITI Aayog) – To enumerate strategies to implement the decisions of PM’s council.
  4. National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) – A non-profit company – to meet the skill training requirements of the labour market including the unorganised sector.
May, 03, 2015

PMKVY - Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (2/2)

  1. How will the govt. ensure quality? – Skill Development Management System + Grievance redressal system + Biometric system and Video recording.
  2. Further,an online citizen portal will be put in place to disseminate information about the program.
  3. Mobilisation of youth to be done through Skill Melas at the local level.
  4. The efforts in this direction, are being carried on a mission mode.
  5. The National Skill Development Mission, an umbrella body, has 3 institutions under it.
May, 03, 2015

PMKVY - Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (1/2)

  1. Implementation Agency – Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship through the National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) + training partners.
  2. Primary Focus – First time entrants to the labour market (mainly dropouts from Class 10 & 12). Will be a paid training regime.
  3. Workforce will cater to – Flagship programs like Make in India, Digital India, National Solar Mission and Swach Bharat Abhiyan.
  4. A Demand aggregator platform is also being launched.
Apr, 05, 2015

What’s wrong with Skill India and how to fix it?

  1. While outlays on skill development have been increasing, outcomes lag far behind.
  2. Most skill dev. programs offer a crash course module training to rural migrants which lasts 2-3 months. Industry has no stake in this process.
  3. Employers see very little value-addition in such training, and essentially view training companies as manpower sourcing agencies.
  4. In Germany – employers fund the bulk of the programme’s cost through a paid apprenticeship-based model.
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