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

In July this year, Prime Minister launched the Rs. 1,500-crore Skill India campaign, which aims to train 40 crore people by 2022.

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

National Education Alliance for Technology (NEAT) Scheme


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.


UPSC 2022 countdown has begun! Get your personal guidance plan now! (Click here)

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

[pib] DigiSaksham Initiative


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.


  • 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.

UPSC 2022 countdown has begun! Get your personal guidance plan now! (Click here)

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

[pib] PM-DAKSH Scheme


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.

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

Skilling in India: Issues and Suggestions


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.

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

[pib] PMKVY 3.0


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 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.


  • 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.

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

Investing in India’s youth


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.


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

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

[pib] Kumhar Sashaktikaran Yojana (KSY)


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.

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

Skill India For Atmanirbhar Bharat


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.


  • 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.


  • 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”


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.

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

[pib] ASEEM Portal


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.

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

Learning Platform “Skills Build Reignite”


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.


  • 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.

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

Skill University


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.”


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.

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

SWADES (Skilled Workers Arrival Database for Employment Support) Initiative


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.

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

Youth can be a clear advantage for India


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.


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.


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




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

[pib] Yuwaah Youth Skilling Initiative


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : YuWaah

Mains level : Various initiatives for Skill development in India

UNICEF has informed that they have launched ‘YuWaah’ Generation Unlimited in India.


  • YuWaah in is a multi-stakeholder alliance which aims to facilitate youth to gain relevant skills for productive lives and the future of work.
  • The target age group of YuWaah includes adolescent girls and boys and its key mission is to promote access to foundational, transferable and 21stcentury skills for youth inside and outside formal education systems.
  • This includes defining foundational skills, life skills and flexible learning and identifying and scaling impactful delivery models.
  • It intends to create platforms to guide youth to market opportunities (career guidance, mentorship, internships, apprenticeships) and facilitate integration of career guidance in school education.

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

[pib] IndiaSkills 2020


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : IndiaSkills 2020

Mains level : Various initiatives for Skill development in India

The Minister of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship has announced the opening of online registrations for IndiaSkills 2020.

IndiaSkills 2020

  • It is a biennial competition to scout talent from the country, offering them a platform to showcase their skills at national and international competitions.
  • IndiaSkills 2020 provides a platform for skilled and talented Indian youngsters to showcase their abilities at regional and national level competitions in over 50 skills.
  • Regional legs of the competitions are organized across four zones, culminating at the national competition in Delhi.
  • Winners of IndiaSkills will then get a chance to represent the country at the WorldSkills International Competition to be held in China in 2021.

 Global competitors

  • The 22 winners of Indiaskills 2018 and their experts had represented the country with their outstanding performance at the WorldSkills International 2019 (WSK), held in Kazan, Russia.
  • India won one gold, one silver, two bronze and 15 Medallions of Excellence at the biggest competition for skills.
  • India ranked 13th among 63 countries that participated at WorldSkills International 2019, marking it to be the best finish for the country in the coveted skill championship.
  • The last IndiaSkills competition was organized in 2018, wherein 22 states and more than 100 corporates participated, that gave 355 competitors a chance to display their skills across various skill competitions.

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

[pib] SkillsBuild platform


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : SkillsBuild platform

Mains level : Various initiatives for skill education

  • The Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship (MSDE) launched the SkillsBuild platform in collaboration with IBM.

SkillsBuild platform

  • As part of the programme, a two-year advanced diploma in IT, networking and cloud computing, co-created and designed by IBM will be offered at the ITIs & National Skill Training Institutes (NSTIs).
  • The platform will be extended to train ITI & NSTI faculty on building skills in Artificial Intelligence (AI).
  • The platform is deployed with the support of leading NGOs like Unnati and Edunet Foundation.
  • IBM Volunteers along with the NGOS will offer students personalized coaching and experiential learning opportunities.


  • The digital platform will provide a personal assessment of the cognitive capabilities and personality via MyInnerGenius to the students.
  • They will then learn foundational knowledge about digital technologies, as well as professional skills such as resume-writing, problem solving and communication.
  • Students will alsos receive recommendations on role-based education for specific jobs that include technical and professional learning.

About “New Collar Curriculum” initiative  

  • IBM joined hands with Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship (MSDE) in early 2018 to launch a first-of-its kind ‘New Collar Curriculum’.
  • This initiative is part of IBM’s global commitment to create a job-ready workforce and to build the next generation of skills needed for new collar careers.

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

[pib] Mahatma Gandhi National Fellowship Programme


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : SANKALP, MGNF

Mains level : Promoting skillful research in India

  • To boost skill development at the district level, the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MSDE) signed a contract with the IIM Bangalore for introducing a two-year fellowship programme Mahatma Gandhi National Fellowship (MGNF) programme.


  • Designed under SANKALP the fellowship aims to address the challenge of non-availability of personnel for implementation of various programmes at national, state and district levels.
  • The MGNF programme has an in-built component of on-ground practical experience with the district administration.


  • It is launched on a pilot basis in 75 districts across Gujarat, Karnataka, Meghalaya, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand.
  • Eligible fellows for the programme have to be in 21-30 years age-group, have a graduation degree from a recognized university and be citizens of India.
  • Proficiency in official language of state of fieldwork will be mandatory.
  • Its unique design will allow the Fellows to take academic learning at IIM Bangalore and use it in the field under faculty mentorship with the goal of understanding challenges and barriers that district ecosystem faces in fostering growth and development.

Aim and Objectives

  • MGNF seeks to create a cadre of young individuals and train them in a blended academic programme that provides both academic inputs and a component of field immersion at the district level.
  • Besides allowing for an immersive experience to fellows under the programme, MGNF will also be an attractive proposition for those who wish to eke a career in public policy.


  • Fellows in the two-year blended programme with academic module at IIM-B & district emersion program will train with district administration officials
  • They are expected to enrich skilling programmes by bringing in fresh thinking to local planning, execution, community interaction and outcome management.
  • Fellows will receive a stipend of Rs. 50,000 in the first year and Rs. 60,000 in the second year.
  • On completion of their engagement, they will be awarded a Certificate in Public Policy and Management from IIM Bangalore.



  • SANKALP stands for Skills Acquisition and Knowledge Awareness for Livelihood Promotion.
  • Launched by the Government in January 2018, it is a World Bank loan assisted project that aims to strengthen institutional mechanisms for skill development and increase access to quality and market-relevant training for youth across the country.
  • Four key result areas have been identified under SANKALP viz: (i) Institutional Strengthening; (ii) Quality Assurance; (iii) Inclusion; and (iv) Expanding Skills through PPPs.

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

[pib] Pradhan Mantri Innovative Learning Programme (PMILP) – ‘DHRUV’


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : DHRUV initiative

Mains level : Various initiatives for skill education

  • Union HRD Ministry Shri will launch the Pradhan Mantri Innovative Learning Programme- ‘DHRUV’ from ISRO Headquarters at Bengaluru.

Pradhan Mantri Innovative Learning Programme (PMILP)

  • PMILP is being started to identify and encourage talented children to enrich their skills and knowledge.
  • The objective of the PMILP would be to allow talented students to realize their full potential and contribute to society.
  • In centres of excellence across the country, gifted children will be mentored and nurtured by renowned experts in different areas, so that they can reach their full potential.
  • It is expected that many of the students selected will reach the highest levels in their chosen fields and bring laurels to their community, State and Nation.

Details of the programme

  • The programme will be called DHRUV (after the Pole Star) and every student to be called ‘DHRUV TARA’.
  • It will cover two areas i.e. Science and Performing Arts. There will be 60 students in all, 30 from each area. The 60 students come from across the country
  • The students will be broadly from classes 9 to 12, from all schools including government and private.
  • This is only the first phase of the programme which will be expanded gradually to other fields like creative writing etc.

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

[op-ed snap] The country’s population can be an asset: it is not a liability


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Fertility Rate, Sex Ratio

Mains level : Population as an asset


In his address to the nation on Independence Day, Prime Minister said that a “population explosion”—posed a formidable challenge to our future. 

What’s suggested

  • Responsible citizens with small families, who contribute to their own welfare and to the good of the nation are seen as role models. 
  • Parents should think about their capacity to provide for education and healthcare before extending their families. 
  • Small families are in the national interest. 
  • Governments, at the Centre and in the states, should bring supportive schemes.

Challenges with the view

  • History
    • This is a belief system that dominated thinking 50 years ago. Family planning was the buzzword.
    • Governments provided proactive support. 
    • The Emergency culminated in the compulsory sterilization program. It led to widespread resistance and resentment among people. 
    • Such thinking did not recognize the economic or demographic factors underlying rapid population growth. 

It is important to understand the population issue in a new context.

Old thinking

  • The belief that India will remain poor because its population is growing is based on a simple logic of arithmetic. 
  • The larger the population, as a denominator, the smaller the per capita availability of everything.

New thinking

  • This reasoning does not recognize that India’s population might be growing too rapidly because it is poor. 
  • For the poor, children are a source of supplementing family income when parents are young, and of financial support in old age. 
  • High infant mortality rates only strengthen the motivation for more children.
  • Population growth rates are always high in the early stages of development because of demographic factors. As death rates drop because of improvements in public health systems that eliminate epidemic diseases, birth rates do not because poverty and illiteracy persist. 
  • As income levels rise, poverty is reduced and literacy spreads, birth rates also come down. 
  • As development leads to higher income levels, birth rates decline further to levels that merely replace the existing population. 
  • Such demographic transitions are integral to development processes. 
  • At later stages, in rich countries, birth rates might drop further so that their population declines.

The case of India

  • The demographic transition in India has been much slower than elsewhere in Asia because poverty and illiteracy persist and the public provision of education and healthcare has been grossly inadequate. 
  • The average annual rate of population growth, which was 2.1% in 1951-1971 and 2.2% in 1971-1991, dropped to 1.8% in 1991-2011 and 1.3% in 2011-2016. 
  • Birth rates dropped from 37 in 1971 and 29 in 1991 to 22 in 2011 and 19 in 2016, while fertility rates dropped from 5.2 and 3.6 to 2.4 and 2.3, respectively.
  • Projections in the Economic Survey 2019 suggest that average annual population growth in India will slow progressively to 1.1% during 2011-2021, 0.7% in 2021-2031 and 0.5% in 2031-2041. 
  • The fertility rate will drop to 1.8 in 2021 and 1.7 in 2031.
  • The natural replacement level fertility rate is 2.1 – an Indian woman would have to give birth on average to 2.1 children for the population size to remain constant. 
  • In India, given the sex ratio, with more men than women compared to the natural level, the replacement rate would need to be higher.

Hope about future

  • India’s population will continue to grow at progressively slower rates because of the relatively high proportion of young people in our population. 
  • Though our population will begin to age significantly in about a decade, the number of working-age people (20-59 years) and their share in the total population will continue to increase for more than two decades and peak at 59% in 2041.
  • For low-income countries with high underemployment, a large population is an asset rather than a liability. 
  • The high proportion of young people in the population will mean an increase in our workforce if a higher proportion of women enter the workforce. 
  • It will also mean an increase in savings rates for some time, as young people save while the old do not. 
  • This source of economic growth will not be available to many Asian countries as their workforce contracts. They would have to rely on productivity increases to sustain growth. 

Way ahead

  • We can harness this demographic dividend only through education that creates capabilities among our people.
  • We should focus on providing education and healthcare.



  • The total fertility rate (TFR) of a population is the average number of children that would be born to a woman over her lifetime.
  • It is the ratio of women to that of men in India.

Population and Associated Issues

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

[op-ed snap] The problem of skilling India


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Nothing much

Mains level : Unemployment in India - the issue of skilling


Prime Minister in his recent Independence Day speech, said, “We need to worry about population explosion”.


  • So far, India’s demographic dividend with the country’s population was seen as an asset. 
  • Demography brings a dividend only if the youth is trained properly. Without proper training, the country gets massive joblessness.
  • A minimum of 8 million new job seekers enters the job market every year. In 2017, only 5.5 million jobs had been created.
  • The unemployment rate is the highest in 45 years today.
    • The unemployment rate reaching 34% among the 20-24-year-olds in the first quarter of 2019.
    • It was 37.9% in urban areas according to the CMIE. 
  • According to the 2018 Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS), the unemployment rate among the urban 15-29-year-olds was 23.7%. 


  • Poor training of the youth – only 7% of the people surveyed in the PLFS declared any formal or informal training.
  • According to a recent survey, 48% of Indian employers reported difficulties filling job vacancies due to talent shortage. 
  • In the IT sector, 1,40,000 skilled techies could not be recruited in 2018 despite the employers’ efforts – out of the 5,00,000 job offers that had been made that year. 
  • As per the CMIE reports, the more educated Indians are, the more likely they are to remain unemployed too. 
  • The last PLFS for 2018 revealed that 33% of the formally trained 15-29-year-olds were jobless.

Govt Initiatives – Skill India

  • The objective of the programme is “to train a minimum of 300 million skilled people by the year 2022”. 
  • In 2014, the government created a Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship to harmonise training processes, assessments, certification and outcomes. 
  • The Executive Committee monitoring the mission has representatives of nine ministries including agriculture, information technology, human resources development.
  • The governing council announced the setting up of 1,500 new ITIs and 50,000 Skill Development Centres.
  • Govt saw “Skill India” as a plan complementary to “Make in India”.
  • There was the creation of more courses and institutes of vocational training.
  • It integrated vocational training classes linked to the local economy with formal education from class nine onwards in at least 25% of the schools and higher education bodies. 
  • Its PPP character: Companies were requested to earmark 2% of their payroll bill for skill development initiatives. 
  • ITIs were supposed to tie up with the industry in the relevant trades to improve placement opportunities for candidates.
  • Under the Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana, training fees were paid by the government. Its main tool was the “short-term training”, which could last between 150 and 300 hours, and included placement assistance by Training Partners upon successful completion of their assessment by the candidates.

Challenges faced by the scheme

  • The target of this scheme was to reach out to 300 million young people by 2022, but only a mere 25 million had been trained under this scheme by the end of 2018. 
  • Mismanagement of funds as they were either not spent sufficiently quickly because of a lack of candidates; or too little was spent. 
  • The money problem is evident from the PLF Survey mentioned above which showed that, in 2018, only 16% of the youth who had received formal training was funded by the government.
  • Those who have been trained don’t find jobs. The number of those who have benefited from the Skill India scheme has increased, from 3,50,000 in 2016-17 to 1.6 million in 2017-18, but the percentage of those who could find a job upon completion of their training has dropped from more than 50% to 30%. 
  • Under PMKVY, 4.13 million people had been trained, but only 15% of them got a job.
  • The training was not good enough – and this is why the employability rate remains very low. 
  • While the government expected that some of the PMKVY-trainees would create their own enterprise, only 24% of them started their business. Out of them, only 10,000 applied for MUDRA loans. 
  • India’s joblessness issue is not only a skills problem, it represents the lack of appetite of industrialists and SMEs for recruiting. 
  • The decline of the investment rate is a clear indication that the demand is weak.
  • Investment remains a challenge because of limited access to credit due to pile up of NPAs.


  • Skill India will not be enough to create jobs if the slowdown continues. 
  • Skill India will not be enough if government expenditures in education remain low. Allocation for school education has declined from 2.81% of the budget in 2013-14 to 2.05% in 2018-19.

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

[op-ed snap] India’s moribund apprenticeship structure has been revived. Industry must help take it further


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Nothing much

Mains level : Apprenticeships and skill training


In the US, Trump has set up a Task Force on Apprenticeship Expansion 2017 that calls for U.S. education providers and employers to learn from the successes of the German apprenticeship model. It “helped lower unemployment rates and contributed to the country’s economic success.”

Indian Apprentice system

  1. In 1961, the Apprentices Act was brought in and it was made applicable to engineering, non–engineering, technology, and vocational courses.
    • It constituted apprenticeship councils and advisors and placed a statutory obligation on employers to engage apprentices with a stipend in the ratio prescribed for respective trades. 
    • It also imposed a penalty of six months of imprisonment or a fine or both on the employer in case of non–compliance. 

Transitions in the labour force

  1. The composition of the workforce changed. Employment in the primary sector reduced from 76% to 46%, while increasing in the secondary sector from 11% to 23% and in the tertiary sector from 13% to 31%.
  2. The 1991 economic reforms brought in a golden age for the private sector. The number of companies increased from 0.2 million in 1991 to nearly 0.9 million in 2014, with estimated employment of 30 million.
  3. MSMEs grew exponentially from ten million enterprises in 2003 to 46 million in 2014 with estimated employment of 106 million.

Challenges in apprenticeship

  1. Apprenticeships have stagnated between 2000-2014 due to the challenges created by the 1961 Act and stood at 0.28 million in 2014. 
  2. Complex procedures for engaging of apprentices by companies led to MSMEs abstaining from participating.
  3. The Act gave power to the bureaucracy to impose strict and burdensome compliance norms on companies. 
  4. The threat of a penalty reduced partnerships between the private sector and the Government. 
  5. Even for the apprentices, the stipend offered and progression opportunities are limited.
  6. Improper dissemination of the benefits of apprenticeships led to training being perceived as less aspirational than a general education. 

The new model of apprenticeships

  1. The amendment of the Act in 2014, followed by the introduction of the National Apprenticeship Promotion Scheme (NAPS) in 2016 changed the landscape a little.
  2. The Central Apprenticeship Council also carried out reforms in 2019 to expand apprenticeship opportunities. 
  3. Today, apprenticeship is a valid pathway for youth educated beyond grade five to acquire a skill. 
  4. Their base stipend has been increased to ensure sustenance during an apprenticeship. 
  5. Technology has rendered contractual paperwork and process seamless and minimal.
  6. The amendments also have IT platform as an interface between stakeholders and apprentices for compliance and monitoring purposes.
  7. Opportunities in the service sector have been opened to the youth by making apprenticeships obligatory for this sector.
  8. A percentage band of 2.5% to 15% was given within which employers can decide the number of apprentices based on their needs and capacity. 
  9. Opportunities have been opened for the SME sector also. Units having four or more employees are now eligible to keep apprentices either on their own or as a group of employers. 
  10. Employers are empowered to decide their own curricula and the duration of apprenticeships on a need-basis. 
  11. NAPS further incentivises employers by partially splitting the stipend burden between them and the government.
  12. Third-Party Aggregators (TPAs) are empowered to help aggregate demand in clusters, pool resources, mobilise potential apprentices, deliver basic training, facilitate the paperwork and educate stakeholders on the need for apprenticeships.
  13. Regulatory powers have also been delegated to the industry-led Sector Skill Councils (SSCs) to administer apprenticeships in their respective sectors.

These reforms have changed the industry from being over-regulated to being extremely open and with an emphasis on self-regulation and voluntary apprenticeships.


  1. More than 1.1 million candidates and 70,000 companies are now registered on the apprenticeship portal.
  2. Annual apprenticeships have increased by 60%.

Challenges remaining

Awareness, lack of a progression pathway, absence of an integrated credit framework, the poor value proposition for certifications, training capacity shortages

Way ahead

  1. Government and industry stakeholders/SSCs need to jointly promote apprenticeships as a powerful learning tool. 
  2. MSMEs should leverage TPAs to create tailored apprenticeships. 
  3. The employer must create a learning experience during the apprenticeship. 
  4. The challenges of the new system need to be conveyed to the government periodically.


The time has come for India to have its own “Celebrity Employers” and model of apprenticeship – dynamic, flexible, futuristic, inclusive, convenient, self-regulated and rooted in Indian socio-cultural and economic realities.

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

[pib] SANKALP Scheme


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : SANKAL Scheme

Mains level : Various initiatives for skill education

  • 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)

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

[pib] Jan Shikshan Sansthans


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Jan Shikshan Sansthans

Mains level : Vocational training in India

  • 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

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

2 West Bengal govt schemes win UN awards


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Utkarsh Bangla, Sabooj Sathi Schemes

Mains level : Not Much

  • 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.

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

[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.

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

[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.


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

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.
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