“India will progress very fast and the skills of youth will take India ahead.” –Narendra Modi[i]
According to a study[ii] conducted by the United Nations in 2014, India has world’s largest youth population with 356 million 10-24 year olds. The report also stated that “Never before have there been so many young people. Never again there is likely to be such potential for economic and social progress. How we meet the needs and aspirations of young people will define our common future.” It is said that developing countries with large youth populations could see their economies soar, provided they invest heavily in young people’s education and health and protect their rights. Young people are the innovators, creators, builders and leaders of the future. But they can transform the future only if they have skills, health, decision making and real choices in life.[iii]
Ever since the formation of the new government in India, the development and participation of youth in the governance of the country has been among the topmost agendas. The importance of the contribution of the youth has been mentioned by the Hon’ble Prime Minister at various national as well as international forums. The minds of the youth of the 21st century thrive with aspirations and the drive to contribute towards the development of the country. Such an opportunity could be given to the youth by facilitating a growth conducing environment, which can be provided only by utilising the potential of the persons who lack the economic and financial ability to even complete their higher education.
The Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojna (PMKVY)[iv] was approved by the Union Cabinet on 20th March, 2015 with an outlay of Rs. 1500 crore to provide skills and training to youth of India, including class 10 and 12 dropouts. This scheme would be implemented by the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship through the National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC). The scheme aims at training 24 lakh persons based on National Skill Qualification Framework (NSQF)[v], which organises qualifications according to a series of levels of knowledge, and industry led standards.
The scheme aims at aligning its activities with demand from other flagship programmes such as Make in India, Digital India, National Solar Mission and Swachh Bharat Abhiyan. The skill training would be focussed on first time entrants to the labour market and primarily target Class 10 and Class 12 dropouts.
Features of the Scheme
Under the scheme, a monetary reward, of an average of Rs. 8000 per trainee, would be given to on assessment and certification by third party assessment bodies. Special emphasis has been given to recognition of prior learning, awareness building and mobilisation efforts, for which a total of Rs. 297 crores has been allocated. The focus under the scheme is also on mentorship support and placement facilitation. Improved curricula, better pedagogy and better trained instructors are also the focus areas of the scheme. Training would include soft skills, personal grooming, behavioural change for cleanliness and good work ethics. Special allocation of fund has also been made for training youth from North Eastern region.
The skill training would be implemented on the basis of demand assessed on the basis of recent skill gap studies conducted by NSDC for the period 2013-17. The scheme would be implemented through NSDC training partners from over 2300 centres. In addition, Central/State Government affiliated training providers would also be used for training under the scheme. A compulsory due diligence would be necessary for the training providers before being eligible for participating in the scheme. The scheme would be monitored by Sector Skill Councils and the State Government. Skill Development Management System (SDMS), Biometric system and video recording devices would be put in place to verify and record details of all training centres a certain quality of training locations and courses. All persons undergoing the training would be required to give feedback at the time of assessment and this would become the key element of the evaluation framework to assess the effectiveness of the scheme. A robust grievance redressal system and online citizen portal would be put in place to address the grievances and disseminate information about the scheme.
A majority of Indian youth, especially in unorganised sector do not possess marketable skills which prove to be an impediment for them in securing better employment and improving their economic condition. A large number of school dropouts do not have access to skill development opportunities for improving their employability as a formal training system requires educational qualification up to the level of high school. It also has to be noted that vocational training programmes offered in India are mismatched with the high number of unskilled labour resulting in shortage of skilled workers at the national level.
PMKVY is a commendable initiative targeted towards increasing the productivity of the existing workforce and aligning the manpower with business sector of the country. As evident from the features and implementation methods of the scheme, it is witnessed that it would combine the statistical and come of age technologies to provide the best facilities for the targeted population. It would provide an easy and efficient way to the dropouts who are deprived of financial as well as economical benefits to make them eligible for wage employment. Apart from academic focus, the scheme also aims at an overall development of the participants by providing them personality development and behavioural training.
The scheme has a strong training infrastructure as it would be implemented through NSDC which is a Public-Private Partnership in India promoting skill development by catalyzing creation of large and quality vocational institutions. It has been launching successful skill development programmes for the youth since a long time. Another striking feature of the scheme is the introduction of a redressal mechanism and an online information portal.
If implemented successfully, this scheme would definitely contribute towards overhauling the domestic skill development needs of the country. This initiative clubbed with other skill development schemes still under progress, would help to move beyond the target of imparting skills among 500 million youth by 2020 that was set by the UPA government. Thus, the scheme acts as a piece of good governance in providing contribution towards the bigger goal of achieving the maximum employment rate, bridging the gap between education and entrepreneurship and preventing brain drain.
[i] PM’s address to Indian Community at Madison Square Garden, New York, September 28, 2014, available at: www.narendramodi.in
[ii] ‘The State of World Population 2014, The Power of 1.8 Billion: Adolescents, Youth and the Transformation of the Future’, United Nations Population Fund, November 18, 2014, available at: eeca.unpfa.org/news/power-18-billion.
[iii] ‘India has world’s largest youth population: UN report’, The Economic Times, November 18, 2014.
[iv] Press Information Bureau, Government of India Cabinet, March 20, 2015.
[v] Ministry of Finance, Department of Economic Affairs, Notification dated December 27, 2013.
About the Author
Rashmi Singh is a fourth year student of ILS Law College, Pune. Her interest areas are Constitutional Law and Intellectual Property Laws. She enjoys researching and has been associated as a researcher for various moot court competitions. She likes to read and paint in her free time.