What is the role of NSDC in achieving the goal of Skilling India, as envisioned by PM Manmohan Singh and now also advocated by BJP’s PM Candidate Narendra Modi?
The NSDC network is in 357 districts in the country, so a large majority of our networks are in the rural and in semi urban areas. If you look at the 2009 National Policy of Skill Development and the vision articulated by the Prime Minister, the goal for India between 2008 and 2022 to skill 500 million people.
On that goal the NSDC which is a public private partnership has to skill 100 and 50 million people. In addition to skilling the 100 and 50 million people, the NSDC needs to involve the private sector in creating a skilling ecosystem in the country and also set up a sector skill councils that would help industry create occupation standard and create training programmes for the different sectors, trained the trainers, and also develop an assessment and certification programme.
What is your target and the overall budget for next five years?
We have developed a 10 year plan by which we have to get every year a certain number of proposals in the system, train certain number of people and create capacity. This year our target is to get about 60 proposals to skill 10 lakh people and to set up a total of 32 sector skill councils. We would have atleast a target of 65 to 70 proposals next year and a similar number of proposals thereafter.
Can you please throw some light on the role of skill development in India’s economic growth?
The skill development and the efforts that we are trying to do has two different ways to contribute to the economy. The first is enabling productivity to enabling companies and sectors becoming competitive. And the second is the whole eco system itself because of the activity that creates and the number of volume of business that is created will add to the GDP of the country.
What targets NSDC has achieved yet?
NSDC in 2011-12, trained roughly around 1,81,619 people. In 2012-13 4,02,506 people were trained. Till January of this year, we trained 7,45,035 people. Next year our target will be somehere between one and three million. If the economy will be growing faster then the ability to increase the scale in skill development programmes would be better. We are creating a value for the skills certificate and our target is that the skill certificate should result in an outcome, in a job.
In a large country like India, what challenges you face in implementing those Skill Development programmes?
There are many challenges like:
Encouraging youths to join the skill development programmes.
Looking at the skill training infrastructure of the country, the current capacity lags behind and the traditional modals of brick and motors give way to new modals using technology going forward.
The need to align the courses and the needs of industry and also ensure that the assessment and certification is done in such a way that it has the credibility with the industry because people believe that the courses are not allying to the needs of industry.
Coming to the placement for the job, it is important that the industry pays proper wage for the appropriate job because of the history of the skill development in our country and because of the emphasis on paying minimum wages per entry level jobs, many people believe that the job they get after being skilled is not what the amount of money they had spent in the skill development. So, they tend to look for the alternative employment.
What has been the role and responsibilities of the state governments towards skill development and how much they have succeeded in its implementation?
Between 2009-13 most of the state governments have set up a state skill mission which is either chaired by the Chief Minister or the Chief Secretary and each state has been given a target and most states have rolled out their own skill development programmes also and interestingly the office of the Prime Minister earlier and now and the National Skill Development Agency is doing a review to state governments to know what percentage skill development targets have we met and how we are utilizing the central funds. So each state government is doing their own work and also implementing the state programmes.