Rs 500 cr more for skill development fund

Anjali Prayag Bangalore | Updated on March 01, 2011


Having taken on the task of creating a pool of 15 crore skilled workers by 2022, the Government has already sanctioned Rs 658 crore for 26 projects.

On Monday, the Finance Minister announced a further infusion of Rs 500 crore into the National Skill Development Fund during 2011-12. The education industry welcomed the move, although it is sceptical of how quickly the programmes would be implemented.

Mr Balaji E., MD and CEO of Ma Foi Randstad, said, “About 12 million people enter the labour market every year, out of which only 5 per cent possess a training certification.”

But the programme will have to ensure that the entrants are gainfully employed by making it easy for them to acquire vocational skills at an affordable cost, he said.

“Given the poor pace of education reforms, the real challenge is not with the FM, but with the HRD Ministry in piloting through the various bills that are stuck at different stages,” said Mr Anand Sudarshan, MD and CEO, Manipal Education.

Mr Satya Narayana, co-founder, Career Launcher, agrees, “The provisions in the Budget for such programmes were never inadequate. It is the execution of the Budget provisions into programmes that is far more important.”

For him, the conversion and the execution is a cause for concern, and he thinks there may be a lag of one-two years before the Budgetary provisions of this year transform into business opportunities for companies like his.

Vocational education in India should be led by a strong public-private partnership, said Mr Sharad Talwar, CEO of IndiaCan, a Pearson Educomp company. He suggests that the national vocational qualification framework focus on certified, portable skills.

“Access to competitive vocational education loans will enable India to reap its demographic dividend, in the medium to long term, and in the short term an additional fund allocation should to be made to a Government-led voucher scheme,” he says.

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Published on March 01, 2011
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