India should adopt a three-part framework – acquiring, matching and anticipating skills – for improving its skilling ecosystem, an NCAER report said on Tuesday. NCAER (National Council of Applied Economic Research) is a New Delhi-based think tank.

This triad of acquiring, matching and anticipating skills should be integrated into almost all policies and programmes and used to evaluate their utility and impact, the report said.


Acquiring skills focuses on amendments needed in K-12, vocational and technical education and on-the-job training. Adoption of international learning standards and bringing changes in curricula and teaching practices in the Indian education system were some of suggestions in the report to achieve the desired results.

Call for commission

The report also suggested that the government set up a commission for 21st century skills. This is because the 21st century Indian worker will need transferable skills and there is need to create an agile workforce that can anticipate and adapt to changes in technology, automation and digitisation., the report added.

Speaking at the report launch event, KP Krishnan, Secretary, Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, said: “Vocational education and skilling in India is a concurrent list subject. the nature of activity is such that it requires local anchoring. We need to be clear that there is a role for Union, States and local bodies.”

The report also highlighted that India is facing a skilling paradox as there are dwindling opportunities in agriculture. On the other hand, there is much potential for jobs in manufacturing and services but there are not enough people with the right skills.

NCAER Director General Shekhar Shah said: “We need a 15-year perspective programme focussed on transferable skills that can meet the demand from the industries now and in the future.”

According to the report, ‘Skilling India: No Time to Lose’, a combination of inadequately skilled workers, out-of-date labour laws, a rising ratio of wages to the price of capital is resulting in fewer good formal jobs than what India is capable of.