Skill development has been one of the most talked about subjects over the past decade.
Suddenly, in 2007, it was realised that India was a young country — it had tremendous potential for skill development, as all the ageing, developed economies would depend on India for skilled and trained manpower.
The person behind this realisation was the late Dr CK Prahlad and his presentation on ‘India@75’. He wished to see 500 million skilled manpower in India by 2022.
Following this, the Centre announced the National Skill Development Mission (NSDM), a three-tier institution with the Prime Minister’s Office, Ministry of Finance and Planning Commission at the forefront. States, too, set up Skill Development Missions.
The earlier National Skill Development Policy of 2009 had a target to train 500 million people by 2022, within a span of 13 years. The new policy of 2015 has targeted training 402.87 million persons by 2022.Little presence
But, even after four years of existence, National Skill Development Agency is yet to mark its presence. For instance, the Labour Market Information System, for matching the demand and supply of skilled workforce in the country, is still in isolation without roping in the National Career Centres of the Labour Ministry.
The role of the National Skill Development Corporation and the Sector Skill Councils also needs to be reviewed. From 2007 to 2017, 10 long years have been lost in experiments, and the future of a generation has been compromised.
The government must realise that there are challenges within of conflict, competition and overlap, and look at some fresh re-organisation.
Any discussion on skill development cannot be completed without a reference to Germany and South Korea. While one has a system evolved over time and the other has a system created by the government, both have strong Acts by their respective Parliaments in this regard. India also needs a very strong Skill Development Act that ensures the future of the country.
(The writer is former Deputy Director General of Training, DGE&T, Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship)