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Editorial Articles

volume - 40, 04-10 January 2020


Initiatives in Skill development & Entrepreneurship

In 2019, several initiatives were taken by Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, with emphasis on convergence, increased scale, meeting aspiration and improved quality. The Ministry's vision statement has been "To create an ecosystem of empowerment by skilling on a large scale at speed with high standards and to promote a culture of innovation based entrepreneurship which can generate wealth and employment so as to ensure sustainable livelihoods for all citizens in the country."

The Ministry has strived towards this vision, by putting special emphasis in 2019 on Convergence, Increased Scale, Meeting Aspiration and Improved Quality.


National Skill Development Mission (NSDM): Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship (MSDE) formed in 2014 to give a fillip and focus to the skill development and entrepreneurship efforts in the country. Because of the efforts under NSDM, more than one crore youth are being imparted skills training annually under various programs of the Central Government.

Skill India Portal: A strong IT Platform, namely Skill India portal launched to facilitate convergence of skill development related data of various central ministries, state governments, private training providers and corporates on a single platform. This will now enable data-driven decision making by the policymakers and help remove information asymmetry in the skilling ecosystem. This will also be single touch point for the citizens of India to access skill development opportunities and seeking related services.

Increased Scale

Industrial Training Centres (ITIs): Expanded and modernized the existing long-term training eco-system in India. The total number of Industrial Training Centres (ITIs) increased by 12% from 11964 in 2014 to 14939 in 2018-19. The trainee enrolment has increased by 37% from 16.90 Lakh to 23.08 Lakh during the period.

Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY):  Under the program about 87 Lakhs youth have been trained till date. Under the placement linked program under PMKVY 2016-19, more than 54% have been linked to employment.

Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Kendra (PMKK): Out of the 812 allocated PMKKs, 681 centres had been established. The centres have been allotted a target to train over 18 lakh candidates under PMKVY scheme, out of which training has been imparted to 9,89,936 candidates, 8,85,822 assessed, 7,40,146 certified and 4,35,022 candidates have been placed successfully.

Recognition of Prior Learning:  RPL program, under PMKVY 2016-19, was launched to recognize the prior skills acquired by individuals. Till date, more than 26 lakh people have been oriented under the RPL program of Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY). Under the Best in Class Employer category of RPL, more than 11 lakh employees have been oriented into formal skilling with the assistance of companies.

RPL in Supreme Court: Under Recognition of Prior Learning Program (RPL) Training in Supreme Court, TATA Strive and Maruti Suzuki have completed training one batch of cooks and drivers respectively of the Supreme Court. Training was spread over two days in which safety aspects, personal grooming, soft skills and few technical aspects were covered.

MoU with India Post Payments Bank: BFSI (Banking, Financial Services & Insurance) Sector Skill Council under MSDE has entered into an MoU with India Post Payments Bank to certify 1,70,000 Grameen Dak Sewaks under RPL Best in Class Employers. As on date, a total of 9,046 candidates have been certified under the same.

Centre Accreditation: Significant creation of short-term standardized skilling capacity through centre accreditation and affiliation portal - SMART. 11,977 Centres have been accredited and affiliated till date which has an annual training capacity of about 50 lakh per annum.

Skill Development in Jammu & Kashmir: A meeting was  held between officials of MSDE, Govt. of J&K, and State Skill Development Mission (JKSSDM) to discuss ways to ensure 100% coverage of all the eligible beneficiaries from J&K and the steps to be undertaken thereby for this. Officials from various organisations including NSDC, DJSS and various Sector Skill Councils (SSCs) were also present in the meeting. To promote long term skilling, NSTI Jammu has been made operational. trainers are being trained to impart NSQF LEVEL-6 training.

Skill Development in Leh: For better outreach of the skill training to all parts of the country, a NSTI extension centre has been opened in Leh. Ministry is taking all possible steps to create a precision trained workforce in the nation.

SANKALP (Skills Acquisition and Knowledge Awareness for Livelihood Promotion): A regional workshop on SANKALP was held in Kohima, Nagaland on 3rd-4th September, 2019. Six States namely Nagaland, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, Jharkhand, Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim participated in the workshop. Workshops with district officials and trainers were also held alongside the regional workshop. Apart from that, a workshop was also held in Delhi and Maharashtra under SANKALP. Further, a delegation visit to Seoul, Korea was undertaken which was organized by the World Bank and video conferences were held with States/ UTs for reviewing the status of State Incentive Grant (SIG) baseline and submission of State proposal under SANKALP.

STRIVE: The main focus of the scheme is to improve the performance of Industrial Training Institutes (it is). In the first phase, 314 ITIs have been selected and 198 Performance Based Grant Agreements have been signed. The scheme also works towards increasing capacities of state governments to support ITIs and Apprenticeship training. Till date, 31 States have signed MoU i.e. Performance Based Funding Agreement (PBFA). To improve teaching and learning techniques, National Skill Qualifications Framework (NSQF) trainings are being imparted to officers, principals and instructors across the 36 States and UTs.

International Collaboration: Minister of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship met counterparts working in skill development across countries like Singapore, UAE, Japan, Canada, Australia to further build capacity for skilled workforce in the country, jointly work on transnational standards and bridging demand for skilled workforce in these countries by collaborating with them and supplying them with trained professionals.

PM-YUVA Yojana (Pradhan Mantri Yuva Udyamita Vikas Abhiyan) is implementing a pilot project in 300 institutes (200 Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs)/ National Skill Training Institutes (NSTIs), 50 Polytechnics, 25 PMKKs/ PMKVY and 25 Jan Shikshan Sansthan (JSS)), across 12 States and Union Territories (Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Puducherry, Telangana, Kerala, West Bengal, Bihar, Assam, Meghalaya, Uttarakhand, Maharashtra). The project aims to promote entrepreneurship as an alternative career choice and enable sustained long-term mentoring support through the journey to potential and early stage entrepreneurs, by imparting entrepreneurship education and mentoring support to trainees/ beneficiaries from skilling ecosystem. The pilot project is expected to reach out to around 70,000 youth through entrepreneurship awareness and education sessions. The project is likely to create 600 new and 1000 scale-up enterprises by March, 2020. The approved budget for the pilot project is Rs. 12 crores.

Collaboration with Reliance Jio: To strengthen the industry connect, DGT and MSDE have collaborated with Reliance Jio to set up training labs at 6 NSTIs for their home connect division. A job mela was organised at 6 locations. i.e. NSTI Chennai, Bengaluru, Mumbai, Hyderabad & Kolkata along with Govt, ITI Pusa New Delhi. 400 candidates have been selected for this training.

MoU with Cisco, Quest Alliance & Accenture: Employability skill Labs at 6 NSTIs have been set up under this partnership with the Directorate General of Training (DGT) of the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MSDE) and Cisco, Quest Alliance & Accenture. Youth across India enrolled in industrial training institutes (ITIs) will be trained in digital literacy, career readiness, employability skills, and advanced technology skills such as data analytics.

Meeting Aspirations

Kaushalyacharya Awards: To recognize and appreciate the good works done by trainers, Kaushalacharya Awards 2019 ceremony was organized on 5th Sept 2019 to felicitate 53 trainers from different sectors for their exceptional contribution towards creating a future-ready and skilled workforce.

National Entrepreneurship Awards 2019: MSDE conferred NEA 2019 to 30 young entrepreneurs and 6 organizations/ individuals, building entrepreneurship eco-system in the country. The awards were presented to honor outstanding contributions in entrepreneurship development. The award included a trophy, a certificate and prize money up to Rs 10 lakh. This is in line with promoting entrepreneurship amongst the youth so as to create more job givers than job seekers in the nation.

Skill Saathi Counseling Program: MSDE also launched the Skill Saathi program which was aimed to sensitize the youth of the country on various avenues under Skill India Mission and increase the aspiration for skill development. Close to 40 lakh students were provided counseling under the program.

Policy action to offer vocational courses: Under this, the MSDE initiated a drive to create a policy action on offering vocational courses in schools and equal weightage to vocational courses for admission in UG courses. The Draft Credit Framework for vertical and horizontal mobility from vocational to general and vice-versa has been developed. The framework is under finalization in consultation with Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD).

500 skills hubs in government schools: MSDE has also finalized a plan for setting up 500 skill hubs and labs in government schools. Working closely with CBSE to develop "Hubs of Excellence in Skills" for school students, MSDE will introduce high quality, technology-oriented skill programs to schools. Skill India currently engages with 9100+ schools and has integrated skills from 20 sectors. So far 7.5 lakh students have benefited from it. These initiatives are being planned in conjunction with States.

Embedded apprenticeship degree program: MSDE and MHRD have together rolled out the SHREYAS program where apprenticeship degree programs in retail, media and logistics are embedded into degree programs such as BA/BSc/BCom (professional) courses in the higher educational institutions. So far, the program has been included in 25 colleges with 643 students enrolled.

Catalyzing demand for formal skills by promoting apprenticeship through Apprenticeship Pakhwada: MSDE held an Apprenticeship Pakhwada which was celebrated across the nation where industries and State Governments committed   training of 7 lakh apprentices in this current fiscal year, which if converted will almost double the number of apprentices trained over the last amendment made to the Apprenticeship Act of 1961. MSDE is also promoting Third Party Aggregators (TPAs) who will be key catalysts for promoting apprenticeship training which is one of the most sustainable form of skill development.

India Institute of Skills (IIS): In order to bring a certain standard and stature in terms of quality and quantity to skills, MSDE recently announced setting up of the Indian Institute of Skills (IIS) in Mumbai which would match the stature and repute of IIMs and IITs of the country. This project is in partnership with the Tata Group, with over 4.5 acres of land provided by the Government. The Tata Group will invest around Rs. 300 crores and on completion, IIS will have a capacity of training 5,000 trainees every year.

MoU with SBI: MSDE has also signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with SBI for engagement of 5000 apprentices as banking front office executive and tele-callers in the current financial year 2019-20, as part of an initiative to launch partnerships for promotion of apprenticeship in the financial sector.

Skill Vouchers: MSDE is also developing a skill vouchers program for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME), as a provision model to enhance the delivery and quality of the programs. Vouchers are expected to be provided to learners and entrepreneurs towards the training program they see most value in.

World Skills International Kazan 2019: The 22 winners of India Skills 2018 and their experts represented the country with their outstanding performance at the World Skills International 2019 (WSK), held in Kazan, Russia. India won one gold, one silver, two bronze and 15 Medallions of Excellence at the competition. India ranked 13th among 63 countries that participated at World Skills International 2019 ensuring the best finish for the country in the coveted skill championship. They were felicitated with certificates and cash prizes for their remarkable performance.

Improved Quality

Reforms to Apprenticeship Act of 1961: The ministry introduced a wide range of reforms to the Apprenticeship Act of 1961, to make it significantly easier for industry to take on much needed apprentices. The comprehensive reforms under Apprenticeship rules 1962 include:

  • Increasing upper limit for engaging apprentices from 10% to 15%;
  • Decreasing the size limit of an establishment with mandatory obligation to engage apprentices from 40 to 30;
  • Payment of stipend for 1st year has been fixed rather than linking it to minimum wages;
  • 10% to 15% hike in stipend for 2nd and 3rd year to apprentice;
  • Duration of apprenticeship training for optional trade can be from 6 months to 36 months.

Dual System of Training: The MSDE is also scaling up the ITIs Dual System Training (DST) scheme to at least 1000 ITIs. The DST is a model of training inspired by the German method and provides industry exposure through industry led trainings to students of the various ITIs. In the first 100 days, 40 National Skill Training Institutes (NSTIs) have signed partnership agreements and as many as 739 MoUs have been signed. The duration of the practical training portion of the course has also been made flexible and adaptive to the industry schedule. All the 138 plus courses under CTS have been brought under the ambit of DST, as against only 17 courses earlier. ITIs are exclusively permitted to conduct training  under DST with deemed affiliation in the 3rd shift.

New Age Skills: In a bid to keep up with the times, MSDE has also launched new age courses in 12 NSTIs. These include Internet of Things - Smart Healthcare; Internet of Things - Smart cities; 3D printing; Drone pilots; Solar Technicians and Geo Informatics among many others.

Formation of District Skill Committees: In order to get to the grass roots of the country with its various reforms and empower every citizen, the ministry has formed District Skill Committees (DSC) in all Districts as part of its Aspirational Skilling Abhiyaan under the Sankalp program, which is funded by World Bank. The MSDE is handholding these District Skill Committees through the Directorate General of Training (DGT) to further identify skill gap at a local level and then strengthen the ecosystem for local market driven skill development opportunities.

Mahatma Gandhi National Fellowship (MGNF):  MSDE has also constituted the Mahatma Gandhi National Fellowship (MNGF) for 75 districts across 6 states. Under these 75 young professionals shall be selected and will be deputed in identified 75 districts for supporting the district officials in district level planning, monitoring of activities related to skilling' management of data/ information, coordination among different stakeholders in districts' assistance to District Skill Development Committee.

Indian Skill Development Services (ISDS): To ensure that the skilling of the country's youth gets the importance that it deserves, the government has carved out an altogether new administrative service much like the Indian Revenue Service or the Post and Telegraph Service. The Indian Skill Development Services (ISDS) has been created through a notification by the MSDE. This service has been created for the Training Directorate of the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneur-ship. ISDS will be a Group 'A' service where induction will take place through Indian Engineering Service Examination, conducted by UPSC. The fresh batch of the newest central government services, the Indian Skill Development Services commenced their training program at the Administrative Training Institute (ATI), Mysuru on September 9, 2019. The Indian Skill Development Service (ISDS) has 263 All India posts. The cadre comprises of 3 posts at Senior Administrative Grade, 28 posts at Junior Administrative Grade, 120 posts at Senior Time Scale and 112 posts at Junior Time Scale.

Community mentors called Business Sakhis: Based on the learnings from various schemes and programmes introduced for women's entrepreneurship promotion, in 2018, NIESBUD in association with UNDP, NIRDPR and TISS jointly developed a new concept and system that is providing mentorship support services of both psycho-social and business supports through a cadre of community mentors called Business Sakhis (Biz-Sakhis). The curriculum was released on 9th Nov, 2019 on the occasion of  NEA ceremony.  These mentors will provide backward (with financial institutions for example) and forward (with more lucrative business ideas and market) linkages. Moreover, the mentor will provide the aspiring entrepreneur with the much-needed psychological support that a woman will need to face all the obstacles that prevent her from starting or sustaining her own business. They act as community-based business consultants for enterprise development.

Train the trainer (TOT) programme: The curriculum for five-day TOT programmes for the faculty of ITI was developed and the Trainers Training programmes on employability, entrepreneurship and life skills are designed and organized for 4068 trainers of PMKVY at pan-India Level. The institute has organized the Entrepreneur-ship Development programmes for the most-needy skilled unemployed youth from OBC/SC/ST/Manual Scavengers and women.

MIS portal for Jan Shikshan Sansthan: An MIS portal was launched for Jan Shikshan Sansthans (JSS). The benefits from the adoption and implementation of the solution have been enhanced monitoring & management capabilities, along with scaling up scheme operation. The ministry now plans create a JSS setup in every district in the country.

 eSkill India platform:  In a technology driven environment, e-learning is pivotal in deepening the reach of skilling opportunities for the Indian youth. NSDC created an e-Skill India, a multilingual e-learning aggregator portal, providing e-skilling opportunities to the Indian youth. eSkill India leverages the skilling opportunities from Indian and global leaders in online learning, by consolidating online courses curated by leading knowledge organizations that share NSDC's commitment of making India a Skill Capital of the World. eSkill India provides anytime, anywhere skilling -beyond the boundaries of location and time.  Today, eSkill India has onboarded organizations such as TCS, BetterU, IBM, SAS, BSE, Apollo Medvarsity, Enguru, Amrita Technologies, iPrimed, Wadhwani Foundation, English Edge, Fair and Lovely, AIFMB, etc. offering high-quality courses in diverse sectors such as Agriculture, Healthcare, Telecom, Employability, Management, Retail, Pharma, Banking and Finance, Data Science, Artificial Intelligence, etc. which enable a one stop shop to the skill seekers via a single learning platform. The courses are available in English, Hindi and 9 regional languages. The learners are guided through self-paced interactive videos and quizzes.

The Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship is responsible for co-ordination of all skill development efforts across the country, removal of disconnect between demand and supply of skilled manpower, building the vocational and technical training framework, skill up-gradation, building of new skills, and innovative thinking not only for existing jobs but also jobs that are to be created. The ministry aims to skill on a large scale with speed and high standards in order to achieve its vision of a 'Skilled India.'