Interview with Rajiv Pratap Rudy
Minister of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship
Equipping to Skill India
With the commencement of Skill Loan Scheme on the National Youth Day on July 15 and formations of strategic cooperation within the government, ministry of skill development is gearing momentum, says Rajiv Pratap Rudy.
What are your strategies and policies for the growth of skill development and also your vision in the long-term?
On basis of the Sector wise Human Resource and Skill Requirement Reports developed by the National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC), employment opportunities in India would increase from 461.1 million in 2013 to 581.9 million in 2022. Considering the overlap in the requirement, number of incremental demand would be 109.7 million by 2022. Preparing India for this demand and taking its advantage to develop India as the skill capital of the world is the ultimate vision of the ministry.
To achieve the same, the ministry has launched the National Policy for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship 2015, National Skill Development Mission (to be chaired by the Prime Minister of India), Common Norms for the Skill Development, launch of the Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana with a target to train 2.4 million youth within next year, and the commencement of the Skill Loan Scheme on the occasion of the World Youth Skills Day, on July 15. The ministry has also signed strategic MoUs (Memorandum of Understandings) with 12 ministries/ departments and PSUs (Public Sector Undertakings) within the government to integrate and scale up skilling efforts across the sectors.
The Government has also notified the National Skill Qualification Framework (NSQF) as a competency based framework that organises all qualifications including skill qualifications into 10 levels. In coming times, all government funding would be given to NSQF aligned skill training and all skill training initiatives would mandatorily have to be NSQF complied.
In April this year, the two verticals of the DGET (Directorate General of Employment & Training) including training and apprenticeship training have also been transferred to the ministry of skill development and Entrepreneurship. The ministry would soon be undertaking major reforms to upgrade the industrial training institutes as well.
What are the key policies and regulatory reforms to boost private participation and investments in the skill development?
NSDC, established as a Public Private Partnership in 2010, was formed to ensure industry participation and investment in the skill development arena. Since then, 37 Sector Skill Councils have been established in majorly all priority sectors. These Sector Skill Councils are set up as autonomous industry-led bodies by NSDC to create occupational standards and qualification bodies, develop competency framework, conduct Train the Trainer Programs, conduct skill gap studies and assess and certify trainees on the curriculum aligned to National Occupational Standards developed by them.
Additionally, the National Skill Development Fund has been set up to accept contributions by various government sources, and other contributors. These organisations facilitate private sector participation and let the industry decide the course and curriculum of the skill development trades according to their demands.
Further, the ministry is planning to establish new ITIs under the PPP mode in unserved areas to expand outreach for long term training programmes. Establishment of central institutes (in PPP) for women is also underway.
In July 2015, PM Modi launched the Skill Development Campaign. What is your strategy through this policy? What are the targets and how will you achieve it?
The campaign launched by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi on World Youth Skills Day also witnessed the introduction of the National Policy for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship. The key deliverables of the National Policy on Skill Development and Entrepreneurship 2015 includes:
• Launch of a national campaign to create awareness and a positive pro-skilling and entrepreneurship environment.
• Capacity creation through national skills universities and institutes in partnership with states as centres of excellence for skill development and training of trainers.
• Integration of skilling in formal education and seamless movement between vocational training and formal education to ignite student interest.
• Establishment of new ITIs in PPP mode in unserved blocks of the country to expand outreach of skilling programmes. Further, imparting high order skilling through ATIs and Multi Skill Institutes (MSIs) that will have strong industry linkages.
• Creation of a positive environment for increased apprenticeship opportunities in the country through active industry participation.
• Alignment of all formal and vocational education including skill training with NSQF
• Active industry participation in designing curricula, assessment, certification and in defining standards for skill training courses.
• Setting up a Labour Market Information System (LMIS) as a business intelligence tool to generate key analysis and reports to determine policy interventions by different government stakeholders and the industry at large.
• Creation of a national portal on entrepreneurship as a one-stopshop to provide optimal information services and interaction platform to start ups and existing entrepreneurs.
What are the challenges prevailing in skill development area and how can your ministry overcome them?
The challenges in the skill development sector mainly pertains to the huge target base that needs to be skilled, the unavailability of resources to undertake skilling for such a target, multiplicity of the efforts across the government, and the lack of active participation from the private sector.
Nevertheless, the Government has recognised the challenges in the space and is efficiently working to address them. The recent missions and campaigns are welcoming steps towards the same. Other Ministries are also in the field and are undertaking skill development activities in their sectors. The common norms would gradually ensure that training takes place according to predefined criteria and is NSQF complied.
How has the participation of global companies been planned in the training programmes and from which countries?
The ministry has engaged actively with several countries for technology transfer in vocational training, training of trainers, setting up of centres of excellence, international mobility through mapping of job roles and development of transnational standards. We have also signed MoUs with several countries including USA, Australia, China, United Kingdom, Singapore, Germany, Iran, Canada, France and European Union.
How have been the exchange programmes of India with European countries in terms of skill development as India and the EU have plans to launch Europe-India Skill Development Mission soon?
The ministry is committed to quality skill development training to youth across the country. In our efforts to achieve this, the ministry has signed MoUs with UK, France, and Germany as far as the European countries are concerned. There has been a MoU with European Union as well with the National Skill Development Agency. The MoU focusses on application and adoption of European best practices.
The ministry is positive that these collaborations would certainly be valuable for the mission of Skill India and we look forward to further collaborations with other countries for mutual benefits.