Uttar Pradesh Skill Development Mission (UPSDM) has already managed to train 300,000 people in a span of three years. Overcoming the initial hiccups of infrastructure and content, the state is now moving ahead step by step, says Mishra.
After nearly five years of governance, what is the status of Uttar Pradesh (UP) in skill development and what have been the achievements?
UP was the first state to implement the skill development programmes as a mission where we combined the budget and resources and made sure that we create a separate department or ministry – this was in December 2013. We opened for registration and we received 4,600,000 enrollments in one month’s time. These were the people who came forward for skill development. We today have 634 quarters across 52 sectors. We have around 2000 centres that have the fastest growth than in any other state in the country. So with great humility I must say that UP has done more than any other state in Skill development in the last three years.
As a part of Uttar Pradesh Skill Development Mission (UPSDM) what are the strategies and goals of the state towards skill development?
We have trained 300,000 people under the skill development programme, which is highest in the country and trying to train between 400,000-500,000 people that will again be the highest in the country for any state.
How many certified skill development centres and institutes are there in the state? What are the key areas of focus in vocational training?
We have over 2000 skill development centres and institutes. There is no such key area because we are not a private provider, we are a government and want our manpower to be trained across sectors and across verticals towards which we make all our efforts. Some sectors are more in demand because of the market and the situation. Automatically these areas are preferred by the students as they get easily placed in the industry. So, a few of the important sectors include infrastructure, healthcare, construction industry, carpenter and security.
What are the challenges that the state face?
As it is a new sector, which is growing and emerging, the key challenge is the availability of skilled trainers. We are investing a lot of money and resources to train the trainers. So we are not just training the students but the trainers as well. We are also pushing the private sector to get good quality trainers and to develop good business models. Once that is taken care of,everything else will fall into place. In the beginning there were concerns such as infrastructure and creating content but we are moving ahead step by step.
What are your budgets like?
Akhilesh Yadav, chief minister of UP, has always maintained that for the youth of the state they will give as much money as is needed. So budgets are not a constraint. And as we get the funding both from the government of India and the state government, I will not be able to give an exact figure until it’s released.
What are the international collaborations, specifically from EU that the state is looking at for skill development?
At the moment we do not have any such collaborations. We are doing sector skill council courses. We do have suppliers for our welding courses from the EU who are supplying to us in terms of machinery, software and content. These are the areas where we could collaborate. Knowledge transfers in terms of student & faculty exchange and international certifications are a few of the areas that we are also keen at. We are willing to start a dialogue with France, German and England on this.