Prime Minister Narendra Modi today launched a slew of measures aimed at developing skills and promoting entrepreneurship among Indian youth, as part of his government's ambitious Skill India Mission.
The initiatives which are intended to equip those who were left out of the mainstream education system, include a redesigned Model Skill Loan Scheme, Skill Card for persons certified under Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana and the new National Policy for Skill Development.
Describing it as a war against poverty, the prime minister said under the 'Skill India' Mission the government has set a target of skilling 402 million people by 2022.
The prime minister also today unveiled the new National Policy for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship 2015 and rolled out on all-India flagship scheme, Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY).
The Model Skill Loan Scheme has been simplified to make the process for sanctioning loans easier. We are also going to link it with the credit guarantee fund so that banks' risk on giving small loans is reduced, the PM said.
He further said that India has taken a significant step towards skill development and will ensure maximum workforce for the world.
Skill India is a mission for the less privileged students, Modi added.
The Skill Card will be given to those certified under the Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY) - the government's flagship scheme to impart skills training to people.
The National Skills Mission will have a three-tiered, high powered decision making structure, with its governing council being chaired by the prime minister.
The new National Policy for Skill Development is the country's first integrated national scheme for developing skills and promoting entrepreneurship on a grand scale.
It acknowledges the need for an effective roadmap for promotion of entrepreneurship as the key to a successful skills strategy.
The previous National Policy on Skill Development was formulated by the ministry of labour and employment in 2009 and provided for a review after five years to align the policy framework with emerging national and international trends
India currently faces a severe shortage of well-trained, skilled workers. It is estimated that only 2.3 per cent of the workforce in India has undergone formal skill training compared to 68 per cent in the UK, 75 per cent in Germany, 52 per cent in USA, 80 per cent in Japan and 96 per cent in South Korea.
Large sections of the educated workforce also have little or no job skills, making them largely unemployable. Therefore, India must focus on scaling up skill training efforts to meet the demands of employers and drive economic growth.
India's annual skilling capacity was estimated at approximately 7 million during the period 2013-20143. Apart from meeting its own demand, India has the potential to provide a skilled workforce to fill the expected shortfall in the ageing developed world.
India is one of the youngest nations in the world, with more than 54 per cent of the total population below 25 years of age and over 62 per cent of the population in the working age group (15-59 years)
The country's population pyramid is expected to bulge across the 15–59 age group over the next decade. This demographic advantage is predicted to last only until 2040s.
India therefore has a very narrow time frame to harness its demographic dividend and to overcome its skill shortages.