Harnessing India&rsquo:s Potential through Skill Development | digitalLEARNING Magazine
April 2010

Harnessing India&rsquo:s Potential through Skill Development

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The present paper talks about Government of India’s perspective on vocational training, skill development and employment. The paper confines to skill development, leaving aside education. Government of India realised that unless we modernise all our existing institutions, upgrade and revise the course curricula and make them industry driven, things will not move.

There are two flagship schemes under DGE&T:
Apprenticeship Training Scheme –ATS, which is also trying to link training with the actual industrial environment. Under the Craftsmen Training Scheme (CTS), there are 7605 ITIs and ITCs (Govt.-2076 & Pvt.- 5529) with a seating capacity of 10.62 lakh . ITIs are owned and run by the government and ITCs are owned and run by private sector, they could be corporates, NGOs or individuals and other different kinds of entities. There are 112 trades. Many other economies, particularly developed economies have a much larger number of trades. Australia has around 340 and Germany has 350. Training duration is 6 months to 3
years. Entry qualifi cation is VIIIth to XIIth tandard and age from 14 to 40 years. There is no age limit for women. Under the Apprenticeship Training Scheme (ATS), we have 24,815
establishments which impart apprenticeship training. There are 188 trades and they altogether cover 2.79 lakhs seats while Germany as I mentioned, trains about 6.5 lacs apprentices per year. Duration of the Courses is 6 months to 4 years and entry qualifi cation
is 8-12th Standard & ITI pass-outs but in ase somebody has passed ITI then that period is reduced from his apprenticeship training. Minimum age is 14 years and there is no upper age limit.
Up gradation of ITIs into centres of excellence actually started quite accidentally. Government had neglected skill development sector for quite some
time. ITIs were set up way back in 1950s and 60s with an objective that they would train people to meet the requirement of the industry. And Pandit Nehru was so passionate about it. A decision was taken in 1968 by National Development Council  hat these institutions, being closer to the people, may be transferred to the state governments. They were transferred on
April 1, 1969 lock stock and barrel to the state governments and probably that’s when the problems started. They were plan items in the central government as soon as they were transferred to the SHARDA PRASADSo the Government took following decisions:
(i) Modernize & upgrade all the exist ng Government ITIs.
(!i) Set up large number of skill development institutions in Govt., Private and Public
Private Partnerships with some kind of accreditation standards so that they deliver required quality
(iii) Run all ITIs/ ITCs in 2-3 shifts, which is quite easy
(iv) Introduce short term modular courses (so that we can train larger numbers in shorter time) in addition to long duration courses. We had been running longterm courses- six months, one year, two year and some even three year courses in the training institutions. Industry requires faster turnout and therefore short term courses are necessary(v) Take up training of trainers in big way. This is a huge problem, not only in India but in rest of the world also. The whole world is facing the problem of trainers. Therefore this is one issue which has been fl agged. So the broad strategy is that we train trainers in very large numbers who can meet the requirement of different sectors of economy.
(vi) Achieve greater involvement of industry in skill development. Unfortunately, for historical reasons in India skill development efforts were started by government, while in some of the best economies e.g. in Germany it is all driven by the industry. Last year their total expenditure on skill development was of the order of 35 billion Euros in a country of 82 million population and it trains about 650,000 apprentices every year, Out of the expenditure of 35 billion Euros, industry contributed about 28 billion last year which is 80% and the government both federal and the landers equivalent to state governments here contributed only 20%. In India 100% expenditure is made by the governments both the
centre and states.
(vii) Use of Information & communication technology tools for greater outreach to remote areas. And we have already started this. We had the traditional concept of teacher taught ratio I: 20 or 1:30. Why it can’t be 1:1000, 1:10,000 or 1: Million. We just have to set up a studio, a receiving station and arrange lectures.

Any number of persons can receive lessons like this. digital LEARNING APRIL 2010 23 state governments, they became non
plan items. In 2004, after the new government was, formed, Finance Minister Chidambram
was holding a pre budget meeting with the captains of Industry. One of the important issues raised by them, besides other things like taxations etc., was that government was running a huge system but the quality of people produced was not up to the mark and they were not
relevant to their current requirements of skills. Chidamdram announced in the fi rst budget he presented that we ould upgrade 500 ITIs into centres of excellence by investing domestic
resources and would also take world Bank assistance. That’s how this scheme started. We took up the fi rst 100 ITIs in 2005-06 at a cost of about INR 160crores and took World Bank credit of US $280 million to upgrade 400 ITIs. The idea was not to upgrade just one time but there was some kind of paradigm shift.Another feature of the policy was that it took in to account the fact that in another 10 or 20 years the machinery would become irrelevant as the technology is changing fast and the one time big investment would then go waste. So we thought that industry must be put in the centre of the whole skill development effort like what the rest of the world was doing. Up gradation of remaining 1396 ITIs (at that time we had 1896 ITIs)
was taken up in PPP mode, in addition o 500 already taken up and Finance Minister announced in 2007 budget a commitment of about INR 3550 crores. IMCs were converted into societies which comprised fi ve members from the industry, fi ve from the government
and the Principal would become the Member Secretary. They were given full academic, administrative and fi nancial autonomy so that they became the new management and took all decisions at the local level and didn’t have to refer anything to the state government or the
Directorate. Infrastructure development has already been taken up in 500 Govt. ITIs, 100 Domestic funded and 400 World Bank assisted. In addition, Centres of Excellence (COE) for producing multi skilled workforce of world standard at acost of INR 1741 crore (Domestic – INR 160 crore and WB INR 1581 crore) are also being created. Total number of ITIs
covered under PPP is 600.

This was also announced in 2007. The private sector infrastructure was taken into account and tried to use that infrastructure to train people according to requirement of the industry. The initiative is demand driven with short term training  ourses based on Modular Employable Skills (MES). A person can do any module; he can do second module, third module, fourth and so on as per his choice and eed of the industry.

The cost of trainingis borne by Govt. of India. A Scheme has  been approved to train 1 million peopleat a cost of INR 550 crores in 5 years. Thereafter infrastructure so created will be used to train one million every year. 3.54  Lakh people have already been trained/tested since inception against a target of 1.90 Lakh. 970 course curricula have been developed against a target of 200.4538 Vocational Training Providers (VTPs)have been registered and 22 Independentassessing bodies empanelled who assessthe competencies of trainees so that thequality of training is not compromised. NCVT certifi cate is given to successful candidates. India is the fi rst country
which has done this innovation.

The National Skill Development Policy has been formulated and was approved by the Union Cabinet on February 23, 2009. In last 60 years we didn’t have any policy and it is a laudable work which has been done. With Prime Minister himself guiding the whole process wehave been mandated to skill 500 million persons by 2022. The policy aims at enhancing individual employability and strengthening competitiveness of the country. It addresses the issues such as National Qualifi cation Framework, expansion of outreach, equity & access,quality and relevance, skill development for the unorganised sector, benchmarking of skill defi cit, setting up of Sector Skill Councils, etc. It is a mammoth task but by the time India completes 75 years of independence we should have adequately skilled manpower in the country if wewant to reap the demographic dividend.
Prime minister announced National Skill Development Mission on August 15, 2007 which has been put in place. Following institutions have been created under this Mission: Prime Minister’s National Council on Skill Development: This is headed by the Prime Minister himself and he conducts its meetings. There are about 8 cabinet ministers, 6 persons from private sector. Nandan Nilekani, Rajendra Pawar of NIIT, Professor C.K. Prahlad and many

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