In an exclusive interview with Shivani Tyagi of Elets News Network (ENN), Jayant Krishna, Chief Operating Officer, National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC), shared the vision, mission and role of NSDC in skill development across the country. He said the effort is to overcome all the challenges and establish India as the skill capital of the world.
What was the drive behind establishing NSDC and what are its mandatory roles for skill development in India?
NSDC facilitates or catalyses skill initiatives that can potentially have a multiplier effect as opposed to being an actual operator in this space. In doing so, it strives to involve the industry in all aspects of skill development.
The approach is to develop partnerships with multiple stakeholders and build on current efforts, rather than undertaking too many initiatives directly, or duplicating efforts currently underway. To scale up efforts, necessary to achieve the objective of skilling/up skilling 150 million people by 2022, the NSDC strives to develop ultra-low cost, high-quality, innovative business models; attract significant private investment; ensure that its funds are largely “re-circulating”; i.e. loan or equity rather than grant; create leverage for itself and build a strong corpus. Keeping this in mind, the NSDC plays three key roles:
Funding and incentivising: In the near term this is a key role. This involves providing financing either as loans or equity, providing grants and supporting financial incentives to select private sector initiatives to improve financial viability through tax breaks, etc. The exact nature of funding (equity, loan and grant) will depend on the viability or attractiveness of the segment and, to some extent, the type of player (for-profit private, nonprofit industry association or non-profit NGO). Over time, the NSDC aspires to create strong viable business models and reduce its grant-making role.
Enabling support services: A skills development institute requires a number of inputs or support services such as curriculum, faculty and their training, standards and quality assurance, technology platforms, student placement mechanisms and so on. The NSDC plays a significant enabling role in some of these support services, most importantly and in the near-term, setting up standards and accreditation systems in partnership with industry associations.
Shaping/creating: In the nearterm, the NSDC will proactively seed and provide momentum for large-scale participation by private players in skill development. NSDC will identify critical skill groups, develop models for skill development and attract potential private players and provide support to these efforts.
What is your vision for Skill India initiative?
Our vision is to realise Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision to make India, the world’s skill capital. The idea is to reap India’s demographic dividend it currently enjoys making India the most powerful human resource nation across the world. A large part of India’s skilled work force is in unorganised sector, which needs to be formally recognised on transnational standard and industry scale. Henceforth the target is to skill 40.2 crore youth by 2022, in which 10.63 crore will be fresh entrants.
What are your plans for skill development in India and how much you have achieved so far?
We have set a target of skilling 6.06 million youth in 2016. To achieve our target, we have expanded our ecosystem by scaling up our Sector Skill Councils to 41 and to 269 training partners.
NSDC has further expanded its network with more than 30 universities, 3000 schools, various state governments, PSU’s and big corporates to help us providing the skill training to the youth and making them industry ready and thereby achieving the target.
What are the challenges to make Skill India a reality, what will be NSDC’s role?
The biggest challenge is the aspiration and respect for skills, among the youth. The youth must understand the difference that a skill development training brings to their life that a degree alone cannot bring. Even today, the youth does not feel that skill training should be an essential part of their curriculum and they must acquire it to be job ready.
Another challenge that we have is vocationalisation of education and implementation of national skill qualification framework in collaboration with school’s education and higher education. We are actively ensuring delivery of standards across all initiatives and bridging the gap between the industry, the academia and the corporates to build and sustain a cohesive skill ecosystem for the youth of our country, make them employable and ensure jobs to them.
Enough awareness needs to be imparted on the courses available under vocational education and how they can help transform an individual’s life.
Industry needs to intensify funding part of the training cost as an investment for skilling/up-skilling its own manpower and adopt skill development as a significant component under their CSR efforts. I am confident that with adequate support from the industries and corporates, ‘India can surely become a skill capital of the world.
The idea is to reap India’s demographic dividend it currently enjoys making India the most powerful human resource nation across the world. A large part of India’s skilled work force is in the unorganised sector, which needs to be formally recognised on transnational standard and industry scale.
What are your plans of action for Jharkhand?
NSDC has been working closely with the states skill mission of Jharkhand to promote skill development in the region. Till date NSDC has trained around 75,000 candidates in the state.
Our detailed skill gap study in the region to identify the industry requirement and the local aspirations of the youth clearly shows the current demographic and economic profile of Jharkhand, presents huge opportunity for manpower skilling. Working age population is estimated to grow from 203.72 lakhs in 2011 to 237.78 lakhs in 2017. Itis envisaged further to grow up to 271.70 lakhs in 2022, implying entry of about 46.07 lakh persons to the workforce during the period (2012 – 2022). About 75% of the supply of manpower will be in minimally skilled category and the rest about 25% of the supply will in skilled and semiskilled category. Incremental manpower demand in Jharkhand is estimated to be about 43.88 lakhs during the period 2012-22 including 32.52 lakhs in organized sectors and 11.35 lakhs in unorganized sectors. During the period 2012-22, the demand supply gap of the state is expected to be about (-) 2.19 lakhs. There will be manpower deficit in skilled and minimally skilled category. The state needs to additionally skill about 5.8 lakh persons over the next 10 years to meet the demand of skilled manpower. If we examine the incremental manpower gap for the period 2012-17, the incremental demand supply gap is only about (-) 0.13 lakhs. The incremental deficit of manpower in skilled and semi-skilled category is about 3.24 lakhs, which can be met by skilling the excess manpower in the minimally skilled category.
Youth aspirations in the state suggest that vocational training is perceived to be suitable for economically poor students. The students opting for vocational training in the state have a preference for government jobs over private jobs. Most of the youth preferred employment with government organisations like Railways and Public Sector Undertakings like SAIL, DVC etc. The most important reason for such a preference is job security and stable career. In line with the same, recently an International Skill Center (IISC) has been launched in the state of Jharkhand, to address skill requirement of those who plan to migrate to foreign countries for jobs which will support the youth in getting foreign placement. The proposed IISC will be set up through the National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) and implement the Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY) and Pravasi Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PKVY).