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Development Of Skill Ecosystem For Grass-root Level

Skill development then is being seen as the bridge that will lead the youth to realize their dreams.

The growth of a nation is inextricably connected with the progress of its youth, particularly the working-age population. In her Budget 2020 speech, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman highlighted how India is set to have the largest working-age population by 2030, along with highlighting the need for the development of both job and life skills in order to make this population employable.  

Skill development, on many grounds, proves to be the key towards enabling the youth to realize their true potential. The addition of relevant skills to the skill set eventually leads to improving employability and helps in acquiring high paying jobs. Reflecting along the same lines, Subramanian Ramadorai, who was the adviser to the Prime Minister of India in the National Council on Skill Development, in his paper titled ‘Connecting the dots to build India’s Skill Development Ecosystem’ explained how the efforts towards overall development today have changed from being ‘inputs’ oriented to being more ‘output’ oriented. The language, he adds, has shifted from ‘training’ to ‘employability’.

Owing to the importance that is being attributed to skill development, various provisions in the Union Budget 2020-21 depict how it is set to be the path that will be followed for the years to come. Rs 99,300 crore have been allocated towards education and Rs 3,000 crore have been allocated towards skilling programs. Along with that, efforts have been made to place skill development alongside higher education wherein 150 higher education institutions will start apprenticeship embedded degree/diploma courses by March 2021. 

Skill development then is being seen as the bridge that will lead the youth to realize their dreams. Following are the features that skill development offers that eventually work towards making it the fore-bringer of overall development.  

Outcome based learning  

While education is often seen as the gateway towards a brighter future, education without the realization of final outcomes, especially in a developing nation like India, does not really contribute towards growth. The primary aim behind pursuing an education for a major chunk of youth is to improve their socio-economic standing. While theoretical education contributes towards improving the analytical abilities, skill-based education offers an opportunity to significantly impact the socio-economic position by focusing more upon improving employability.  

Highlighting the need for skill development in India, the Budget 2020-21 accommodated provisions for the ‘industry relevant skill training for 10 million youth in India’. This further strengthens the claim that outcome based skill training is the need of the hour.   

Hands-on experience makes job ready  

The need for internship has been highlighted in the Budget with the provision that urban local bodies will now be required to provide internship of one year for young engineers who want to work with the Government. This lays emphasis on the fact that work experience can help bridge the knowledge gap that might remain despite having pursued a full term course on the subject. A lot of students face challenges in acquiring jobs primarily because of the lack of skills that are required.  

Seeking jobs to creating jobs  

In a country like India where job crunch is a bigger issue than talent crunch, it is essential to focus on the process of job creation. A favorable aspect of skill-based training is that it fosters entrepreneurial spirit and eventually leads to the formation of entrepreneurial ventures that can give back to the society through the means of job creation.  

The Union Budget 2020-21 also focused on the need for the development of entrepreneurial opportunities with the provision that 80 livelihood business incubators and 20 technology business incubators are to be set up in 2019-20 under ASPIRE (A Scheme for Promotion of Innovation, Rural Industries and Entrepreneurship) to develop 75,000 skilled entrepreneurs in agro-rural industries.  

Reflecting upon the discussions around skill development and upon connecting it with the Union Budget 2020-21, it can be determined that it is and will continue playing a vital role in leading the Indian economy to where it wishes to reach.  

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house



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