Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman (Image- PTI)
The industry has mixed views on the government's move to train 10 million youth to handle the latest technology such as artificial intelligence, IoT and big data.
While some pointed out that it will bridge the much needed gap in the skill space, others are not convinced.
Nirmala Sitharaman, Finance Minister, in her maiden Budget said, the Government will enable 10 million youth to take up industry-relevant skill training through the Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY).
Sitharaman said this will create a large pool of skilled manpower with speed and high standards.
“Demographic trends worldwide show that major economies will face severe labour shortages in the future. To prepare our youth to also take up jobs overseas, we will increase focus on skill sets needed abroad including language training,” she said.
Sitharaman further added, “We will also lay focus on new-age skills like artificial intelligence (AI), Internet of Things, big data, 3D printing, virtual reality and robotics, which are valued highly both within and outside the country, and offer much higher remuneration,”
Skilling has been a major issue in India as the industry is going through a digital transformation phase. Tech majors have raised concerns about lack of skills in the new age technologies such as AI, machine learning and big data.
The budget announcement was in part to bridge this gap in talent availability.
However lack of clarity on how it will be implemented and direction it is likely to take has raised questions.
K Ullas Kamath, chairman, FICCI Karnataka Council, told Moneycontrol, “How is this going to work out in practice?” Kamath pointed out that at a time when engineering graduates or post graduates are unable to get jobs, how would such skilling help.
Naganand Doraswamy, founder and managing director, Ideaspring Capital, explained that it is not that easy to train 10 million youth in latest technologies given existing technology institutions are unable to do so.
Rituparna Chakraborty, president, India Staffing Federation, said, “The budget was high on niche skills, but it did talk about vocational skills which are the need of the hour.” Unless the government gives impetus to vocational skills, the issues are unlikely to be solved, she added.