Oct 12, 2017 05:15 PM IST | Source:

Money spent under 'Skill India' but certificates and jobs still elusive

Last month reports said that the programme only helped 2.9 lakh people, to gain jobs from a total 30.67 lakhs.

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) yesterday approved two new World Bank-backed schemes of Rs 6,655 crore to reform and increase relevance of skill development training programmes in the country.

The schemes -- Skills Acquisition and Knowledge Awareness for Livelihood Promotion (Sankalp) and Skill Strengthening for Industrial Value Enhancement (Strive) -- were approved by the CCEA-chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Sankalp is a centrally-sponsored Rs 4,455-crore scheme, including Rs 3,300 crore loan support from World Bank whereas Strive is a Rs 2,200-crore central sector scheme, with half of the scheme outlay as World Bank loan assistance.

Last month, Indian Express reported the programme has, in the 9 months up to July, helped only 2.9 lakh of the registered 30.67 lakh trainees in gaining employment.

The scheme was relaunched on October 2 last year with a budgeted funding of Rs 12,000 crore to train over a crore people over four years between 2016 and 2020. Until March 17, around Rs 2,285 crore had been transferred to NSDC for implementation under the government's flagship Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY).

“As per new PMKVY-II guidelines, 20 percent of funds will be released only if there is 50 percent placement within three months of training. Placements will determine the grading of a vendor for future funds,” said Manish Kumar, CEO, NSDC, in a statement.

Issues in the scheme came to light when the placement numbers were very low due to lack of quality training, the media reports said.

The focus then shifted to making the scheme bigger through greater participation by involving district level officers and shifting the stance from supply-driven to demand-driven.

PMKVY is not the answer to India’s problems, a senior official was quoted by the Indian Express as saying.

"You can’t do too much about quality, location etc in the short term. We will be able to rejig much of it and make it more purposeful with a district-level action plan with good quality information," he said.

The official added that district-level skill development action plan could be prepared for 100 districts in one go. "The money can be handed over to the state governments and districts," the official added.

Last month, Dharmendra Pradhan was given additional charge as the Minister of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship after removal of the Minister of State Rajiv Pratap Rudy.

Earlier, Rudy had said that the aim of the ministry was to ensure that candidates are ‘employable’ and not ensuring jobs.
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