PM’s Skill India initiative scores low on placements
NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Rs 1,500-crore employment generation scheme may have all the star power it needs, with cricket icon Sachin Tendulkar attracting youth to training centres as its brand ambassador, but dismal placement figures are casting serious doubts on its reported success.
The National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) has been able to identify only 5% candidates who got placed after being trained under the Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY), an RTI application filed by HT revealed.
The NSDC, the nodal agency for promoting and funding skilling programmes, conceded that out of 17.07 lakh students, a mere 82,183 bagged jobs since the launch of the scheme on July 15, 2015.
However, NSDC CEO Jayant Krishna said the RTI data was not an apt reflection of the scheme’s success. He claimed that though the numbers are many times higher, very few training partners shared placement data because they were not mandated to report back. Hence, the RTI response reflected only a small fraction of the actual placements.
Pointing out that placements happen only after the completion of the certification process, Krishna said only eight lakh candidates have received certificates until now.
However, experts say this argument is weak because the PMKVY’s 113-page process manual clearly mentions training institutes are responsible for facilitating the placement of candidates — and are, therefore, required to have the information. “Training providers will be responsible for identifying mentors who support and guide trainees in the post-training phase… This mentorship programme will also facilitate the tracking of trainees in the post-training phase,” it says.
“It’s very logical to ask training partners to give the NSDC reports on their placement record, especially those training partners, parent or subsidiaries companies of which are running various business activities. They can be asked how many candidates they themselves have employed out of the total trained candidates from their own institutes,” says Colonel NB Saxena (retd), former executive technical member of the Construction Skill Development Council.
The RTI response also revealed that a majority of the candidates — numbering 80,748 — was trained by the Infrastructure Leasing & Financial Services (IL&FS). The finance company did not respond to email queries from HT regarding the number of candidates placed after training.
According to the RTI reply, the NSDC has 12,181 training centres in 32 sectors.
The Standard Training Assessment Reward (STAR), an earlier scheme launched by the NSDC in 2013, imparted skill training to about 9.5 lakh youngsters but kept no record of job placements.
“Isn’t it surprising that the NSDC trained about 27 lakh candidates under two schemes — STAR and PMKVY — through its own affiliated training partners, but without keeping placement records? As far as my assessment goes, the placement record is dismal and that’s why NSDC is shying away from asking its training partners to track it,” said the owner of a company that assesses trained candidates under the PMKVY.
“While assessing candidates, I realised that most of them were anxious regarding job prospects after the training is completed,” he added.