EV courses, fresh tie-ups to power Skill India engine
The Narendra Modi government is set to revamp its flagship Skill India mission, which was pegged back by inadequate job offers and lack of quality training during the previous four years, by starting new courses related to electric vehicles and collaborations with top multinational and Indian firms, said officials with knowledge of the developments.
The introduction of new industrial training courses, to be taught at Industrial Training Institutes (ITI) across India, comes in the wake of government think tank NITI Aayog’s proposal of making all commercial vehicles run on electric power from 2026, said a senior official on condition of anonymity.
The recent Economic Survey, too, pitched for making India an electric vehicles hub and boost employment in the automobile sector. According to the Survey, India’s market share in electric cars is just 0.06% while China has 2% share of the global share.
The official pointed out that the aim of the government was to introduce courses and train people for jobs of the future. “India is already an automobile manufacturing hub is south Asia. But as the world is turning towards electric vehicles, we need to grab the opportunity to train our workforce to take advantage of the market,” he added.
The government will also sign memoranda of understanding with firms such as American fast-food giant McDonalds, and large financial sector companies HDFC Bank and State Bank of India to start apprenticeship programmes as part of a drive to ensure more professional training, the officer added.
Union home minister Amit Shah, finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman, skill development and entrepreneurship minister Mahendra Nath Pandey and others will celebrate the fourth year of the Skill India mission on Monday. The new measures are likely to announced during the event.
The Skill India mission was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on July 15, 2015 with a corpus of Rs 1,500 crore. But the skill development ministry repeatedly missed its targets -- training nearly 7.8 million people in 2014-15 against a target of 10.5 million, government data showed. In the next two years — 2015-16 and 2016-17 — just 11.7 million people were trained, forcing the government to abandon in 2017 its target of skill training 500 million people by 2022.
Audits also raised complaints of obsolete training and poor infrastructure at many of the private institutes that imparted the training.This also led to a slump in the number of people who found jobs after their training finished.
For example, a reply by the ministry in Parliament in 2017 said that out of 3.15 million people who were given training, only 1.4 million found jobs or were self-employed, underlining the wide gap between training and placements.
There were also complaints about the Udaan scheme, designed to give training to Kashmiri youth, where nearly R250 crore was spent but hardly 10% of the trainees managed to secure jobs.
As the government is keen to launch new degree apprenticeship programmes, memoranda of understanding are expected to be signed with firms such as McDonalds, Ness Wadia College of Commerce, and other entities for improved training programmes, according to one of the officials cited above. The government will also focus on creating skilled manpower for financial inclusion that forms the base for many of its welfare programmes.
A certification programme for rural banking correspondents is also set to be introduced as there is an increasing demand for this job to cater to Indian villages. The Skill Mission will also collaborate with State Bank of India and HDFC Bank for promotion of apprenticeship trainings in financial sectors.
Achirangshu Acharya, an economist with Visva-Bharati university in Shantiniketan, said there was an urgent need to rework the Skill India mission. “These collaborations are welcome but the government should also focus on upgrading the infrastructure in ITIs and other such institutions. In Bangladesh, vocational training will be made mandatory in schools from next year. We may also think in the same line,” he said.