Govt asks IIM, JNU, Harvard to review its skill development programmes

The government’s skill development schemes have been criticised for sub-standard quality of training centres and fraudulent enrolment of trainees.

india Updated: Apr 13, 2017 09:43 IST
Sanjeev K Ahuja, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Skill development schemes,PMO,IIM Bangalore
PM Modi with other ministers at the launch of the National Skill Development Mission in New Delhi.(Virendra Singh Gosain/HT File Photo)

The Centre has decided to reach out to reputed academic institutions to evaluate its ambitious skill development programmes, which have faced questions over their effectiveness.

The National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) is in talks with IIM- Bangalore, Jawaharlal Nehru University, Harvard Business School, University of Pennsylvania, Deakin University of Australia, and Delhi School of Economics to carry out a review of the scheme.

The NSDC is the execution agency of the ministry of skill development and entrepreneurship. Official sources said that the ministry has taken this decision in consultation with the Prime Minister’s Office.

The Centre’s skill development schemes had earlier faced flak for sub-standard quality of training centres and fraudulent enrolment of trainees under the Union government’s flagship Skill India programme.

“We would like to know the number of youths trained so far and whether these schemes have been able to bring any change in their lives and upgrade their living standards,” Manish Kumar, the corporation’s CEO and managing director told Hindustan Times, explaining the need for the government to engage academic institutes for “analytical study” of skill development schemes and report what’s working and what’s not.

“We have asked these institutions to do an in-depth research and provide information about the results and effects of skill development plans. With this we will get to know the gaps that can be bridged,” he said.

Prime Minister Modi launched the scheme in July 2015 with a corpus of ₹1,500 crore and an aim to train 2.4 million youth. But the first phase saw just 5% placement, that too mostly in low-skill blue-collar jobs. Despite the problems, the government upped the funds allocated to the skills training programme to ₹6,000 crore and introduced two new schemes .

The government claims to have trained about two million youth under the flagship Skill India programme but an HT investigation last month found inconsistencies in the quality of training centres and likely fraudulent trainee enrolment.

“What we are doing is intangible, unlike road construction which is tangible. It is difficult to make out the percentage of GDP changed because of these intangible inputs. But there are global methods to analytically study the schemes and make out their impact,” Kumar said.

First Published: Apr 13, 2017 07:11 IST