Skill India_750

Mumbai: With less than two years to go for India’s largest skills training and certification programme to reach its deadline in 2020, the government has placed 1 million trainees in jobs, 90% short of the 10 million target. Enrolment is short by 64% and certification by 74%.

As of November 30, 2018, 3.6 million or 36% of the target had enrolled with Skill India Mission’s flagship Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY, or Prime Minister’s Skill Development programme), which was launched in 2016. Among those enrolled, 3.39 million (34%) had been trained, and 3.02 million (30%) assessed, the ministry of skill development and entrepreneurship said in this Lok Sabha response on January 7, 2019. Of these, 2.6 million, or 26% of the programme’s target, had received certification after training and were awaiting placement.

As of August 31, 2018, roughly 1 million (1,009,638) young people--10% of the target of 10 million--had been placed in jobs, from among 1.84 million who had been trained and certified. Thereafter, upto November 30, 2018, 851,372 additional candidates received training certification and were ready to enter the workforce, ministry data submitted in the Lok Sabha show.

Placement data are reported within 90 days of certification of trained candidates, as per the scheme guidelines, hence the latest available data provided pertain to August 2018. Placement data for candidates trained and certified upto November 30, 2018, will be available in March 2019.

PMKVY is a fee-based programme run by the National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC), a not-for-profit public company set up to catalyse the skilling of India’s workforce for various industry sectors. It has a budget of Rs 12,000 crore ($1.7 billion) to impart skills training to 10 million young people over four years to 2020.

The first edition of PMKVY that ran between July 2015 and June 2016, and trained 1.9 million, was criticised by a government committee for several shortcomings including low level of placements, low quality of training, and inflated training numbers. Of the 1.45 million who were certified through PMKVY between July 2015 and July 2016, 252,223 (17%) were placed in jobs, as reported in June 2018.

Currently, the placement rate among those trained and certified upto August 31, 2018, has more than doubled to 45%, or 1 million of 1.84 million trained, ministry data from the Lok Sabha reply show. However, this is only 10% of the scheme’s target for 2020. contacted the NSDC for comments. On January 15, 2019, NSDC officials said in an email they would reply soon. We will update the story when they do.

India’s working-age population will peak by 2020, the Economic Survey for 2016-17 said. Globally, an ageing population will create a skilled manpower shortage of 56.5 million, while India is projected to have a surplus of 47 million, as IndiaSpend reported in July 2017.

Yet, 30% of India’s youth are neither employed nor in education or training, Bloomberg reported on July 7, 2017. Less than 5% of India’s workforce is formally skilled, as against 52% in the USA and 68% in the UK. Fellow emerging economy China possesses a skilled workforce of 24%.

Unless employed gainfully, India’s “demographic dividend” could turn into a socio-economic nightmare, said this opinion-editorial in The Hindu Business Line in May 2012.

To address this, Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the Skill India mission on World Youth Skills Day on July 15, 2015, announcing the aim to skill 400 million people by 2022 through more than 40 skills development schemes that would be run by more than 20 ministries and departments.

However, two years later, in June 2017, this target was abandoned as the ministry decided to shift to a “demand-based” strategy. A government-appointed committee found the goal of skilling 400 million people too large, unnecessary and unattainable, as IndiaSpend reported on July 24, 2017.

Based on the progress of current skill development programmes including PMKVY, the government has now pegged the growing need for skilled persons at 103 million by 2022 across 24 sectors ranging from agriculture to IT, according to the 2017-18 annual report of the skills development ministry.

Cases against 185 training institutes pending in court, 385 Institutes de-affiliated

Skilling under PMKVY 2016-20 is carried out through short-term programmes, recognition of prior learning programmes that assess and certify already-skilled candidates, and special projects.

Of the candidates enrolled under PMKVY 2016-20, 72% (2.4 million) received training under short-term programmes, for which the target was 2.6 million, according to the ministry’s 2017-18 annual report.

About 28% or 908,000 of enrolled trainees were under the recognition of prior learning programmes (as against a target of 1.04 million), and 2% or 72,000 under special projects (against a target of 203,286), ministry data from this Lok Sabha response dated December 24, 2018, showed.

To implement its short-term training programmes across the country, the government has enlisted 2,193 training partners, who have set up 7,120 training institutes to skill people to suit 235 job profiles, according to the PMKVY dashboard. For its recognition of prior learning programme, the government has tied up with 111 training partners and set up 4,846 centres across India for assessing and certifying candidates for 222 job roles.

However, the accreditation process for industrial training institutes affiliated with the ministry came in for criticism in this parliamentary committee report in January 2018. The committee found that the Quality Council of India had accredited technical institutes that were still under construction, lacked equipment, were preoccupied for other purposes, or did not exist at the addresses provided. The report also observed dereliction of duty among quality assessors, some of whom were found to be unqualified for the job, in assessing safety norms such as for electricity connections.

The ministry assured the parliamentary committee that various steps are being taken to overcome the deficiencies, as the report noted. It said that of the 1,173 court cases filed in different high courts against training institutes, 990 had been disposed of without any adverse judgement, and the remaining 183 were pending.

Over the last five years, 385 Industrial Training Institutes--42 of which were accredited by the Quality Council of India--have since been de-affiliated by the directorate general of training, the ministry was quoted as saying in the report.

Source: Lok Sabha
*Placement figure as on November 30, 2018 is with respect to 1.8 million candidates certified by August 31, 2018.

This story is part of “Modi’s Report Card”, a series evaluating flagship government programmes in the run up to the 2019 general elections. You can read a set of stories on the rural jobs programme here, here and here; on the rural electrification programme here, here and here; and on the Swachh Bharat Mission here, here and here.

(Saldanha is an assistant editor with IndiaSpend and

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