In order to sustain a 9% growth rate in the Indian economy, it is imperative to generate sufficient and high quality skilled work force, with a quantum leap in both the skill development capacity and in the number of skills and trades in which training is being imparted. The Prime Minister’s skill development mission aims to achieve the aforesaid objective. A private sector led skill development corporation is an integral part of the mission and the co-ordinated action plan for skill development, which was approved by the Union Cabinet in May, 2008.
“The vision, strategy and core principles of the skill development mission have been articulated clearly in the Prime Minister’s Nation Council on Skill Development. The vision has four components, namely, massive ambition manifesting in creation of 500 million skilled people by 2022; high inclusivity; dynamic and self-healing adjustment process; and, focus on outcomes, consumer choice and competition. The strategy has six components, the most salient of which are that skills must be made fungible and bankable. The specific mandate of the corporation [NSDC] is to stimulate and coordinate private sector initiatives in the skill development sector, with a view to realizing the core vision of the Skill Development Council.”
The Finance Minister, Shri Pranab Mukherjee launched the National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) here today. The NSDC is a unique Public-Private Partnership (PPP) Enterprise which has been mandated to skill 30% of the overall target of 500 million people by the year 2022. NSDC has been incorporated as a not-for-profit organization under Section 25 of the Companies Act, 1956 by the Ministry of Finance. It has been formed as 51:49 shareholding of private and government. Besides Ministry of Finance, all prominent industry bodies have contributed to the initial capital of this venture to address the need for training and skill development.
“I am delighted to be present here today, at the formal launch function of the National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC). I take note, with a deep sense of satisfaction, that this novel experiment in evolving a PPP model of skill development, has now taken firm roots, and is ready to play the ambitious role that has been envisaged for it. For the benefit of the delegates present here today, it would be instructive to recount the context in which the NSDC has been created. The Prime Minister’s National Mission on Skill Development envisages a 3 pronged structure for skill development, which comprises of the Prime Minister’s National Council on Skill Development, the National Skill Development Coordination Board and the NSDC. While the Council will set the basic principles, which will govern the overall strategy of skill development; and, the Board will integrate the efforts being made by various Government Ministries and Departments in the area of skill development; the important role assigned to NSDC consists of harnessing the energies of the private sector in supplementing the efforts being made by various Government entities. The specific mandate of the NSDC is to stimulate and co-ordinate private sector initiatives in the skill development sector, with a view to realising the core vision of the Prime Minister’s Skill Development Council.
The vision outlined by the Prime Minister’s Council calls for serious up-scaling of the skill development targets. Hence, as against 40 million people currently, who have received any kind of formal or non-formal training, the vision envisages creation of a pool of 500 million skilled people by 2022. This translates into a rapid escalation of the training and skill development capacity, and, a quantum leap in the number of trades, wherein training is currently being imparted through existing institutes. The vision also emphasis, a high degree of inclusivity, which shall effectively deal with the current, divides prevailing in our society, such as gender, rural and urban, organized and un-organized employment, and, traditional and contemporary work places. In order to achieve the mission outlined in the vision, it has become imperative for Government to engage with the private sector, through long term partnerships to achieve synergy in delivery and implementation. The NSDC, therefore, is the important component of the overall roadmap for radically transforming India’s skill landscape.
Since its inception in July, 2008, NSDC has been pro-active in preparing the ground work needed to position itself as the key driver of private sector initiatives in skill development. The Board has met at regular intervals to delineate the ground rules of engagement, as also the strategies to be adopted to fill the existing gaps in the skill and competency levels of the work force. The study of projected skill gaps in the high priority sectors, which has been unveiled today, is path breaking, and outlines, in great detail, the challenges posed in various sectors. I am also happy that the strategy, structure and governing framework for NSDC has also been set out with sufficient clarity, and, the target that NSDC has set for itself, that is, of developing skills and requisite capabilities in around 150 million persons by 2022, matches the aspirations of the vision outlined by the National Council. Moreover, the fact that typical ‘market failure’ segments, comprising backward areas, under-privileged sections of the society and non-organized sectors occupy primacy in NSDC agenda is also a matter of great satisfaction. The three projects, that have been granted ‘in principal’ approval so far, and, in respect of which further action has been initiated today, represent a significant step forward in the NSDC’s endeavour in the skill development sector, and would lead to creation of around 2 million skilled people by 2016. Hence, within a modest timeframe of about a year, NSDC has an identity, an address, a clearly articulated ‘game plan’ for the future and a significant ‘foot print’ in critical skill development sectors. This is a commendable achievement, for which, the Board deserves to be congratulated.
However, the road, going ahead, is long and arduous, and strewn with multiple challenges. We look forward, in Government, to much more being achieved by NSDC in the next 6 months, and, in the following years to come. Two areas, in regard to which, immediate action is warranted on the part of NSDC are establishing convergence with a few programmes being run by selected Ministries/Departments of Government of India; and, establishing Sector Skill Councils (SSCs), a role that has been entrusted to NSDC in the National Policy of Skill Development. Skill development programmes are being run by 17 Ministries/Departments in the Government of India. Large budgetary outlays are being earmarked for these programmes. Public interest demands that duplication is avoided between the work areas of the relevant sectoral entities and NSDC. There is need to develop synergy between the efforts of Government and NSDC, which catalyses private sector interest in skill development, to optimally employ underutilized assets. Accordingly, NSDC should dovetail some of its activities, in a seamless manner, with the programmes/schemes being implemented by Government Ministries and Departments. Two areas which can be taken up for immediate consideration are adoption of a few ITIs by NSDC on a ‘management contract’ basis, so that models for better management of the existing infrastructure can be evolved. Similarly, initiatives can be taken to bring in best ‘techno-managerial’ practices, in conducting skill development programmes for workers in textile sector in collaboration with the Ministry of Textiles. These areas are indicative and convergence could be aimed with the other programmes as well, being run currently by other Ministries/Departments, such as Ministry of Rural Development, Ministry of Small, Micro and Medium Enterprises, Ministry of Women and Child Development etc.
The National Policy on Skill Development envisages creation of Sector Skill Councils (SSCs), through the NSDC, for performing a wide range of functions, the most important of which are determination of competency standards and qualifications, development of curricula and active participation in the process relating to examination, certification and accreditation. At present, the entire range of functions relating to curriculum development, examination and certification are being coordinated by the National Council on Vocational Training (NCVT), a body under the Ministry of Labour. NCVT also provides affiliation to ITIs/ITCs. There is no established mechanism for accreditation of training institutes, except for some rudimentary work being done by the Quality Council under the administrative control of Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion (DIPP). Overall, there is an urgent need to develop standards and curriculum, as also certification mechanisms for key skill sectors such as construction industry, automobiles, gems and jewellery, besides creation of reliable accreditation institutions. NSDC may, in line with its mandate under the National Policy on Skill Development, immediately set up SSCs in respect of a few sectors, which can, within a specific timeframe, develop standards and curriculum in respect of their sectors, provide testing and certification, and, assist government in setting up capability in accreditation.
At the end, I would like to assure the Board of NSDC that the relationship of the Government, with the NSDC, it that of an enabler and facilitator, so that it is able to carry out its mandate effectively and in a time bound manner. We are committed to support this endeavour through all means. I have given clear directions to the officials in the Ministry of Finance to maintain constant liaison with the office bearers and Board Members, and, to urgently resolve all the outstanding issues. Specifically, I have given directions for the Ministry of Finance to engage with multilateral and bilateral funding entities, so as to ensure that the resources of NSDC are periodically replenished, and, its activities continue to remain solidly on track. I am confident that with the dynamism that the private sector partners bring to this organization, and, with the support that the Government has committed to the NSDC, at the highest levels, the NSDC will blaze a trail of significant achievements in the short and medium term, which will re-inforce and vindicate the vision of the Prime Minister’s National Mission on Skill Development.” © 20th Oct 2009, NSDC