Skill India Mission: the needed ‘upskill’

  • Rashi 
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Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the digital conclave on World Youth Skill Day. It was also the fifth anniversary of Skill India Mission. Addressing the audience, PM Modi said the only solution to keep up with the global growth and deal with job loss in Covid-19 pandemic is “Skill, re-skill, and upskill.” The program was launched on 15 July 2015, with an aim to provide employable skills to the youth of the country.

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What is Skill India Mission?

Skill India Mission is an initiative by the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship to youth of the country. The program aims to provide skills to the people so that they can not only get jobs, but also provide jobs.

It is managed by National Skill Development Corporation of India, and offers multiple courses across 40 sectors having around 37 job roles, in the country. It has started various initiatives including Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojna (PMKVY), UDAAN, and SANKALP. The courses offered, vary from short term training programs to special projects. To make the scheme reachable to people, 720 Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Kendras have been opened in the country.

Performance of the scheme

The joining rate of the program has been impressive in last five years, but the placement rate cannot be seen as good. The need for creating new jobs and making people skilled enough to take existing jobs is more than ever right now. The Covid-19 pandemic has led to a major job loss, especially among migrants who went back to their home states.

According to a report by the New Indian Express, till June 2020, 68 lakh people had joined the program, but only 15.5 lakh got placements. This accounts to be only 23 percent of the total participants.

While addressing the digital conclave, PM said that centre as well as state governments are mapping skills to provide jobs to labourers who have come back now. Though, it seems a difficult task keeping in mind the safety of the labourers amid the pandemic. However, boosting the morale of the youth, PM said, “This day is dedicated to your skills. The millennial youth’s biggest strength is acquiring new skills. The mantra to stay relevant is: Skill, re-skill and upskill.”

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“Covid-19 has changed the nature of jobs, and then there is new technology which has impacted our lives too. Our youth have to adopt new skills,” he added acknowledging the change in scenario.  

On the same occasion, Amit Shah also tweeted, “In the last five years, Skill India has played a major role in boosting the spirit of entrepreneurship among the youth. By encouraging the job seekers to become job givers, I am sure that this will go a long way in realising PM @narendramodi ji’s vision of #AatmaNirbharBharat.”

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What can be done?

With the change in conditions, there is a need to change the skills also. As the pandemic has forced the world to turn towards technology, the skill development also has to done keeping in mind the fact that post Covid world will be a digital one. To get jobs will require good technical skills.

The need is to develop machine learning programs, while training candidates to be tech savvy. The requirement in future will be of people well equipped with technology as well as software, as the country is going through a major churn towards digital world.

Apart from technology, Medical sector also needs more staff. Since the pandemic has torn down the medical infrastructure of the country, there is a need for more staffers to deal with the surge of patients. The trained staff is already busy in curing patients, but a whole force is needed to take care of the patients. If the candidates can be trained for that, then the problem can be solved along with unemployment.

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All this has to be done while ensuring the safety of the people. Sometimes, the people are made to do skilled jobs under dangerous conditions. With current disaster, it cannot be dealt with, which means the safety measures have to be revised and the skilled labour has to be upgraded.

Written By Rashi, She is doing her Masters in Convergent Journalism from Jamia AJK MCRC, New Delhi.

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