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Changed stance for better outcome

Changed stance for better outcome

The flagship scheme of the Centre appears to be in difficulties as only 2.9 lakh out of overall 30.67 lakh trained candidates could receive their placement offers under the much-publicised Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY). However, after realising the lack of quality training and information asymmetry regarding the demand-supply dynamics of skilled candidates, the Centre is contemplating to shift focus to district-level schemes to yield better results in the short-term for its skilling initiative. Now, the focus would be on better participation of states, with involvement district authorities to ensure delivery at the district level. The Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship – set up in 2014 under the Narendra Modi government – for the first time, has already started a district-level data-collection exercise to know the specific demand-supply conditions for each district. As soon as Dharmendra Pradhan got the additional charge of this Ministry after the removal of Rajiv Pratap Rudy, the Ministry has started exercises to involve industry at a mass level, especially from the Ministry of MSME, to follow a cluster-based model. It would definitely improve the job avenues for the candidates. The ministry has also decided to impart group training in a specific region, the expenses of which would be borne by the government. It may be noted that till the last financial year, it was not compulsory for training providers to report employment data under the PMKVY. Under the rejuvenated scheme, placement tracking has been made essential.

The government has also planned to keep the implementation agency for PMKVY, National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC), away from implementation of the proposed district-level plan – to impart skills and apprenticeship in a better way with a larger participation of the states. The government decision appears to be more requirement-centric. Much can be done with the quality and location given. With a district-level action plan, padded with adequate quality information, this flagship programme of the Centre can be more useful. It would also create larger platform for the government to get into MoUs and put forward the better place-monitoring mechanisms. Much can be expected now with a shift in the stance of the ministry's skill training from being supply-driven to demand-driven, as the crux of the government's focus would now be to impart skill training to one crore people over four years. Clearly, the new skills minister Dharmendra Pradhan and his new deputy Ananth Kumar Hegde would have three key tasks at hand: to speed up the pace of skill development for achieving targets; bring jobs to the trainees; and put the whole skill eco-system in order.

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