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Indian Economy

Skill Certification

  • 24 Mar 2021
  • 7 min read

Why in News

The Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship has asked all government departments to ensure that workers executing government contracts must have official certification for their skills.

  • Initially, up to 10% of the strength of workers utilized in 2021-22 can be certified. This can be progressively increased to 100% by 2026-27.

Key Points

  • Need of the Move:
    • Low Level of Trained Workforce: Only 2.4% of India’s workforce is formally trained as per the Periodic Labour Force Survey of 2018-19.
      • India’s skill regulator, the National Council for Vocational Education and Training, has standardised skill certification systems for 4,000-odd job roles, as part of an effort to change the labour market structure from a largely unskilled one to a predominantly formally skilled workforce.
    • Informal and Low Wage: Government contractors prefer to rely on informal workers with low salaries for meeting their labour needs.
    • Paradoxical Situation: This is a paradoxical situation wherein the government is trying to promote skilling in the workforce without insisting on the use of skilled manpower for its own project.
  • Advantage:
    • Increase Demand For Skill: Demand for skilling would start coming from the industry and labour force itself, which will prefer to pay for skilling itself, doing away with the present system of the Government trying to drive skilling through funding.
    • Improvement in Wages : Improvement in wages for the skilled manpower hired.
    • Culture of Certified Skilling: Given the quantum of manpower engaged in government and government contract works, this would help in making skilling aspirational for our youth and spread the culture of certified skilling.
    • Enhance Productivity and Quality: This will lead to higher productivity and output quality in government contract works.
  • Challenges:
    • Insufficient Training Capacity: Insufficient job-linked training is leading to low employability rate in India.
    • Low Industry Interface: Low industry interface in training institutes is leading to poor placements and lower salaries.
    • Low Student Mobilization: The enrolment in skill institutes like ITIs, and polytechnics, remains low as compared to their enrolment capacity. This is due to low awareness levels among youths about the skill development programmes.
    • Employers’ Unwillingness: India’s joblessness issue is not only a skills problem, it is representative of the lack of appetite of industrialists and SMEs for recruiting.
      • Due to limited access to credit because of Banks’ Non-Performing Assets (NPAs), investment rate has declined and thus a negative impact on job creation.

Some Schemes Related to Skill Development

  • Industrial Training Centres (ITIs): Conceptualized in the year 1950, aims to expand and modernize the existing Long-Term Training ecosystem in India.
  • Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY): Launched in 2015, it aims to provide free skill training avenues to youths of India.
  • Recognition of Prior Learning: It was launched in 2015 to recognize the prior skills acquired by individuals. It is one of the key components of Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY).
  • National Career Service Project: Launched in 2015 to offer free online career skills training through its National Career Service (NCS) project for job-seekers registered with it.
  • Skill Management and Accreditation of Training Centres (SMART): It provides a single window IT application that focuses on the accreditation, grading, Affiliation and Continuous monitoring of the Training Centres (TC) in the skill ecosystem.
  • Skills Acquisition and Knowledge Awareness for Livelihood (SANKALP): Its focus is on district-level skilling ecosystem through convergence and coordination. It is a Centrally Sponsored Scheme which is collaborated with the World Bank.
  • Skills Strengthening for Industrial Value Enhancement (STRIVE): Launched in 2016, the main focus of the scheme is to improve the performance of ITIs. Skills Strengthening for Industrial Value Enhancement (STRIVE) scheme is a World Bank assisted-Government of India project with the objective of improving the relevance and efficiency of skills training provided through Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs) and apprenticeships.
  • Pradhan Mantri YUVA Yojana (Yuva Udyamita Vikas Abhiyan): Launched in the year 2016, it aims at creating an enabling ecosystem for Entrepreneurship development through Entrepreneurship education and training; Advocacy and easy access to entrepreneurship support network and Promoting social enterprises for inclusive growth.
  • Kaushalacharya Awards: Launched to recognize the contribution made by skill trainers and to motivate more trainers to join the Skill India Mission.
  • Scheme for Higher Education Youth in Apprenticeship and Skills (SHREYAS): The scheme is to provide industry apprenticeship opportunities to the general graduates exiting in April 2019 through the National Apprenticeship Promotion Scheme (NAPS).
  • Atma Nirbhar Skilled Employee Employer Mapping (ASEEM): Launched in 2020, it is a portal to help skilled people find sustainable livelihood opportunities.


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