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Mains Practice Questions

  • Q. Though there has been a significant focus on skill development in India, the employability of skilled manpower has remained a big challenge. Discuss. (250 words)

    26 Feb, 2020 GS Paper 3 Economy


    • Highlight the importance of skill development and certain programmes to achieve so in the past.
    • Highlight shortages, challenges in the current skill development arena in India.
    • List out some recent measures that could overcome such challenges.


    Skill Development gains importance in a transiting society- demographically and technologically (onset of 4th Industrial Revolution) like India, as it enhances employability and equips one to tackle requirements of the labour market. Towards this end, many programmes have been launched like Skill India Mission, PM Kaushal Vikas Yojana, reforms in Apprenticeship Rules, Sector Skill Councils in recent times.


    Despite this, certain issues plague skilled manpower of India, rendering low employability and employment rates:

    • Shortage of well-trained and skilled personnel: As per Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship, India has fairly low formally skilled workforce (4.69%) as compared to major economies, like USA (52%), Japan (80%), South Korea (96%). And on top of this, as per Census 2011, 104 million new entrants will add to the workforce by 2022.
    • Low Female participation in workforce: Of total 395 million labour force only 91 million are female. Social restrictions, unconducive work environment and patriarchal mindset are the major reasons.
    • Fragmentation of the eco-system leading to duplication of roles and responsibilities of different agencies.
    • Skill Deficit in Rural Areas despite India’s nearly 70% population living there.

    To address these concerns several steps have been taken:

    • National Skill Development Corporation as a PPP allows for private sector, government with global participation to bridging demand and supply of labour market in highlighting newer skills and training in them via. Incubations of Sector Skill, India International Skill Centre.
    • Technical Internship/Training programme with other advanced economies like Japan, UK along improving avenues for labour mobility towards these markets.
    • To enhance women participation, 50% of candidates under PM Kaushal Vikas Yojana are women, promotion of skill in non-traditional areas like website designing, farm management etc.
    • The merger of National Council for Vocational Training and National Skill Development Agency, Committee on optimization and functioning of Sector Skill Councils.
    • Deen Dayal Upadhyay Grameen Kaushal Yojana for improving skill development in rural areas.


    • Skill Development should not be seen as an individual activity and needs to be dovetailed with other initiatives like Make in India, Digital India for scaling up economies.

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