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National Skill Development Mission

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The National Skill Development Mission was announced in the Budget Speech of 2015-16 and it aims to consolidate the skilling initiatives spread across several Ministries and to standardize procedures and outcomes across 31 Sector Skill Councils[1]. For instance, currently, over 70-odd Skill Development Programmes (SDPs) are being implemented by Government of India, each with its own norms for eligibility criteria, duration of training, cost of training, outcomes, monitoring and tracking mechanism etc.

The Mission provides a strong institutional framework at the Centre and States for implementation of skilling activities in the country. 

Generally a "mission mode" project implies a project that has clearly defined objectives, scopes, implementation timelines and milestones, as well as measurable outcomes and service levels.

Policy framework behind National Skill Development Mission
Recognizing the imperative need for skill development, National Skill Development Policy was first formulated in 2009. The existing policy was reviewed in 2014-15 to take account of its progress in implementation and emerging trends in the national and international environment. The new policy- National Skill Development and Entrepreneurship policy of 2015 supersedes the policy of 2009 and would form the backbone of National Skill Development Mission.

The objective of this policy is to meet the challenge of skilling at scale (skilling large number of persons at the same time) with speed, standard (quality) and sustainability. It aims to provide an umbrella framework to all skilling activities being carried out within the country, to align them to common standards and link skilling with demand centres. In addition to laying down the objectives and expected outcomes, the policy also identifies the various institutional frameworks for reaching the expected outcomes.

Approach adopted in the policy: As per the Policy, Skills development is considered as the shared responsibility of government, employers and individual workers, with NGOs, community based organizations, private training organizations and other stakeholders playing a critical role.

The policy links skills development to improved employability and productivity to pave the way forward for inclusive growth in the country. The skill strategy is complemented by specific efforts to promote entrepreneurship to create enough opportunities for skilled workforce.

“Skill India programmes” goes alongside the “Make in India” campaign – i.e, enhancing the supply of skilled labourers to encourage producers to undertake their manufacturing initiatives in India.
The new Policy has four thrust areas:

Organisational Structure of National Skill Development Mission
As per the Cabinet decision on 2 July 2015, the National Skill Development Mission has a three-tiered, high powered decision making structure.

The Mission also runs select sub-missions in high priority areas.

Further, the National Skill Development Agency (NSDA), the National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) and the Directorate of Training will function under the overall guidance of the Mission.

The Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MSDE) is the nodal administrative ministry for the Mission, organically linking all three decision making levels and facilitating linkages to all Central Ministries/Departments and State Governments. 

Target Group of the Mission:
Based on the Census 2011 and NSSO (68th Round) data, it is estimated that 104 million fresh entrants to the workforce will require skill training by 2022, and 298 million of the existing workforce will require additional skill training over the same time period. During 2015-16 itself, there is a target to provide skill training to about 12 million youth in the Country by the Central Government. While, 60% of the skill training would be done through the Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship, the balance would be done through 20 other Ministries/Department of the Government of India. This target includes 2.4 million youth to be trained/certified under Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY)  

India is one of the youngest nations in the world with more than 62% of the population in the working age group (15-59 years), and more than 54% of the total population below 25 years of age[2]. Based on data from the 68th Round of National Sample Survey Organisation (NSSO), it is estimated that only 4.69% of India’s total workforce has undergone formal skill training, compared with 52% in the USA, 68% in the UK, 75% in Germany, 80% in Japan and 96% in South Korea[3].  The Mission proposes to enhance the employability of the people thereby reaping the demographic dividend.

National Skill Development Mission hastens and scales up the skilling efforts initiated earlier through the creation of the National Skill Development Fund (NSDF) in 2009, the launch of the NSDC in the same year, and creation of the NSDA in 2013.

Other Institutional Changes with the skill India Programme: Skill Developments Initiatives were spread across various Ministries and Departments like Ministry of Labour, Ministry of Finance etc. The first dedicated Department of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship was created on 31 July, 2014, which became a full-fledged Ministry on 10 Nov, 2014, with NSDA, NSDC and NSDF under its purview. Further, the training and apprenticeship verticals, comprising of the entire network of Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs) and Apprenticeship Training schemes, were transferred from the Ministry of Labour and Employment to Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MSDE) on 16 April, 2015.

On 15 July 2015, the Prime Minister unveiled the Skill logo, launched the National Skill Development Mission, and Released the National Policy for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, 2015. He also launched the Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana and Skill Loan Scheme. The government launched the flagship scheme, ‘Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY)’ to enable and mobilize a large number of youth to take up outcome based skill training and earn their livelihood. It is a skill certification and reward scheme wherein trainees after their successful assessment and certification, get monetary reward through direct bank transfer to their account. The scheme has the target to benefit 24 lakh persons across the Country with training of 14 lakh fresh entrants and certification of 10 lakh persons under Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL).

Also See

1. Sector Skill Councils are industry-led and industry- governed bodies in each industrial sector, who will complement the existing vocational education system for the Industry Sector, in meeting its requirements of appropriately trained manpower.

2. Source: Draft National Policy For Skill Development And Entrepreneurship 2015

3. Source: PIB release 2 July 2015

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