We are all aware that India requires a “Skill Revolution “to enable our youngsters to be productive citizens of our country. It is not just about leveraging the “demographic dividend “ that India possess and ensuring skilling to take advantage of this situation. The problem goes beyond this and it has far reaching consequences to the entire fabric of our country, if we do not step up our effort and provide skilling solutions across sectors, across geographies, across rural, semi-urban and urban locations. There is a huge percentage of our youth population, who do not have the opportunity to get skilled. The question is not about availability of Institutes providing skill courses alone, but the awareness among this youth population that there exists an opportunity to get skilled and change their lives for ever. To overcome this gap, it necessary to launch a massive nation-wide campaign to bring awareness about the positive impact of getting skilled and changing lives for the better. We should not depend only on Government Machinery to drive home this point, each of the skill training entities can make it their mission to reach out to as large a chunk of these youngsters and educate them on various aspects of skilling.
What is required is a focused and determined push by both Government and Private sector to reach out to the farthest corners of the country and spread the message of skilling. This has to be an ongoing process, while efforts are made to build skill infrastructure in locations which do not have any facilities. The various ministries within the Government involved in Skilling have to be given direction only from one ministry – Ministry of Skill Development. This will help ensure the resources available with the Government for skilling are used optimally with the largest possible impact. There should be a mechanism in place to monitor the impact of various Government schemes to ensure that the impact envisaged by these projects are actually happening and there is a gradual improvement of situation at the ground level. There should be powers given to the monitoring agencies for mid-course correction if the project is not appearing to be achieving the goals envisaged at the beginning. This will help in the use of precious resources optimally. While there is no doubt about the good intentions of the Government in launching various new projects in skilling, what is lacking is the will to change the parameters of the project to meet the requirement of changed circumstances on the ground. If the Government is nimble enough to act on changed circumstances on the ground, then we can have meaningful and impactful projects that will achieve the goals set out. While, there is no single formula for success in the skill landscape, what is required is sharing of success stories across the country, which can be replicated elsewhere.
The author of this piece – Vinod M.M, is the Managing Director of Ace Skill Development Private limited. A skill development company headquartered in Chennai.