👍👍👍*Premise of the Budget is woven around skilling: Atul Kumar Tiwari | Business Standard News

Clipped from: https://www.business-standard.com/article/economy-policy/the-whole-premise-of-budget-is-woven-around-skilling-skill-secretary-123021301257_1.html

‘PMKVY is an agile, market driven scheme as it provides short term training and recognises prior learning as well’

Atul Kumar Tiwari

The government has emphasised on skill development in the FY24 Budget by launching new schemes and significantly increasing the fund allocation. In an interview with Shiva Rajora and Asit Ranjan Mishra, secretary in the ministry of skill development and entrepreneurship Atul Kumar Tiwari talks about the government’s approach towards skilling. Edited excerpts:

The Budget has seen extensive focus on skill development. And, the whole skill India programme has been given a new direction. Could you elaborate on the government’s thinking behind the revamp?

The Budget has three main items related to the skill ministry — Skill India Digital Platform, Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY) 4.0 and National Apprenticeship Promotion Scheme. Apart from that, the whole premise of the Budget is woven around skilling. It talks about livelihood creation, employment generation, apprenticeship, skills awareness and is youth focussed. There is focus on artisans, medical sector, women’s empowerment, tourism and green energy — all these areas are skill intensive. We are happy that a number of our initiatives have got renewed impetus in the Budget. According to a World Economic Forum (WEF) report, there is a scope for 6.1 per cent increase in GDP growth till 2030, if the country can successfully undertake skilling. Funding for the ministry has increased by 60 per cent. The skill ministry will be actively working to invest more in skilling initiatives and ensure convergence of different schemes in existing and emerging sectors. And, we will also try to figure out the total spend on skilling of the whole government. It would obviously be much larger than what the skill ministry spends.

The finance minister announced the launch of Skill India Digital Platform in the Budget. What is it and how will it function?

The aim is to mobilise and onboard the different schemes of various departments and ministries onto the Skill India Digital Platform which is going to be a demand driven, citizen centric and a discovery platform. All the skilling schemes having National Skilling Qualification Framework (NSQF)-compliant courses will be made available on the platform. Candidates can choose the courses that they want and train accordingly. It will also have data on the trainers as well. This data will then be integrated with the National Career Service (NCS) portal. This will allow both candidates and employers to come on a single platform and fulfil their requirements, accordingly.

The fourth iteration of the PMKVY was also announced by the finance minister. How different will the fourth edition of the scheme be?

PMKVY is an agile, market-driven scheme as it provides short-term training and recognises prior learning as well. Under the fourth iteration, we will be providing training to 12 million candidates as well as 100,000 trainers in the next three years. Apart from the already-existing courses, there will be courses on new-age skills like coding, artificial intelligence, Cloud and green energy, among others, to create a digital-ready workforce. We are in talks with higher education institutions across the country to have these new short-term courses started by them.

Having received the feedback from industry, we will also be strengthening our assessment and regulatory standards. These relate to prior learning, certification and other aspects so that the confidence among employers also increases, regarding the credentials and training of the person. This is one way to nudge the industry to pay a premium for the skill. However, given the large informal economy, this is a challenge that we look forward to tackling.

How confident are you that the short-term courses provided under the skilling programmes will help in the absorption of the workforce into employment? The country already has a large educated population, which is unemployed.

Actually, I am not the competent authority to answer the question on the employment aspect. Our focus is to make the transition between education and work and make the candidates employable. We cannot compare the domain expertise that one has through formal higher education and the skills that one gets through short-term training (STT) courses. These STT courses are designed to increase your probability of getting employed. They act as a sort of bridge course, between what the industry demands and what the candidates lack.

There was a proposal to align the NSQF with the dynamic industry needs and create a Digital Ecosystem for Skilling and Livelihood (DESH) e-stack portal. What’s the status of that?

We have already done that and are in the advanced stage of integrating different portals like Aatmanirbhar Skilled Employee Employer Mapping (ASEEM), e-Shram, Udyam and the NCS portal. On top of this, we will be bringing out the Skill India Digital Portal, which will be a repository of all the things (related to) skilling.

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