Column: Blueprint For Daksh Bharat
Rapid skill development is critical to India’s socio-economic transformation. The government’s ambitious Skill India Initiative, which aims to train 40 crore Indians by 2022, is an ideal platform for ensuring an enabling ecosystem for skill development initiatives in the country.
Photo Credit : Ritesh Sharma
The Union Budget 2016-17 reaffirms the government’s commitment ‘to make India the skill capital of the world’. With adequately balanced medium-term reforms aimed at providing world-class education and long-term skill development initiatives, the Budget has laid out the blueprint very well for a globally competent skilled India.
Quality Education for Daksh Bharat
As one of the nine pillars of the Budget, education and skill development highlight the government’s firm objective to make India a knowledge-based, productive economy. Key announcements such as increased allocation under Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan and setting up of 62 new Navodaya Vidyalayas over the next two years will be critical to boost quality primary education throughout the country.
Progressive initiatives to upgrade 10 public and 10 private educational institutions into world-class institutions and setting up of a Higher Education Financing Agency with an initial capital base of Rs 1,000 crore will play a catalytic role in improving ranks of Indian institutes globally. Additionally, the Budget’s proposition to set up a National Digital Depository of educational documents including college degrees, mark sheets, academic awards and certificates, will not only provide secure storage of documents but also significantly improve ease-of-access and authenticity validation for both students, institutions and employers.
I firmly believe that effective implementation of the proposed Higher Education Financing Agency, along with concerted efforts by all stakeholders including corporates, academicians and social entrepreneurs, will help actualise a Kaushal, Kushal Bharat.
Skill Development for Samarth Bharat
Rapid skill development is critical to India’s socio-economic transformation. The government’s ambitious Skill India Initiative, which aims to train 40 crore Indians by 2022, is an ideal platform for ensuring an enabling ecosystem for skill development initiatives in the country. Since its launch in 2015, the National Skill Development Mission has created an elaborate skilling ecosystem and imparted training to 76 lakh youth in India.
Further, setting up 1,500 Multi Skill Training Institutes across the country, a National Board for Skill Development Certification in partnership with the industry and academia, along with an investment of Rs 1,700 crore under the Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana, will be a game changer in fostering an entrepreneurship-led economy.
I also firmly believe that providing Entrepreneurship Education and Training across 2,200 colleges, 300 schools, 500 government ITIs and 50 vocational training centres, through Massive Open Online Courses, will act as an ideal launch pad for budding entrepreneurs from diverse socio-economic strata.
The Budget aims to incentivise job creation in the formal sector and pay the Employee Pension Scheme contribution of 8.33 per cent for all new employees enrolling in EPFO for the first three years of their employment. This initiative along with the Finance Bill 2016, which proposes to broaden and liberalise the scope of the employment generation incentive, will be critical for uplifting the educated and skilled middle class.
The finance minister has hit a home run in FY16-17 Union budget with continued focus on skills. According to UNESCO, India has made significant strides by achieving universal primary education. The next big leap for the government is clearly to focus on quality of education and harness country’s demographic dividend. Towards this the budget has taken three important initiatives.
Establish Global Champions
In a bid to support higher education institutions to compete at the global level, government will provide an enabling architecture to 10 public and 10 private institutions to help them emerge as world-class teaching and research institutions. Further, to improve infrastructure of top institutions, a Higher Education Financing Agency with an initial capital base of Rs 1,000 crore will be set up.
As the next step to the government’s Stand Up India Scheme, the Budget aims to provide entrepreneurship education and training in over 2,200 colleges, 300 schools, 500 government ITIs and 50 vocational training centres to promote entrepreneurship among the young and aspiring minds of India.
With an allocation of Rs 1,700 crore, the government will set up 1,500 multi-skill training institutes across the country under Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojna. Further, the government aims to skill one crore youth over the next three years.
The Budget’s focus on skills is a reaffirmation of the government’s commitment to making India a knowledge-based and a productive economy. It is well known that manufacturing industry requires skilled workforce to innovate, grow and become globally competitive. For a country that is seeking to increase its manufacturing prowess, continued focus on reducing the skill gap is an all-important policy imperative.
Building on the success of the National Career Service launched in 2015, which has already registered 35 million jobs seekers, the Budget’s proposal to set up 100 new model career centres by the end of 2016-17 and inter-link State Employment Exchanges with the National Career Service platform will be a transformational step towards skilling and employing India’s young workforce.
I am confident that the above blueprint will be successfully implemented as we create a globally competent and skilled force to power strategic initiatives such as Make in India, ease of doing business and socio-economic transformation of our nation.
The author is chairman, YES Bank
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