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India Needs To Upgrade The Conventional Education Framework

Together with pragmatic strategies and initiatives, India has the potential of becoming the "Skill Capital of the World" with the youngest workforce across the globe

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Skill India campaign launch

"Today the world focuses on trade in goods but in future the core issue will be how to get skilled people. We need to work in this direction" - Prime Minister Narendra Modi

India is embarking on the journey of achieving progress in the living standard of people, transforming into a diverse, internationally-competitive economy. PM Modi's precocious vision only highlights the fact that Skill Development is one of the essential ingredients for a country's future economic growth, and is going to be the defining element in India's growth story.

India is not new to Vocational Education and Skill Training. There are many centers and training organizations that work to enrich the lives of youth and provide skill training in sectors such as Automotive, Constructions, Travel & Tourism, Garment, etc., turning them into employable individuals.However, there still exists a gap between the high count of unemployed unskilled youth and incapacities of existing formal training centers, that we need to address.

Utilizing the dominant resource of unskilled labour should be a high priority at the moment as a skilled Indian workforce will not only aid the motives of "Make in India", but the surplus skilled labours will be able to coincide with labour shortage across the globe. Thus, racing for 'Skill India' is the much needed leap for Indian and overseas job market.

The Need to Focus on Skill Training

India's demographic dividend is promising; every third person in Indian cities today is a youth, which by 2020 will make India's median age as 29. The demographic dividend can be seen as a boon to the country's economic growth.

Together with pragmatic strategies and initiatives, India has the potential of becoming the "Skill Capital of the World" with the youngest workforce across the globe. This is a big cue for vocational training centres and skill development institutes across the country to upgrade their existing educational framework and provide educational courses that measure up to the global standards as well.

Government Initiative
The first meeting of the Governing Council of the National Skill Development Mission (NSDM) was recently conducted under the Chairmanship of Hon'ble Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Hon'ble Minister of State for Skill Development & Entrepreneurship Shri Rajiv Pratap Rudy, where it was announced that skill training was to be scaled up to cover at least 1.5 crore people during 2016-2017.

In addition to this, the capacity of ITIs (Industrial Training Institutes) will be enhanced over the next one year from 18.5 lakhs to 25 lakhs, adding over 5000 new ITIs to the existing count. The decision to set up 500 Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Kendras (Prime Minister Skill Centres) across the country is expected to give a major boost to quality skill development. These Centres will solely be dedicated to provide free-of-cost skill training to the aspiring youth, aiming to accomplish the 1.5 crore beneficiary target.

Moreover, 50 Overseas Employment Skill Training Centres are to be launched as part of a formal plan to provide the Indian manforce to provide industry-specific skills and training in the upcoming sectors for overseas job prospects.

Developing Employable Youth and Entrepreneurs
In today's time having a skill and then earning a livelihood is the way of life. Training institutes need to provide skills that are applicable with the current job scenario to produce employable, self-employed and even entrepreneurs.

A great momentum is building up with the recent announcement to increase the scale for skill training. This is a major breakthrough which is expected to create an enormous ripple effect in the Industry. This transformational change in India's vocational training eco-system is expected to give a major boost to the country's youth by improving their future prospects both in the Indian and the overseas market.

Prior to this, Indian youths were trained in only few traditional skills. Students now, will have the luxury to choose among a wider choice of career options in upcoming fields, that includes Aerospace; Sports, Physical Education, Fitness & Leisure; Chemical & Petrochemical Industry; Handcrafts & Carpets; Furniture & Fittings; Hydrocarbon Industry; Power Sector; Skill Industry, Green Jobs and Mining. Thus, through these upgraded vocational training we can empowering the youth with the knowledge and skill to build their careers,improve their standard of living and simultaneously participate in the growth of Indian' economy.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.

Ajay Chhangani

The author is Co-founder, Director and CEO of Rise India - an education and training group

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