Skills and knowledge are the driving forces of economic growth and social development of a country. In rapidly growing economies like India with a vast and ever-increasing population, the problem is two-fold. On one hand, there is a severe paucity of highly-trained, quality labour, while on the other; large sections of the population possess little or no job skills.
As the Indian economy continues to transform and mature, large scale sectoral shifts in the working population are inevitable, particularly from agriculture to other sectors of the economy. These sectors, however, require significantly different and often specialist skill sets, which require training and skill development. This skill gap needs to be addressed through comprehensive efforts, at various levels and catering to different needs of the society and industry.
However, if India is to fully harness her demographic dividend, these skill development efforts need to be managed in a focussed and coordinated manner. Currently, skill development efforts are spread across approximately 20 separate ministries, 35 State Governments and Union Territories and the private sector. With this as a primary objective, the Office of the Advisor to the Prime Minister on PM’s National Council on Skill Development has been set up with the mandate to:
- Develop a strategy for skill development at the national level, along with variations at the state level.
- Map the gaps in the area of skill development and develop strategies to address the skill deficit.
- Identify new areas for employability and promote skill development in such sectors.
- Advise on remodeling of existing skill development programmes run by various ministries.
- Promote greater use of Information Communications Technology in the area of skill development.
- Develop and implement an action plan for skill development to maximize job generation within the country and create human resources for global needs.
- Provide guidance through the Prime Minister’s National Council on Skill Development for activities to be undertaken by the Centre and the States and by the National Skill Development Corporation.