Recent schemes of the central government like ‘Make in India’ and ‘Digital India’, coupled with annual report of RBI (2014-15) backing 7.6 GDP projection has taken the world by storm. As we usher in this revolution of development and, promise the world of India’s credibility and capability to participate as a significant contributor in catalyzing sustainable global livelihoods, an army of skilled workforce is a pre-requisite. Comprehending the same, Government of India launched the Skill India Mission on July 15, 2015 and is leaving no stones unturned to turn this dream into reality.
Skill India Mission envisions to create an ecosystem conducive to an empowered economy which promotes and houses large scale skilled workforce meeting the industry recognized standards and, which acknowledges innovation based entrepreneurship to generate wealth and employability. This daunting task calls for a change at the grass-root levels of the prevalent system to date.
The efforts of Ministry for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MSDE) supervising National Skills Development Corporation has already set the wheels rolling and as corporate sector bigwigs like PowerGrid, NTPC, Coca-Cola backed this imperative step by investing more than INR 200 crores, the process got hyper-accelerated. India with a median age of 24 years enjoys a coveted prerogative of being the nation of youths. This gives it an edge to earn a demographic dividend from the burgeoning youthful population and this if earned would mean an official declaration of India as the new world leader. But there are still miles to go and with mountains of problems, our determination is put to test.
The biggest hurdle in India’s progress has always been the rotten mindsets and the systems born out of it. This case also bears no difference. While the world is inclining itself towards advanced and skill-oriented approach to impart education, India is still obsessed with the ideologies of the past. Our education system is a C++ program that’s been coded to make students swallow and vomit the syllabi fixed by their respective institutions. It does not support innovation and creative thinking. As per the Labour Bureau Report 2014, the current size of India’s skilled workforce is a meager 2 percent. This irks the employers as the graduates do not meet the industry requirements. Amidst all this, the challenge is to shift that 86% workforce which presently works in unorganised sectors to formal economy sectors. Unless the education system changes its DNA and instills in its products the hunger to learn, the under employment caused cannot be dealt with. Technology is changing the world and innovation is the key to chase its motion. Education system with all its stakeholders need to take immediate notice of this issue. Teachers/Trainers unperturbed by gross-materialism are in great demand. As mentioned in a study by McKinsey, a pool of trainers and infrastructure is needed to engage the next 115 million youth into work. Here lies yet another big challenge.
The problems appear big and they maybe in some cases, but all of that can be overcome. Recently, the start-up culture has gained momentum. This is very promising as this indicates a paradigm shift in mindsets of Indian youth who had always played safe. Generation of enterprises followed by skill development is better than its reverse; for as time changes, so will the need of the industry. Employment followed by skill-improvement seems to be a better idea. Reinvention of human beings is what the future demands. The only appreciating asset any enterprise possesses is humans. The employers need to understand the importance of humanizing their enterprises for digitizing alone won’t serve in longer run.