Govt's aim to skill 10 million youth by 2020 falling 64% short of target

The Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MSDE), created in 2014, was allocated Rs 3,400 crore (Budget Estimates) in the 2018-19 Budget, nearly 55% more than the previous year but short of what it had expected  

The 2018-19 allocation represented a “drastic cut” by the Ministry of Finance against the Rs 7,696.54 crore requested by the MSDE, due to underutilisation of funds allocated to it in previous years, revealed a parliamentary committee report in March 2018. 

The committee warned that the budgetary cut would “adversely affect various schemes” implemented by the ministry. The MSDE found only passing reference in the interim Budget (2019-20).

In November 2018, the government’s aim to skill 10 million youth under the Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY, or Prime Minister’s Skill Development programme) by 2020 was found to be 64 per cent short of meeting the target. Just over 3.6 million people had been enrolled in the PMKVY by November 30, the government data showed. Among these, 3.39 million had received training and 2.6 million had received certification after training — 66% and 74% short of the target, respectively.

There is a direct link between India’s underskilled workforce and high unemployment rates. Unemployment has been a key challenge for the National Democratic Alliance government. The unemployment rate for people aged 15 years and above in India was 3.4% in 2013-14, which saw a further increase to 3.7% in 2015-16, according to a government reply to the Lok Sabha on July 23 last year.

The unemployment rate rose to a four-year high (3.9%) in 2016-17, Business Standard  reported on January 11,  citing the labour bureau’s sixth annual employment-unemployment survey. It also reported on January 31 that unemployment rose to a 45-year high of 6.1 per cent in 2017-18.
Post 2016-17, the government has not released  employment data. But, about 4.75 million people are added to the labour force in India every year, the labour bureau data analysis over a period of four years from 2012 showed. Thus, over 20 million will have joined the workforce during the planned course of the PMKVY — double the numbers targeted by the programme. And the skill development programme is unable to meet the challenge.

Source: Indiaspend, Analysis: Aditi Phadnis

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