Worrisome:India: Against a target of skills based training to 8.5 million people in 2012/13, just about 1.4 million have been trained by mid-November.
Among non-agricultural wage earners, more than three-fourths had no written contract, 70 per cent were not eligible for paid leave, and 74 per cent were not covered by social security benefits. The need for training is acute: a seminal study by Boston Consulting Group, engaged by lobby group Confederation of Indian Industry in 2006/07, which is often referred to, noted some two in five in the workforce were illiterate and another 40 per cent were school dropouts.
Only about one-tenth had some vocation training, and a similar percentage had completed 12 years of schooling.
In his 2013/14 Budget speech in February, Finance Minister P. Chidambaram proposed an allocation of Rs 1,000 crore for a skill development scheme that would offer an incentive of Rs 10,000 to every individual who undergoes training. It is still unclear how this would be implemented. Chidambaram also announced a 17 per cent increase in the allocation for the human resources ministry. Industry has welcomed these announcements. Although there are some fears that plans may get bogged down by bureaucracy or corruption, there is broad agreement that the direction is right.
According to the National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC), a public-private partnership tasked with funding and directing private skilling programmes, approximately 12.8 million people will join the job market every year in the coming decade.
Despite the mounting urgency, progress towards the government's target is glacial. There is a lack of coordination between the private skill development organisations and 17 ministries who offer a multiplicity of programmes. Conflicting agendas threaten to undermine the goal. "There are turf wars between ministries whose proposals run parallel to each other," says a senior executive at a leading skill develop-ment company who does not want to be identified. "Whom do we follow, and how do we make our training acceptable by all parties in India?"
For instance, the human resources development ministry, under Kapil Sibal, has started implementing its vocational education agenda through the National Vocational Qualification Education Framework, and the ministry of labour and rural development, led byMallikarjun Kharge , has proposed a National Vocational Qualification Framework.
Ramadorai in charge
To facilitate coordination, S. Ramadorai, former CEO of software services major Tata Consultancy Services, was appointed in February 2011 as advisor to Prime Minister, for the National Council for Skill Development.