“Skill development will be the backbone of Atmnirbhar Bharat and Garib Kalyan Rozgar Abhiyaan”: Dr Mahendra Nath Pandey

Union skills minister,  Dr. Mahendra Nath Pandey, today said that skilling, up-skilling and re-skilling of the India’s workforce will play a crucial role in the success of the Government’s vision of Atmnirbhar Bharat and the recently launched Garib Kalyan Rozgar Abhiyaan.He said that if required the government would give permission to run PMKVY centres and ITIs (Industrial Training Institutes) in 2-3 shifts in order to follow guidelines of social and physical distancing.

Signaling that Government is looking expeditiously  at  the next phase of Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY) which will have increased focus on demand driven skill development, digital technology and skills pertaining to Industry 4.0, the minister said under the current flagship skill training scheme (PMKVY 2016-2020) that is about to conclude has so far trained close to 73 lakh youth in the country.

Addressing an ASSOCHAM webinar ‘Skill Development Post Covid-19, , Dr Pandey added, “We need to focus on employment in current scenario and that’s why we will be focusing upon demand-based skilling in the next phase of PMKVY, where we have added certain aspects like – strengthening district skill committees and connecting with local employment offices. District Commissioner and State Skill Development Missions (SSDMs) will also have a crucial role to play and will be connected to the industry bodies so that we can bridge the demand supply gap and impart relevant trainings to the migrant labour who have returned to their home state.”  

He also urged industry to expand their operations from big cities to small districts and villages and invest in upskilling and re-skilling the youth across rural India which would help make a giant leap towards the success of the Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyaan,“We invite private sector people to come forward and impart training and focus on being vocal for local product and services empowering youth to drive local economic growth.”

Talking about the various plans of the Skill Development and Entrepreneurship Minister, Dr Mahendra Nath Pandey said, “We are also working on Skill Management Information System, which will bring the entire skill ecosystem on a common web portal and work as an aggregator for demand and supply of skilled workforce.”

He further informed, “We plan to further simplify the apprenticeship which is the on-the-job model of skill training so that industries do not hesitate in absorbing apprentices and they do so enthusiastically. We shall invite suggestions from the industry on that, our proposal is going ahead with whatever discussions we took in past in this regard.”

The Minister also said that his Ministry is working closely with other central ministries and state governments on compiling data of skilled persons across the country which would be made available at a single click. “The database of skilled youth in the country will also the registered data of people who have come in from overseas as a part of reverse migration. NSDC, the implementation arm of MSDE, has come up with an effective application called Swades’ whereby both Ministry of External Affairs and Ministry of Civil Aviation are also cooperating in collating this information and segregating the workforce basis their skills, so that they can later be connected with opportunities of employment within the country and add to their personal and nation’s overall growth.”

He stated that about 20,800 people have connected through the Swades app already. “In future, we plan to use their skill on a bigger scale and also seek help of industry bodies in utilizing their skills and promote them as trainers as we go ahead.”

Among others who addressed the webinar included –Divya Jain, co-chair, ASSOCHAM National Council on Skill Development, Dr Darlie Koshy, director general, Apparel Training & Design Centre; N.K. Mohapatra, CEO, Electronic Sector Skill Council and Pawan Agrawal, MD & CEO, Smartskills Bits & Bytes (P) Ltd.