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Skill development programmes currently run by various ministries should be handed over to the Skill Development Ministry with a sanctioned budget of Rs 25,000 crore, industry chamber Assocham suggested in a report on Sunday.
"Despite establishment of a dedicated ministry, many skill development schemes still remain with respective ministries with Union Skill Development and Entrepreneurship Ministry merely being the coordinator," noted the joint study by Assocham and Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS).
"The Union Government should take core elements of skill development from various ministries and pool them under single minister with a budget of about Rs 25,000 crore," Assocham said in a statement here citing the joint report titled "Skills development in India-An overview".
The government established a separate ministry for skill development in August 2015.
"There is an urgent need to realign the skill ecosystem in the country to ensure quality, scalability and sustainability as it is estimated that only 2.3 per cent of the workforce in India has undergone formal skills training, as compared to 52 per cent in the US, 68 per cent in the UK, 75 per cent in Germany, 80 per cent in Japan and 96 per cent in South Korea," the statement said.
"The country is facing a paradoxical situation where on the one hand young men and women with higher education entering the labour market are looking for jobs and, on the other hand, industries are complaining of the unavailability of appropriately skilled manpower," it added.
The report has noted the serious challenges being faced by the Vocational Education and Training (VET) system in India in coping with the demand and supply mismatch in skilled labour.
It is estimated that by 2022, there would be an incremental demand in India for 10 crore skilled labour, while one crore youth entering the labour force would need to be skilled per annum.
As against this demand, the available skill capacity in India can only cater for 25 lakh people.
In this connection, Union Skill Development and Entrepreneurship Minister Rajiv Pratap Rudy said earlier this week that manual work has not been an aspirational quality in India and education has been biased against skills
"Sadly, our policy has always been to put the students who didn't perform well at school, or dropouts, into the ITIs... and they are not given matriculation or higher secondary certificates," he said at a media briefing here.
"So, we have ended up creating a system which has 18 lakh seats for engineering students, but of which 8 lakh are lying vacant, without any takers," he added.
He also announced that in a move to boost vocational education in the country and dispel its stigmatisation, the government plans to set up a central board of certification for Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs) that would grant school finishing certificates, equivalent to Class 10 and 12.
The ITIs are to come up as Central Board of Secondary Education and Indian School Certificate Examinations schools.
"There has been a complete reform of ITIs' structures, curriculum, syllabi, assessments," he said.
Designed to facilitate mobility between the vocational and the formal education systems, the move will also help students undertaking courses in ITIs to pursue regular courses in other schools and colleges.