India is having now a demographic advantage with the largest pool of youth readying to enter the active workforce. Every Iyear 10 million young men and women will be ready to join the workforce for next 20 years. The demographic advantage needs to be transformed into demographic dividend. According to Goldman Sachs, India is projected to become the second largest economy in the world by the year 2050. These projections can fall short of expectations if the critical issues are not addressed by the polity, society, industry and the world. The Skill Development agenda is at the forefront for realising the vision of a New India by 2022. Under the National Skill Development Mission, since 2015, the government has been trying to coordinate with all the partners in this mission, for aligning and integrating their ideas and efforts into a common national agenda to accelerate skilling India.
For the first time since independence, India has a separate Ministry for Skill Development and a Minister of State for Skill Development for driving the mission, under the overall charge of a Cabinet Minister, independent of the Ministry of HRD. The National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) along with the Sector Skill Councils have been empowered now like never before to drive real change in attitude as well as delivery of training partners. The Skill India Mission that aims to train 500 million people by 2022 is an opportunity that can be leveraged to mould the vast human potential into super-productive workforce which can catapult India to the top of the world economic order, soon.
Professional Education and Practical Skills are the key enablers to translate the vision of a High Skilled New India, into reality. The critical issues that need to be addressed include improving the education system, creating new jobs, creating a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship, attracting foreign and domestic investment to support innovation, providing a marketing channel outlet for rural artisans and above all, an inclusive agenda for sustainable development. The skill development mission envisioned by the government is an umbrella framework for Make in India, Start up India and Digital India, to attain global edge as a skilled nation. The polytechnics and ITIs have been providing vocational training over many years in the past, with suboptimal results as either the infrastructure is inadequate or the output is not industry-ready. The other major roadblock is that many graduates being churned out every year from technical and professional institutions across the country every year remain unemployed. The Industry complains that the education and skill imparted in the technical institutions are not up to mark and therefore the graduates are still unemployable in spite of having the qualifications. The situation is ironic. On the one hand there is huge demand-supply gap of trained manpower and other hand; there is a shortage of skill-sets that is rendering many people unemployable.
However, it is also an ideal opportunity as the economy is growing and there is huge demand of skilled manpower in every field. There is an untapped potential in the medium and small industry sector that was ruined during the third phase of the Industrial Revolution which saw large industries prospering with technology affordable to few who had the economy of scale to survive. In the Industry 4.0 era, technology provides equal advantage to all. Thus it is a golden opportunity for revival of the cottage industry riding on the crest of creative differentiation and digital marketing. Finance has become accessible to neo entrepreneurs and entrepreneurial training is available in open learning mode. Not only the Government has schemes for funding training and entrepreneurial incubation, but also platforms for crowd sourcing funds and angel investment funds are easily available.
In order to provide a forum for engagement on the contentious issues as well as opportunities ahead, a National Conference on the theme “Perspectives & Approaches for Employable Skill Development in New India”has been organised by Jaipuria School of Business.
There are many pioneers who have been doing an exceptional service to the nation in skilling India. The Conference will recognise and felicitate these pioneers who have set benchmarks of commitment to train and develop the youth for building New India. Some of them will join the panel discussion to show case and share their journey with others. A special publication will be released at the conference showcasing the life and work of these pioneers.
Contributors may send their conceptual papers, research papers, working papers, work in progress and cases in any one of the following tracks:
- Track 1: Policy & Environment of Skill Development in India
- Track 2: Perspectives for Accelerating Skill Development in India
- Track 3: Key Challenges in Skill Development
- Track 4: Roadmap for High Skilled India by 2022