Friday, March 1, 2024

The Skill Boondoggle: More Money Down The Drain

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Somebody somewhere came up with the theory that manufacturing in India is not picking up because we lack the skills. It caught the fancy of our ruling elite, especially the current PM. And therefore now we have a Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship. The ministry is ready with a new “scheme” that would ensure that we become skilled, and therefore the manufacturing in India would pick up.

In reality, manufacturing in India is not picking up because as soon as you try to set up a factory in India, about 50 government departments rush to stop you. If you bribe them all and finally succeed in setting it up, NGT may come and shut it down, in addition to jailing you. Or Income Tax department may come up with a retrospective tax demand that would break you. Or Labour mafia may take fancy to your factory and cause labour problem leading to its closure.

Leftists never fail to come up with more Leftist schemes to solve problems caused by the Leftist schemes.

If India wants to be a manufacturing super power, and which it must be, it must immediately separate economy and state, dismantle the regulation regime. Make government policies simple and fixed over time, so that people are able to predict government behaviour and make investment plans accordingly.

“Skill training courses from Class IX onward in at least 25 per cent of all schools in the country over the next four years and national universities for skill development — these are the key priorities of the proposed national policy on skill development and entrepreneurship, in line with the government’s efforts to integrate vocational training with formal education.

“One of the major challenges faced in the country today is the public perception that views skilling to be the last resort, meant for those who have not been able to progress in the formal academic system,” says the draft policy that aims “to meet the challenge of skilling at scale with speed, standard (quality) and sustainability.”

The policy also focuses on imparting vocational training to school dropouts and enhancing the social status of such workers.

With just 2.3 per cent of the country’s workforce having formal skill training, the vision of a Skilled India was one of the key pre-poll promises of the BJP, and is also in sync with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Make in India campaign. The government has set itself a target of skilling nearly 12 crore workers by 2022 to meet manpower demands in 24 key sectors.

All vocational training courses would be aligned to the National Skills Qualification Framework by 2018, while polytechnics and community colleges would also provide a Bachelor’s degree in vocational studies. This would ensure common standards in courses run across the country.

Further, the government would also provide scholarships and skill vouchers to help students pay their fees.”(from the news item in IE)

Read the news item here.

(Read The Great Indian Education Loot, a definitive article on the state of Indian education, by Anang Pal Malik, here.

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