Budgeting for education and skills

Published: March 7, 2016 12:01 AM

There is considerable hype about the 4.9% increase in education budget as well as additional allocation of Rs 1,800 crore for skill development, Rs 1,700 crore for 1,500 multi-skill development centres, 62 new Navodaya Vidyalayas, etc.

There is considerable hype about the 4.9% increase in education budget as well as additional allocation of Rs 1,800 crore for skill development, Rs 1,700 crore for 1,500 multi-skill development centres, 62 new Navodaya Vidyalayas, etc. But how will these schemes make a difference to the youth? Let’s put them in the three buckets of matching, repair and prepare.

Matching

The Model Career Centre (MCC) can change India’s employment landscape. A new avatar of erstwhile employment exchanges, MCC would provide an end-to-end solution to job seekers. The MCC ecosystem will start with registration, followed by career counselling, assessment, skill training, and then employment. The value-add brought in by implementing the process at MCC will help the youth get the right job at the right time. On the other hand, industry would be able to seek skilled, certified and assessed candidates to hire.

Repair

Multi-skill development centres, Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana to skill one crore youth over three years and Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Grameen Kaushalya Yojana will enhance the capacity of education, skill development.

Prepare

The finance minister said that entrepreneurship education and training will be provided in 2,200 colleges, 300 schools, 500 ITIs and 50 vocational training centres through massive open online courses. This would open gates for many students and job seekers to become entrepreneurs of the future.

Apart from these initiatives, there is considerable focus on job creation.

Focus on hands-on skills will create skilled labour and support Make-in-India. We have to enhance efforts in the areas of on-the-job learning, learning while doing, earning while learning and apprenticeships to provide the right skill and exposure to our youth.

The 100% tax exemption for start-ups would aid in job creation. Start-ups will require skilled manpower in newer areas, so it is imperative to understand future needs of our industries and prepare the youth accordingly.

The smart city focus will create varied employment opportunities in newer geographies, thus increasing the distribution of employment.

The Rs 500 crore allotment for women entrepreneurs will further increase skilled manpower requirement.

There was also an announcement on the National Board for Skill Development Certification. This framework, once rolled out, would be a great signalling value for the youth as well as industry. We need a standard learning framework like the National Skills Qualification Framework to link a student’s education, skilling and apprenticeship under one umbrella and provide them with continuous credits. It will properly highlight a job seeker’s skills and capabilities. While the Budget has its heart in place for education and skill development, what we now need is effective implementation.

By Neeti Sharma, the author is senior vice-president, TeamLease Services Ltd

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