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Skill Development Interventions: Flippant Participation and Lofty Statistical Claim

Source: Ministry of Rural Development (MoRD)  
As the Modi Government completed its fourth year on 26th May 2018, all political parties kick-started to woo the potential partners for the General Election 2019. After a landslide electoral victory in May 2014, Narendra Modi came into the power while exploiting aspiration of youth in India. In this backdrop, BJP is expanding and deepening its roots in various states with help from a set of tactics.
During the election campaign in 2014, Modi underlined the importance of skill development and articulated that how an apparent skill gap is posing a severe challenge. When he assumed the office, a new ministry for skill development was created in November 2014 to spur skill development interventions in India. In order to reduce the policy ambivalence, the government dismantled, merged and created new institutions. One of them was Institute of Industrial Training (ITI). Since its inception, ITI was an indispensable part of the Ministry of Labour & Employment. In 2015, ITI became part of the new ministry namely the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MSDE). Since November 2014, the Government has changed two union ministers and dismantled the target of skill development by 2022. The MSDE came up with the National Policy for Skill Development & Entrepreneurship 2015. The Government claims that it’s India’s first integrated National Policy for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship.

The Policy acknowledges the need for an effective roadmap for the promotion of entrepreneurship as the key to a successful skills strategy. The previous National Policy on Skill Development was formulated by the Ministry of Labour and Employment in 2009 and provided for a review after five years to align the policy framework with emerging national and international trends. The Vision of the Policy is “to create an ecosystem of empowerment by Skilling on a large Scale at Speed with high Standards and to promote a culture of innovation based entrepreneurship which can generate wealth and employment so as to ensure Sustainable livelihoods for all citizens in the country”.

Source: MyGov’s Twitter Handle

In this backdrop, Impact News is assessing the skill development initiative of the Ministry of Rural Development which is known as Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Grameen Kaushalya Yojana and the modus operandi of DDU-GKY. As the government claims, DDU-GKY is the demand-driven placement-linked skill training initiative. It focuses on rural poor youth between 15 and 35 years of age, with the purpose to create income diversity in poor families and help rural youth realise their career aspirations.

Rationale and Approach of DDU-GKY:

On 25th September 2014, the Ministry of Rural Development (MoRD) launched the DDU-GKY. According to the official document, DDU-GKY is a part of the National Rural Livelihood Mission (NRLM), tasked with the dual objectives of adding diversity to the incomes of rural poor families and cater to the career aspirations of rural youth.

The National Policy for Skill Development & Entrepreneurship 2015 has identified a skills gap of 109.73 million in 24 key sectors by the year 2022. As the scheme document indicated, various stakeholders come together to provide the best possible training and gainful employment for a candidate. It is combined with industry partnerships and partnerships with employers. The DDU-GKY skilling ecosystem consists several stakeholders. These are the MoRD as the National Mission Management Unit (NMMU or NU), State Missions, Project Implementing agencies or training partners and Technical Support Agencies.

Source: DDUGKY’s  Document

As the document articulated, “Curriculum support is through National Council for Vocational Training (NCVT) and the Sector Skill Councils (SSC) of National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC).” Under the DDU-GKY Scheme, if you are between 15 and 35 years of age, and have the commitment and discipline to work hard and change your life, you are welcome. Anyone who has completed even a little bit of schooling is welcome.

According to the Ministry of Rural Development (MoRD), till March 2018, DDUGKY was having 759 Training Centres run by 346 Training Agencies (PIAs) who trained 573622+ and placed 354628+ candidates. As the Ministry stated, target till 2019 is 10, 00, 000. If you’ll visit villages of Northern India, you can witness a sheer absence of the industry linkages. Though, the governments, policymakers, experts, and economists love to talk about the data and figures. Increasing usages of the glossy digital templates make such claims more attractive which is inspired by the phenomenon of packaging. As a noted Hindi Poet Adam Gondvi lamented over the government’s statistical claims:
तुम्हारी फाइलों में गाँव का मौसम गुलाबी है, मगर ये आंकड़े झूठे हैं ये दावा किताबी है l
(Your official files paint a rosy picture of the village, Though such statistical claims are a farce and bookish )

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