The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved two new World Bank supported schemes of Rs. 6,655 crore – Skills Acquisition and Knowledge Awareness for Livelihood Promotion (SANKALP) and Skill Strengthening for Industrial Value Enhancement (STRIVE). SANKALP is Rs 4,455 crore Centrally sponsored scheme including Rs. 3,300 crore loan support from World Bank whereas STRIVE is a Rs. 2,200 crore – central sector scheme, with half of the scheme outlay as World bank loan assistance. SANKALP and STRIVE are outcome focused schemes marking a shift in government’s implementation strategy in vocational education and training from inputs to results.
There has been a long felt need for a national architecture for promoting convergence, ensuring effective governance and regulation of skill training and catalysing industry efforts in vocational training space. The two schemes shall address this need by setting up national bodies for accreditation & certification which shall regulate accreditation and certification in both long and short-term Vocational Education and Training (VET). The architecture shall help, for the first time in the history of vocational education in India, to converge the efforts of various central, state and private sector institutions thereby avoiding duplication of activities and bringing about uniformity in vocational training thus, creating a better impact.
Both the schemes are aimed at institutional reforms and improving quality & market relevance of skill development training programs in long and short-term VET. In past, many government schemes such as Vocational Training Improvement Project (VTIP) have focussed on strengthening ITIs and over 1600 ITIs have already been modernized under the schemes.
STRIVE scheme shall incentivize ITIs to improve overall performance including apprenticeship by involving SMEs, business association and industry clusters. The schemes aim to develop a robust mechanism for delivering quality skill development training by strengthening institutions such as State Skill Development Missions (SSDMs), National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC), Sector Skill Councils (SSCs), ITIs and National Skill Development Agency (NSDA) etc. The schemes shall support universalization of National Skills Qualification Framework (NSQF) including National Quality Assurance Framework (NQAF) across the skill development schemes of central and state governments thus ensuring standardization in skill delivery, content and training output.
The schemes shall provide the required impetus to the National Skill Development Mission, 2015 and its various sub-missions. The schemes are aligned to flagship Government of India programs such as Make in India and Swachhta Abhiyan and aim at developing a globally competitive workforce for domestic and overseas requirements. To this end, over 700 industry led institutions are being set up for providing job oriented skill training to lakhs of aspirants.
An innovative challenge fund model has been employed to select and support proposals to set up such institutions in identified sectors and geographies. 66+ India International stalling institutions are being promoted to focus upon skill training as per global standards for overseas placements. Over 30,000 aspirants shall be trained in IISCs and get certificates from International Awarding Bodies (lABs). Upgrading 500 ITIs, as model ITIs across India and improving their industry connect, is also envisaged by ushering in reforms such as on-line examination, centralised admission, improving efficiency and transparency in the system.
National Policy of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship 2015 highlighted the need for quality assurance measures such as building a pool quality trainers and assessors. SANKALP envisages setting up of Trainers and Assessors academies with self-sustainable models. Over 50 such academies are to be set up in priority sectors. DOT, MSDE has already made significant progress in this direction by setting up a number of Institutes for Training of Trainers (IToT) in public and private sector, offering training in over 35 trades. The schemes shall leverage such institutions for training the trainers in both long & short term VET thereby bringing about convergence. Additional trainer academies shall be set up on the basis of identified sectoral and geographical gaps.
Greater decentralization in skill planning will be ensured by institutional strengthening at the State level which includes setting up of State Skill Development Missions (SSDMs) and allowing states to come up with District and State level Skill Development Plans (DSDP/SSDP) and design skill training interventions to suit the local needs. SANKALP aims at enhancement of inclusion of marginalized communities including women. Scheduled Castes (SCs), Schedule Tribes (STs) and Persons with Disabilities (PWD) to provide skill training opportunities to the underprivileged and marginalised section of the society.
The schemes will develop a skilling ecosystem that will support the country’s rise in the Ease of Doing Business index by a steady supply of skilled workforce to the industry. The schemes will also work towards increasing the aspirational value of skill development programs by increasing the marketability of skills, through better industry connect and quality assurance.