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Dilip Chenoy, Managing Director & CEO of the National Skill Development Corporation, shares his views and vision about the skill development initiative in the country.
What can we expect from the National Skill Development Policy to be announced soon?
If you look at the contours of the National Skill Development Policy, one of the key tenets of the policy is going to be how do you match demand and supply. And we need to understand that it´s a policy in the making, NSDC is not privy to the policy. But if you look at the discussions we have been having is that how do you match supply and demand, how do you ensure and can make skills aspirational and how do you look at taking the positive points of the previous policy and adding on different things. So from the discussions that have been happening in the system, the policy itself has been called for review after five years. So that review is taking place. So what are the learnings we gained, what are the best practices, what is the tweaking we need to do and how do you actually match demand with supply and how do you improve the advocacy and aspirational value going forward? A lot of events have overtaken the policy. You have the NSQF in the policy, you have the rationalisation coming in; so you might find something of that. But that is yet to be decided and the interesting thing is that the draft policy will be put in for public discussion and public comments.
How much of a push will this review of the policy give to the entire programme on skill development?
The most significant thing to happen in the skills space is the creation of a ministry, which means that at the highest political level there is a significant attention to skills entirely. So we have a full department now and the government has committed a significant amount of resources, time and attention to the skill development area. The PM himself has taken a review and you´re seeing a whole series of consultations going on between the Ministry and the Minister. The Minister has met the sector skills council, training organizations; he has had an open house with the stakeholders and he is going to continue to do it in different parts of the country. This whole engagement is very significant and with one singular purpose-how do we scale with speed and with standards. So this is the dramatic change that you will see and are seeing as we speak.
What are your expectations from the Budget?
We hope that whatever proposals the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship has are accepted by the Ministry of Finance and executed.
By 2022, the Indian infrastructure sector is likely to have a shortage of around 3 million project professionals including project managers, civil engineers, planners, surveyors, safety professionals, etc. The government too realises the urgency of meeting this skill dearth. Most of the project managers in the infrastructure sector lack requisite managerial skills, while the highly qualified ones are shifting to sectors like Information Technology (IT), finance and others. In the Twelfth Five-Year Plan, the government has plans to focus on improving the project management skills across the country to get better returns from public investment in infrastructure and also in the social sectors. The new government has managed to garner global support to further strengthen its skill development initiative, with Germany being the latest to help the country in this initiative. There is also a need to enhance the quality of vocational education and training as per the demands of the infrastructure sector. With a proposed National Skill Development Policy, the industry and sector is hoping to close the ever increasing gap.
- GARIMA PANT