NEW DELHI (TIP): Prime Minister Narendra Modi on July 15 launched his pet project Skill India Campaign in New Delhi on the occasion of the first ever World Youth Skills Day which included the launch of the National Skill Development Mission and unveiling of the new National Policy for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship 2015.
“Through a policy driven approach we have waged a war against poverty and we have to win this war. India’s youth is not happy simply asking for things. He or she wants to live with pride and dignity. I believe Indian youth has immense talent, they just want opportunities,” Modi said.
The Prime Minister said that each poor, underprivileged youth was a soldier in this war. “This mission is not limited to skill, we have linked entrepreneurship to it,” the prime minister said.
He said over the next decade India will have a surplus manpower of 4-5 crore and emphasised the need to provide this youthful manpower with skills and ability to tackle global challenges. Modi warned that the demographic dividend would otherwise become a challenge in itself.
“And the demographic dividend India is proud of, it’s guarantee lies with skill and trained manpower,” he said.
The Prime Minister said that while in the 20th century the IITs made a name for themselves globally, now in the 21st century ITIs (Industrial Training Institutes) should acquire global recognition for producing quality skilled manpower.
He also called for constant updating of training programmes and syllabi to ensure that the youth are exposed to the latest technology and industry environment. Linking the necessity to promote both apprenticeship and entrepreneurs, the prime minister said that it was important to predict the possibilities of the future and prepare for them today itself.
The launch of the mission assumes significance as “India currently faces a severe shortage of well-trained, skilled workers. It is estimated that only 2.3% of the workforce in India has undergone formal skill training as compared to 68% in the UK, 75% in Germany, 52% in USA, 80% in Japan and 96% in South Korea. Large sections ofthe educated workforce have little or no job skills, making them largely unemployable. Therefore, India must focus on scaling up skill training efforts to meet the demands of employers and drive economic growth”, the document on the framework of implementation of the National Mission for Skill Development said.
According to the note of implementation, more than 54 percent of the country’s population is below the age of 25 allowing it with an opportunity to provide a skilled workforce to fill the expected shortfall in the ageing developed world.
“The country’s population pyramid is expected to bulge across the 15–59 age group over the next decade. This demographic advantage is predicted to last only until 2040. India therefore has a very narrow time frame to harness its demographic dividend and to overcome its skill shortages,” the document said.