The flagship Skill India scheme had aimed to train 1 crore Indians by 2020 but is unlikely to meet that target.
NEW DELHI―The government is unlikely to meet its ambitious target of training one crore Indian youth by 2020 through a flagship scheme in the Skill India initiative, show written replies given by the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship to several MPs last month.
The Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY), which aims to enable the youth to take up industry-relevant skills training for securing their livelihoods, had aimed to achieve its target in the four years to 2020, but as of 24 January 2019, less than 40 lakh people had been trained and even lesser landed jobs under the scheme.
“Under PMKVY 2016-20, as on 24.01.2019, 37.32 lakh (appx.) candidates have been trained under Short Term Training (25.25 lakh), Recognition of Prior Learning (11.27 lakh) and Special Projects (0.8 lakh) in the country,” wrote Anantkumar Hegde, Minister Of State for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, in his response to Rajya Sabha MP Binoy Viswam’s questions about the scheme’s implementation.
Hegde and his senior ministerial colleague Dharmendra Pradhan mentioned these figures in their written replies last month to ‘unstarred questions’ asked by MPs from various parties in parliament, including the ruling BJP.
The Modi government has been been facing tough questions over its track record on employment generation, especially after a leaked National Sample Survey Office (NSSO) survey revealed in January that unemployment rate stood at a whopping 45-year high of 6.1% in 2017-18.
A closer look at Hegde’s reply, dated 13 February 2019, will give critics of the government more ammunition.
For, the junior minister also revealed that, as compared to the number of those who received skills training, substantially much less number of people found jobs. Hegde wrote that, as on January 24, 2019, “10.64 lakh candidates have been placed in various sectors across the country.”
When HuffPost India reached out to Hegde for comment, he replied that he will speak after the election.