The Narendra Modi government’s much-touted skilling scheme, the Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY), isn’t quite achieving the results the Centre had hoped for. According to a report in the Indian Express, data revealed that of the 30.67 lakh candidates who had been trained or were undergoing training across the country in June 2017, only 2.9 lakh had received placement offers. That’s less than a tenth.
In order to address this issue, the newspaper reported, the government is planning to move to a more district-centric approach, which it expects will provide better short-term results. According to what a senior government official told Indian Express, the Centre has realised that the PMKVY scheme is struggling because of the lack of quality training and an information asymmetry regarding the demand-supply dynamics of skilled candidates. By making things more decentralised and bringing on district collectors to ensure proper implementation, the government expects more efficient monitoring.
“PMKVY is not the answer to India’s problems. You can’t do too much about quality, location etc in the short term. We will be able to rejig much of it and make it more purposeful with a district-level action plan with good quality information. A district-level skill development action plan can be prepared in three months. It can be prepared for 100 districts in one go and the money can be handed over to the state governments and districts. Then, the government can get into MoUs and put into place monitoring mechanisms for this district-level action plan,” the official told Indian Express.
The Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, the official added, is currently looking at district-level data to study the demand-supply conditions in each district, which had not been done under the PMKVY so far. “The government should be generating data to find out that where is the requirement for say, plumbers, and where are they coming from. Then we have to research and find where are they best trained, at the origin or the destination. There are some skills where destination-skilling is superior to origin-skilling, but it depends on what wage point are people willing to migrate. For example, a plumber from Odisha will not migrate for Rs 5,000 a month but will migrate for Rs 15,000 a month. The core of the government’s focus should be this kind of work and making this data available,” the official told the newspaper.