Manufacturing jobs will increase: Secretary, Ministry of Skills Development

The links between education and industry continue to be weak as the country needs around 187 million new jobs. Perspectives Ashutosh Bhardwaj spoke to the Secretary of the Ministry of Skills Development and Entrepreneurship Rajesh Aggarwal on the social issues of the implementation of vocational streams, female unemployment and the Ministry’s plans for Agniveers. Edited excerpts…

One of the first steps of the Modi government was to set up this ministry in 2014. How was his journey?

A few thousand years ago, Indian students received education and various skills simultaneously. We were very good at things like metallurgy. We maintained this position until industrialization took place in Europe and we started to lag behind. Indian manufacturing fell systematically during British rule. In the 1950s, the country deliberately decided that we needed engineers (IIT) and technicians (ITI) because we were focused on manufacturing. The situation changed in the 1990s with the IT and banking boom. The government created the National Skill Development Corporation in 2008 to focus on other sectors. In 2014-15, we had some 12,000 to 13,000 ITIs, not to mention that different sectors had their own skills development mechanism. The ministry of know-how was created in 2015 to federate these scattered attempts. The ITI component of this ministry originated from the Ministry of Labour, the NSDC was transferred from the Ministry of Finance. So far, we are trying to ensure the convergence of the different schemes. We see an increase in manufacturing jobs over the next five years.

Make In India was supposed to provide jobs for 100 million people in the manufacturing sector by 2022. But the latest economic study says that of the total labor added in 2019-2020, 71% went to manufacturing. agriculture. Are we witnessing a return to agriculture?

We see manufacturing jobs going up. There are more apprenticeships in manufacturing jobs now. Many jobs are added in the automotive sector. Vehicle production increased. There is a recovery in the steel sector. Our ministry deals with 3-4 types of programs. One is ITI. About 14 to 15 lakh students clean it every year. About 40 percent opt ​​for formal jobs, 40 percent choose freelance jobs, such as welding, plumbing and air conditioning, and 20 percent opt ​​for higher education. Also, 4-5 lakh students and even middle-aged people are joining Jan Shikshan Sansthan, which are informal skill centers located near urban slums or in rural areas. Here, 85% of the participants are women, either teenagers or married women aged 35 to 40. If a 40-year-old woman earns Rs 4,000 from home, it can be extremely liberating for her. Significantly, 10-15% of them are rapidly growing their business or even hiring staff.

Who are the cooks around the world? Women. But you find male chefs in five star hotels. In sewing and tailoring, the masterjis are men, even for women’s clothing. One of the goals was for schools to integrate skills development into formal education from grade IX onwards. It hasn’t happened yet.

This is an important question. School students need to learn practical skills. The Center spends a lot of money on Samagra Shiksha Abhiyan and offers around 30-40 courses. Unfortunately, it’s treated more like a hobby than a serious topic. The new education policy attempts to operationalize it. If students in class X or XI want to learn an electrical course, or if an art student wants to learn cooking or fashion with English and history, this should have the same respect as other subjects.

For the first time, the Minister of Education is also Minister of Skills Development. What change did it bring?

It made an incredible difference. Three secretaries – higher education, school education and skills development – and heads of several other institutions like UGC, AICTE, NCERT, CBSE, IGNOU, meet at least once a week to ensure the integration of education and skills .

The NEP emphasizes 10 bag-free days for grades VI-VIII when students are exposed to the world. They can be taken to a nearby dairy or factory, museum, jungle trail, or even a grand bazaar. Some universities now offer courses, where you can become a museum curator or tour guide, or even work in a Hero Honda workshop. The UGC framework enables the integration of competency frameworks into the curriculum. There are institutes that offer the BVoc (Bachelor of Vocation).

The wheels of progress Women learn to drive earth-moving machinery during training as part of the Skill India mission

There is social and institutional resistance to vocational training and a preference for traditional courses.

It’s a big problem in India. In the United States, a plumber and a bank employee have the same social respect. In India, an air conditioning mechanic can earn Rs 40,000 per month against a data entry operator who earns Rs 12,000, but that person will have more social respectability.
As an Akola collector 25 years ago, I visited an agricultural university and found a visiting Israeli professor repairing a broken down tractor, while Indian students and teachers stood around him. Why do our agricultural students think they are just doing research and not fixing the tractor?

The pandemic has made us undertake several things on our own. But did he make us respect the vocation? Prime Minister Modi has suggested making the vocation aspirational. We must ensure that professional skills are not looked down upon. He is as important to society as a scientist, a teacher or a banker.

In India, an air conditioning mechanic can earn Rs 40,000 per month against a data entry operator who earns Rs 12,000, but that person will have more respectability.

Women, Adivasis and lower castes are the first victims of unemployment.

Unfortunately, many of our professional skills were associated with caste. Caste distinctions have faded in some jobs after independence, but only people from low-income groups opt for such jobs. Some jobs are still reserved for men. Recently, 23 girls from an institute in Punjab became earth-moving vehicle drivers. But the glass ceilings are still not broken.

I joined Delhi-IIT in Computer Science in 1983. There was only one girl in my class. My daughter joined Delhi College of Engineering 27 years later in Computer Science, she was the only girl in her class. Our girls beat the boys up to class XII, but after that they mostly opt for teaching and medicine, not engineering. Who are the cooks around the world? Women. But you find male chefs in five star hotels. In sewing and tailoring, the masterjis are men, even for women’s clothing. These are glass ceilings. We have 55% girls in PMKVY and 85% girls in Jan Shikshan Sansthan, but only about 15% in ITI.

Your department’s 2015 policy document indicated that 109.73 million skilled workers would be needed across the country by 2022. What is the actual addition?

How to define skilled labor? Does this mean an official certificate? Or a BSc or BA in economics? A UN report indicates that 21% of the Indian population is now qualified. But India also has a lot of people working in the informal sector. The Indian government has trained around 6.5 million people over these years. The private sector also does a lot of qualification, which is difficult to quantify. We try to introduce projects like carpet making in the villages so that the young people stay in the villages and increase the local GDP. We have thousands of children in India working overseas in animation graphics. The special effects of Avatar 2, which will be released in December, were made in India. We are now world class in animation, and our kids are doing it from Noida and Chennai. Connection to industry is important for both education and skills. Universities, industry and government must work together to fight productivity and unemployment.

Minister Dharmendra Pradhan announced his support for the Agnipath program.

We work on several levels: training before Agniveers start their term, certification during their term and professional training after they leave. We will teach them skills before they enlist so they will enter the forces better equipped. During the four years, we will try to ensure a class XII certificate for someone who is class X and a diploma for those who were class XII. We will also undertake bridging courses for those who are about to graduate. We work with the three forces.

(This appeared in the print edition as “”Avatar 2 Special Effects Were Done in India””)

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