National Skills Qualifications Framework (NSQF)

The Government of India introduced the National Skills Qualifications Framework (NSQF) in 2013. The NSQF is responsible for organising the qualifications through a series of levels of data, knowledge, aptitude and skills. This topic comes under the section of Indian Polity in the General Studies paper 2 of the UPSC Syllabus. 

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The levels designed by the NSQF can be determined based on the learning and knowledge outcomes possessed by the student/apprentice. According to the NSQF, the student must possess these skills irrespective of whether they were procured through non-formal, formal or informal learning.

The Directorate General of Training (DGT) to ensure standardization of training and learning across all programs has aligned its courses with National Skills Qualifications Framework, a competency-based framework. The aim is to create a standardized skilled workforce with a high degree of horizontal and vertical mobility.

  1. The Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship has launched an instruction trainer manual for imparting NSQF aligned training.
  2. A tripartite MoU has also been signed between DGT, National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) and Adobe India on skill development.

What is NSQF?

The NSQF is a quality assurance framework. It is a nationally integrated education and competency-based skill framework that will provide for multiple pathways, horizontal as well as vertical, both within vocational education and vocational training, and among vocational education, vocational training, general education and technical education, thus linking one level of learning to another higher level.

National Skills Qualifications Framework – Provisions

The NSQF linkage of different levels allows the students to acquire desired levels of competency, job market transitions and allow further acquisitions of added skills to further enhance their competencies with suitable time. The NSQF will also provide the following:

  1. International Equivalency: This will be achieved by providing national policies for identifying skill proficiency and competencies at different levels.
  2. NSQF will also provide facilities for multiple entry and exit between skill training, vocational education, job markets, general and technical education.
  3. Provisions of progressive pathways which are within the framework of the skill qualifications.
  4. Provide opportunities that encourage lifelong training and education as well as skill development. 
  5. Tie-ups with the industries and markets to understand the job market requirements.
  6. Creating a mechanism that is credible, transparent and accountable for the skill development over multiple sectors.
  7. Providing better potential that recognises early learning.

National Skills Qualifications Framework – Objectives

  1. Accommodation of the diversity found in the Education and Training Systems of the country.
  2. Allowing the development of a set of qualifications for every level which are accepted all over the nation.
  3. Providing a structure for the maintenance and development of all the progressive pathways. These pathways allow access to qualifications and support people to move effortlessly between different sectors of training and education as well as between these sectors and the labour market.
  4. Giving individuals options to progress through training and education as well as helping them gain recognition for their previous experiences and learnings.
  5. Enhancing and supporting the international and national mobility of people with qualifications that are compliant with NSQF through enhanced recognition of the value and comparability of Indian qualifications.

Problems Faced By National Skills Qualification Framework

  1. Non-Alignment between the Ministry of Skill Development that is responsible for providing non-university and non-school related vocational courses and the Ministry of Human Resource Development which is responsible for school and university level vocational courses.
  2. Lack of clear definition of the course curriculum within National Skills Qualification Framework that enables upward mobility like the general academic education.
  3. Lack of connection between the tertiary level vocational courses to that of practical experience and real knowledge of theory in a vocational field.

Way forward with National Skills Qualification Framework

  1. There is a need for more holistic training and to re-examine the short-term NSQF based NSDC courses.
  2. Skills in broader occupational groups shall be included by NSDC so that the trainees are skilled enough to compete at the international level.

Aspirants preparing for the upcoming UPSC exams shall check the relevant links for their preparation-

Skill India Mission: Objectives, Features National Skill Development Mission Objectives Green Skill Development Programme
PMKVY – Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana SANKALP Scheme Government Schemes

National Skills Qualifications Framework (NSQF):- Download PDF Here

The above details would help candidates prepare for UPSC 2023.

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