Skill India Mission [Govt. Schemes for UPSC]

Skill India Mission is a government scheme launched in 2015. It is an umbrella scheme that has many skilling schemes and programmes under it. The chief objective is to empower the youth of the country with adequate skill sets that will enable their employment in relevant sectors and also improve productivity. Government schemes are an important part of the UPSC syllabus.

Skill India Mission – Latest Updates

  • Assam’s Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal laid the foundations for the first East India Skills University in the Darrang district, which aims to educate more than 10,000 students in 12 disciplines.

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Skill India Objectives

The chief objective of the Skill India Mission is to provide market-relevant skills training to more than 40 crore young people in the country by the year 2023.

  • The mission intends to create opportunities and space for the development of talents in Indian youth.
  • It aims to develop those sectors which have been put under skill development for the last many years, and also to recognize new sectors for skill development.

Other objectives are:

  1. Closing the gap between skill required by the industry and skills people possess for employment generation.
  2. Reducing poverty in the country.
  3. Increasing the competitiveness of Indian businesses.
  4. Ensuring that skill training imparted is relevant and of quality.
  5. Preparing Indians to take on the world manpower/resources market.
  6. Diversifying the existing skill development programmes to meet today’s challenges.
  7. Building actual competencies rather than giving people mere qualifications.
  8. Offering opportunities for lifelong learning for developing skills.
  9. Augmenting better and active engagement of social partners and building a strong public-private partnership in skill development.
  10. Mobilising adequate investments for financing skills development sustainable.

Features of Skill India

There are many features to the Skill India Mission that make it different from the previous skill development missions.

  • The focus is on improving the employability of the youth so that they get employment and also enhances entrepreneurship among them.
  • The mission offers training, guidance, and support for all traditional types of employment like weavers, cobblers, carpenters, welders, masons, blacksmiths, nurses, etc.
  • New domains will also be emphasised on such as real estate, transportation, construction, gem industry, textiles, banking, jewellery designing, tourism, and other sectors where the level of skill is inadequate.
  • Training imparted would be of international standards so that India’s youth get jobs not only in India but also abroad where there is demand.
  • An important feature is the creation of a new hallmark ‘Rural India Skill’.
  • Customised need-based programmes would be started for specific age groups in communication, life, and positive thinking skills, language skills, behavioural skills, management skills, etc.
  • The course methodology would also not be unconventional and would be innovative. It would involve games, brainstorming sessions, group discussions, case studies, and so on.

Why does India need a skills development programme?

As of a 2014 report, India’s formally skilled workforce is just 2%. Additionally, there is a huge problem of employability among the educated workforce of the country. Lack of vocational or professional skills makes it difficult for the youth to adapt to changing demands and technologies of the marketplace. The high level of unemployment is due to the failure to get jobs and also due to a lack of competency and training.

  • A study by the Skill Development Council (NSDC) indicates that there will be a need for around 12 crores of skilled manpower by 2022 across 24 key sectors.
  • Casual workers, who constitute about 90% of the labour force, are poorly skilled as they do not get adequate training. Current vocational training programmes do not meet their demands.
  • There is a problem of social acceptability when it comes to vocational education. Vocational courses are looked down upon and this needs to change.
  • Another factor that acts as an obstacle to skill development in India is the myriad labour laws. However, the government has started simplifying and codifying the labour laws. With simpler laws, practising skill development should be easier.
  • Changing technology is a big challenge and opportunity for the labour force. Employees will have to constantly upgrade their skills if they are to remain relevant in the job market.
  • There is a problem with the lack of infrastructure in the current training institutes.
  • Another problem is the poor quality of trainers available. Students trained by such trainers are not employable in the industry.
  • There is a big issue with the standardisation of skills in the country. New schemes are designed to resolve this issue by having nationwide standards that also stand up to international benchmarks.

Skilling is important because of the following factors:

  1. Demographic dividend: Most major economies of the world have an aging population. India, with a favourable demographic dividend, can grab this opportunity and serve the manpower market. But, for this adequate skilling is to be provided to up the employability. To capitalise on this, there is only a narrow demographic window, that of a few decades.
  2. The percentage of the workforce receiving skill training is only 10% in India which is very small compared to other countries – Germany (75%), Japan (80%), South Korea (96%).
  3. Sectoral mobilisation: As productivity improves in agriculture due to increased mechanisation, there will be fewer people required in the farming sector. There will thus be a shift from this sector to other secondary and tertiary activities.

Sub-schemes under Skill India

Skill India is an umbrella mission under which there are multiple schemes and programmes with specialised focus areas. The sub-schemes are as follows.

National Skill Development Mission (NSDM)

The NSDM was launched for creating convergence across various sectors and different states with respect to activities relating to skills training. The mission, apart from consolidating and coordinating skilling efforts, would also facilitate decision making across sectors to achieve quality skilling on a large scale.

For more on the National Skill Development Mission, click on the linked article.

Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY)

PMKVY is a skill certification scheme that aims to encourage the young population of the country to take up training which is industry-relevant and builds them in skill development.

The scheme contains many specialised components such as the National Skills Qualifications Framework (NSQF), Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL), Kaushal, and Rozgar Melas among others. For more on the Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY), click on the linked article.

Indian Skill Development Service

The Indian Skill Development Services (ISDS) is a new central government service that has been created especially for the training directorate of the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship. It is a Group ‘A’ service and is expected to give a big push to the government’s skilling initiatives by drastically enhancing the effectiveness and efficiency of the various schemes in this domain. The qualifying exam for this service is the Indian Engineering Service Exam conducted by the UPSC. The idea behind the ISDS is to attract young and talented people into the skill development domain and make skilling initiatives successful in the country.

National Policy for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship 2015

The chief objective of this policy is to match the challenge of skilling at scale with speed, standard (quality), and sustainability. It aims to offer an umbrella framework to all skilling activities carried out within India, to align them to common standards and connect skilling with demand centres. In addition to laying down the objectives and expected outcomes, the policy also identifies the overall institutional framework which will act as a means to achieve the expected results. 

Skill Loan Scheme

Under this scheme, loans ranging from Rs.5000 to Rs. 1.5 lakhs will be provided for those seeking to attend skill development programmes. The idea behind the scheme is to remove financial hurdles for people who want to upgrade their skills and learn new skills.

Other schemes:

The Ministry is implementing many other schemes in the skill development domain along with the above major schemes. One such important scheme is the Pradhan Mantri Yuva Udyamita Vikas Abhiyan (PM-YUVA).


  • It is a centrally-sponsored scheme related to entrepreneurship education and training.
  • Objectives:
    • The development and education of entrepreneurship to all citizens free of cost through Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) and eLearning systems.
    • The designing of assessment and certification mechanism for the same.
    • To equip institutes (schools and colleges) to help them deliver entrepreneurship educational programmes of global standards.
    • Also to focus on social entrepreneurship promotion.
    • The creation of an online web-based platform that connects entrepreneurs, investors, financial institutions, and business services such as legal, accounting, HR, and technology services.
    • The setting up of a national mentor network for budding entrepreneurs.
    • Create a network of incubators, credit agencies, business service providers, and accelerators.
    • Establishment of a National Entrepreneurship Resource and Coordination Hub to coordinate and support entrepreneurship development programmes.
    • The creation of a culture of dynamic entrepreneurship by way of branding and the media.
    • Promote entrepreneurship research and advocacy.
    • Include social entrepreneurship awareness programmes for the marginal sections like SC/ST and minority.

Apprenticeship Protsahan Yojana:

This scheme revamps the Apprenticeship Act, 1961 to make the legal framework conducive to both the industry as well as young people.

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Skill India Mission – Indian Polity:- Download PDF Here

Related Links
Polity Notes for UPSC Polity MCQs
NCERT Notes for UPSC PIB Summary
UPSC Current Affairs Make in India


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