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Higher Education Review ›› Magazine ›› December-2017 ›› Special issue

Boon, Not Burden: How Skill Development Initiatives Are Transforming India's Massive Manpower into an Impressive Workforce

Author : Siddharth Chaturvedi, Director, AISECT

Siddharth Chaturvedi

Siddharth Chaturvedi ,Director AISECT

Despite being blessed with one of the largest youth populations in the world, our country is struggling to channelize this strength in the right direction to ensure economic growth and an overall development of the nation. We have set up a large number of higher education institutions and are constantly trying to increase the number and quality of these. But as we grow swiftly to become the world's youngest nation by 2022, how do we use this huge reservoir of employable youth to our country's advantage? The answer lies in developing their competencies and skills so that they are fit for the diverse market needs.

The Need for Skills

The Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MSDE) has been created to put special emphasis on skill development of the country's present and aspiring workforce. Critics of skill development policy claim that it is a slow and uncertain process for achieving the target Human Development Index; but they must understand that there is a visible gap in our very basic jobs infrastructure in terms of jobs that are vacant and the workforce that is available to fill in these vacancies.

There are numerous positions that are left unoccupied in our private-owned industries due to an absence of rightly skilled candidates.


There are numerous positions that are left unoccupied in our private-owned industries due to an absence of rightly skilled candidates. Youth, under the absence of awareness, would pop-up at interviews with just their regular degrees; get rejected and blame inability for their rejection. This gap is especially critical in rural and semi-urban areas, which are the last to absorb latest trends in the market. These clusters hold the majority of our youth, who need to be communicated about the exact demands of industry, and be prepared accordingly.

The Role of Right Kind of Education

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