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National policy on skill development on the anvil
Jul '08
A National Skill Development policy is on the anvil and would be posed for approval very soon. The Policy aims at empowering all individuals through improved skills, knowledge and internationally recognized qualifications to enable them access to decent employment and to promote inclusive national growth. This was disclosed by the Union Minister for Labour and Employment, Shri Oscar Fernandes here at the meeting of the Parliamentary Consultative Committee attached to his Ministry.

Unveiling the main features of the proposed policy to the Members, Shri Fernandes said that it addresses the issues related to demand and supply, equity and access to ensure that skill development is inclusive in terms of gender, social divide (SC/ST/OBC/Minorities and others), the location-divide (rural-urban), economic divide, difficult regions such as borders areas, hill areas etc.

The Minister also revealed that the policy document also encourages public private partnership to ensure that the needs of the industry are met in an effective and time-bound manner. He said that the Policy reflects the importance of meeting the twin objectives of the 11th Plan: achieving faster and more inclusive growth.

The Minister said that while the Policy Document envisages the use of existing institutional mechanisms, in view of the importance given to skill development, the National Council on Skill Development, which was recently notified is chaired by the PM himself. National Skill Development Coordination Board (under Planning Commission) and a National Skill Development Corporation (under Ministry of Finance) have also been set up, the Labour Minister informed the Members.

The Members were informed that the new policy aims at supporting broader national agendas such as employment generation, economic growth and social development. The Minister said that the Policy also aims at continuous upgrading of

the skills and knowledge besides promoting lifelong learning. The Policy responds to technological changes taking place in the national and international arena, employment requirements and improvements in productivity and competitiveness of industry and service, he added.

The Members were also informed that the capacity of the national skills development system would be expanded very substantially as a national mission. It would be expanded immediately to 15 million during the 11th Plan and raised to 50 million by the end of the 12th Plan. For undertaking this massive expansion in capacity, besides current established approaches, innovative delivery models would be explored such as public private partnership, decentralized delivery, distance learning, and computerized vocational training etc.

Giving their suggestions, the Members emphasized that skill development training should focus more on the needs of the domestic industry. Provision for training to the contract labour was also suggested. Some Members suggested separate skill development centers of girls and women in rural areas which may have special facilities for widows and disabled women.

The Secretary (Labour & Employment) Smt. Sudha Pillai was also present on the occasion and clarified several issues relating to the proposed policy.

The Members who attended the Meeting are : S/Shri Dawa Narbula, Bapu Hari Chaure, P. Rajendran, Gurudas Dasgupta, Bhai Lal, Narayan Singh Kesari, Balihari Babu, Mohammed Amin.

Press Information Bureau Government of India

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