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Skill India may be expanded to include AI, IoT

Dedicated curriculum to be developed across identified sectors.

, ET Bureau|
Updated: May 26, 2019, 11.33 PM IST
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The government is seized of the fact that reskilling has to be done at a massive scale alongside skilling, the official said.
NEW DELHI: The government will soon come up with a national policy to reskill and upskill millions of youth in the country to create a workforce capable of handling emerging trends such as artificial intelligence (AI), internet of things (IoT) and machine learning.

The idea is to strengthen the government's Skill India mission through dedicated policy measures.

“Reskilling and upskilling is big on the incoming government's agenda,” a senior government official told ET. “There will be renewed focus on reskilling.” The idea is to create a workforce that can access new opportunities and to insulate it from technological shocks.

“We would like to ensure that individuals have access to economic opportunities by remaining competitive in the new world of work and that businesses have access to the talent they need for the jobs of the future,” the official added.

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The government is seized of the fact that reskilling has to be done at a massive scale alongside skilling, he said.

It has identified over half a dozen sectors in which a dedicated curriculum for reskilling will be developed based on demand from these sectors.

Some of the identified sectors could include the banking, financial services and insurance (BSFI) sector, IT/ITes (information technology enabled services), manufacturing, ecommerce, retail, logistics, healthcare and telecommunications.

“The ministry is expected to incentivise sector skill councils as well as youth to undertake reskilling,” the official said, adding a certain amount of annual allocation could be kept aside for reskilling.

The Bharatiya Janata Party's manifesto has also pointed to reskilling as a priority area for the government.

According to a Nasscom report, about 40% of India’s total workforce has to be reskilled over the next five years to cope with emerging trends such as AI, IoT, machine learning and blockchain. India's total workforce stands at nearly 500 million and of this at least 200 million would need reskilling to match industry requirements.

The first phase of the skilling initiative introduced the recognition of prior learning (RPL) programme. RPL aims to align the competencies of the unregulated workforce with the National Skills Qualification Framework.

Over 1.5 million youths have been certified under RPL from 2016 onwards and the target is to certify 4 million by 2020.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had launched the Skill India Mission in 2015 to make the country the “skill capital” of the world. The aim was to impart skills training to 400 million people by 2022 through flagship schemes such as the Pradhan Mantri Rojgar Prohatsan Yojana, the Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Grameen Kaushalya Yojana and the National Apprenticeship Promotion Scheme. However, barely 30 million youths have been imparted skill training.
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