Inter-ministerial cooperation for skill development

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New Delhi — After the emphasis on Digital India, the country is now seeing Union Ministries coming together to give shape to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of a “Skilled India”.

In a strategic tie up to scale up skill development and entrepreneurship initiatives in the country, Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MSDE) here today joined hands with the Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers (MCF). The two Ministries entered into strategic partnership where three Memorandum of Understanding were signed with the three departments under the Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers – Department of Chemicals and Petrochemicals (DoC&P), Department of Fertilizers (DoF) and Department of Pharmaceuticals (DoP).

The MoUs were signed in the presence of Minister for Chemicals and Fertilizers Ananth Kumar and Minister of State for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (Independent Charge) and Parliamentary Affairs Rajiv Pratap Rudy.

The MoUs were signed with an understanding to collectively address the incremental human resource requirement in the petrochemicals, fertilisers and pharmaceutical industries. The MSDE will implement this partnership through Directorate General of Training (DGT)[i] and National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC)[ii].

According to NSDC’s Incremental Human Resource Requirement Report, the current workforce of 1.86 million (2013), in pharmaceutical industry alone, is expected to increase 3.5 million by 2022. There is a big requirement of trained and efficient manpower when it comes to production and quality control and R&D in the industry.

As part of the agreement, MSDE will set standards and quality assurance process to facilitate implementation of any of the projects agreed under the MoU. It will also ensure identification of relevant Job Roles and National Occupational Standards, which will be aligned with National Skills Qualification Framework levels as per the demand for the three industries. This will ensure standardized training delivery through ITIs/ATIs/RVTIs and selected NSDC training partners for the industry.

MSDE will also ensure assessment and certification conducted by NCVT or NSDC approved relevant Sector Skill Council and will also provide pathways to the existing and retired employees of PSUs to work as Assessor or Trainer, through relevant courses by ATIs/RVTIs and NSDC Training partners.

All the three departments under Ministry of Chemicals & Fertilizers will dovetail the budget under existing/new schemes for implementation of all the initiatives agreed under the MoU, this would also include advocacy and marketing, training, certification and setting up of Project Management Unit if required.

The departments will also facilitate the identification and optimal utilization of existing training infrastructure and maximising apprenticeship training in PSUs in coordination with DGT, as permitted under the amended Apprenticeship Act.

According to the agreement, the three departments will also mandate PSUs and related contractors to hire certified workforce based on job roles aligned to NSQF, putting in policy for incentivizing skill training and certification under NSQF in recruitment process and certification of RPL (Recognition of Prior Learning) of skilled/semi-skilled people. PSUs will also be mandated to utilize their CSR funds for skilling purposes and will be encouraged to set up Centre(s) of Excellence in collaboration with DGT or NSDC for skill training in the core and allied sectors.

[i][i] DGT looks after the whole ecosystem of Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs), Advanced Training Institutes (ATIs), Regional Vocational Training Institutes (RVTIs) and Apprenticeship, under an overarching framework of National Council of Vocational Training, which looks after the curriculum, assessment and certifications, for trainees, trainers and assessors.

[ii] NSDC catalyses creation of large, quality, for–profit vocational institutions, and enables support systems such as quality assurance, information systems and train the trainer academies either directly or through partnerships. NSDC has been mandated by Government of India to promote Sector Skill Councils in high growth and priority sectors, to formulate the National Occupational Standards for different job roles, set up certification standards and norms, conduct labour market studies etc.