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India Skills Report 2018

  • Category
  • Published
    29th Nov, 2018

India Skills report 2019 is released which highlights trends in employment and the outlook of hiring landscape in India while understanding the needs of the job seeker and organizations.



  • India Skills report 2019 is released which highlights trends in employment and the outlook of hiring landscape in India while understanding the needs of the job seeker and organizations.


In India and other developing nations, youth unemployment and skills gaps are threatening the growth of economies, the stability of societies and the wellbeing and prospects of individuals. Despite improvements in average educational attainment, the youth unemployment situation is common to all nations in the world. Governments and employers all around are working to improve the employability of workers, move young people into productive and decent work, and increase the productivity of enterprises through better quality and relevant training.

  • India’s demographic dividend is widely one of the biggest economic assets, with more than 54% of its total population below 25 years of age and 62% in the working age group of 15-59 years.
  • To fully realise the potential of this asset, it is essential that the youth force is equipped with education and contemporary skills and training.
  • The Ministry of skill development and entrepreneurship is aiming to skill 400 million young Indians by 2022
  • When compared to the percentage of formally skilled work force globally, India scores the least at 2% against South Korea (96%), Japan (80%), Germany (75%), UK (68%) and China (40%).
  • Past editions of Economic Survey of India too have recognized above problems and stated India is facing a dual challenge of developing skills and utilizing them in a proper way.


  • The first India skills report was released in 2014.
  • India Skills Report 2018 is a joint initiative of Wheebox, a global talent assessment company; PeopleStrong, an HR tech company; and the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).
  • The report is backed by information from renowned organisations like United Nations Development Programme, All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE), Association of Indian Universities(AIU) and various state governments. 
  • The report studies the talent demand and supply in the country, by providing a clear understanding of the requirement of skilled manpower in the various industries.

Key findings of the report

  • The report mentions a rise in employability, reaching 47% this year, an increase of 15 percentage points over past 5 years.
  • Andhra Pradesh tops the chart in most employable workforce followed by Rajasthan and Haryana.
  • Discipline wise rise in employability:
    • Engineering graduates is 63.11 per cent as against last year's 42.08 per cent;
    • MBA and polytechnic graduates stands low at 47.18 per cent and 45.90 per cent, but has shown a small improvement against last year's levels (MBA 44.90 per cent; polytechnic 33.85 per cent).
  • Among cities for the highest number of hiring, Bengaluru topping the chart followed by Chennai and Guntur.


Government steps in the direction of skilling India:

  • Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MSDE): It was set up in 2014 to coordinate all skill development efforts across the country.
  • National skill development mission: It was launched by Government of India in 2015 for creating convergence across various sectors and different States in terms of activities relating to skill training.
  • National Policy: Ministry of skill development and entrepreneurship formulated a National Policy on Skill Development and Entrepreneurship in 2015 to meet the challenge of skilling at scale with speed and standard (quality).
  • Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY): It is the flagship scheme of the Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship (MSDE). The objective of this Skill Certification Scheme is to enable a large number of Indian youth to take up industry-relevant skill training that will help them in securing a better livelihood.
  • State efforts: Andhra Pradesh state skill development corporation’s initiatives in providing market-driven training programmes are leading to the creation of a readily available talent pool to meet the skilled manpower needs of various sectors. It was largely responsible for success in India skills report ranking 2019. Similar other state government initiatives are Himachal Pradesh Skill Development Project, ‘Engage’ programme in Odisha along with FICCI.
  • Expert panel: In 2016, the Government of India formed the Sharada Prasad Committee to rationalise the Sector Skill Councils (SSCs), which are employer bodies mostly promoted by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry, the Confederation of Indian Industry and other industry associations, and improve ‘Skill India’.
  • Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Grameen Kaushalya Yojana (DDUGKY): Government has launched this scheme to "transform rural poor youth into an economically independent and globally relevant workforce."
  • Skills institute: State of the art center of excellence Indian Institute of Skills (IIS) are being set up across the 5 regions of India on the lines on ITE Singapore. 
  • Market oriented projects: Skills Acquisition and Knowledge Awareness for Livelihood Promotion (SANKALP) and Skills Strengthening for Industrial Value Enhancement (STRIVE) are outcome focused projects marking a shift in government’s implementation strategy in vocational education and training from inputs.
  • National Entrepreneurship Awards: In order to reorganize the entrepreneurial spirit of India’s youth and encourage more young Indians to become entrepreneurs, Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship have constituted the National Entrepreneurship Awards.
  • Foreign engagement: Moreover, Government of India has signed various memoranda of understanding related to skills and vocational trainings with Japan, Abu Dhabi, Belarus and African nations.

Failures in India’s skilling roadmap

  • As per an Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) survey, 31% of India’s youth (15-29 years) are NEETs or not in employment, education or training.
  • Of the 30.67 lakh candidates trained under PMKVY, just 2.9 lakh got jobs which highlight the lacuna in implementation and monitoring of the programme.
  • The focus of PMKVY has been largely on the short-term skill courses, resulting in low placements.
  • Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) in 2015 had exposed the irregularities and poor performance aspects of the National Skill Development Corporation.
  • The Sharada Prasad Committee, in 2017, also held the National Skill Development Corporation responsible for poor implementation of the Standard Training Assessment and Reward (STAR) programme.
  • The committee also stated that no evaluation was conducted of Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana 2015 (the first version of the scheme) to find out the outcomes of the scheme and whether it was serving the twin purpose of providing employment to youth and meeting the skill needs of the industry before launching such an ambitious scheme
  • Another reason is said to be bureaucratic red tapism which hinders linkage of skill institutions and industry.
  • The National Skills Qualifications Framework (NSQF) has been not adopted well by the private sector. Majority of the courses developed have not been deployed for training the individuals.
  • According to a 'Young India and Work' survey by the Observer Research Foundation and World Economic Forum (WEF), over 70 percent of the youths in the age group of 15 and 30 are unaware of government-run skill development programs.

Way forward

  • Interlacing education and skill sector: The curriculum and education system offered should be revamped. According to industry sources, close to 90% of trainees have limited understanding of the business sectors they are entering.
  • Changing perception towards skilling: Skill training should be viewed as a complementary part of mainstream education, rather than being regarded as an alternative.
  • Solutions-based approach: Instructors must employ case studies and present relevant problems, this would provide students with a holistic education, allowing them to compete at both the national and international levels.
  • Private partnership: Facebook is planning to train 5 million rural youth in digital skills in coming 3 years through initiatives like BoostYourBusiness and SheMeansBusiness. Other private companies too should follow this suit.
  • Reforming NSDC: National Skill Development Corporation needs an overhaul where its financial functions and core objectives need to be separated.
  • Skills upgrading and re-evaluation: Skilling is not a onetime exercise, reskilling and revising according to advancing technology and needs of market should become an important agenda.

India’ s demographic dividend provides a great opportunity with regard to economic growth and national development. Solid and co-ordinated efforts by industry and government should be fostered to develop and strengthen youth aspirations. At a time when growing presence of automation and artificial intelligence is already looming over the labour market, students, trainees and workers should be realigned with evolving technology and latest developments. International best practices should be adopted by the government and industry alike from successful players like South Korea and Japan. Moreover, the skill development ecosystem and educational institutions must be restructured for India to realize the opportunity. The success of India’s ambitious programmes for leaping to higher economic advancement levels like Make in India, Digital India and broader goal of inclusive development depend on successfully skilling and training the individuals.

Learning Aid

Practice question:

The recently released ‘India Skills Report 2019’ shows stark realities of skills and employment scenario in India. In this context, enumerate the reasons behind India’s lagging performance in skilling the youth and suggest measures to overcome it.


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