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Employment, Skilling and Rural Youth

  • Categories
    Yojana/Kurukshetra
  • Published
    27th Mar, 2021

A host of policy reforms, and expansion of agri business opportunities have brought in a rapid transformation in the agriculture and allied sector due to the introduction of several applications in the domain of crop science and with the use of innovative technologies. The Government of India also launched ambitious programmes for agri infrastructure, credit, market reforms, minimum basic income, and risk management, which are expected to improve profitability of farming and farm ventures.

The employment opportunities for rural youth:

  • Agricultural marketing is expected to attract more investments with the introduction of landmark reforms, reduce the market unpredictability and improve price realisation.
  • Precision farming has created a demand for services of skilled professionals in farm machinery, greenhouse farming, pesticide and fertiliser application, micro-irrigation and solar energy.
  • Organic farming has generated renewed interest worldwide and in India, organic products are growing between 25 and 30 percent, annually.
  • A raft of smart technology applications based on AI, Big Data, Internet of Things have enabled farmer-entrepreneurs to make smart decisions, adopt better farm management.
  • Market reforms age, would create additional demand for highly skilled professions associated with forward trading, risk analysis, commodity management, etc.

Challenges for rural youth employment:

  • Despite the good literacy figures, a fraction of the population (especially the rural parts) lacks awareness about existing employment opportunities existing in the country. Young populations, irrespective of their location, whether rural or urban, are an asset for a country.
  • Literacy figures may provide a good picture of rising education amongst the masses, but the labour market is highly skill oriented. Those who have a good academic record and have all the desired skills, enter high paying jobs, while those with a poor economic background cannot avail the basic education.
  • In the year 2020 the employment scenario was worst hit due to the unexpected arrival of the COVID-19 or coronavirus pandemic that has grasped the entire world until now.
  • One such bottleneck affecting the employment of individuals in the rural region had been the lack of skills possessed by the fraction of rural population. The government schemes along with corporate initiatives have played an immensely important role in removing these bottlenecks, but still there is a long way to go.
  • As mentioned, a larger fraction of the youth labour force resides in the rural areas, and most of the
  • A person with poor health reflects as a non-productive human capital. So any employing entity requires a productive human capital which adds on to their organisation as an asset rather than a liability.
  • With advancement in technology, the labour market requires individuals who can update themselves with new age technology, and those who failed to acquire such skills are forced to move out of the system. Thus, even after training, all such beneficiaries under the scheme should be motivated to upgrade their skills with time.

Central Government Organisations and missions for youth employment:

  • Foundation of the National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) in 2008
  • The launching of Skill India Mission in 2015.
  • Agriculture Skill Council of India (ASCI)
  • For designing the course curriculum, content, assessment and certification of skill programmes the National Skill Qualification Framework (NSQF) was made.

Central Government Schemes for youth employment:

It was observed that the main challenges of skill development among the youth are the high cost of vocational training, less flexibility and mobility associated with vocational education.

Name of The Scheme

Silent Features

The National Skill Development Mission (NSDM)

The NSDM aims to consolidate efforts of skill training and development across sectors and states and help sectors expedite steps to achieve various skilling efforts at scale at a fast pace.

DeenDayalUpadhyayaGrameenKaushalyaYojana (DDU-GKY)

DDU-GKY is a part of the National Rural Livelihood Mission (NRLM), tasked with the dual objectives of adding diversity to the incomes of rural poor families and cater to the career aspirations of rural youth.

National Rural Livelihoods Mission (DAY-NRLM)

This is the Mission for poverty reduction. Skill development through the Rural Self Employment and Training Institutes (RSETIs), enables trainees to take bank credit and start his/her own Micro-enterprise.

Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs)

ITIs particularly those in rural areas, work on stronger collaborations with industry partners so that ITI students can get hands-on industry exposure while undergoing training in the institutes.

Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY)

It is the flagship scheme of the Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship (MSDE) implemented by National Skill Development Corporation. 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. Individuals with prior learning experience or skills will also be assessed and certified under Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL).

District Skill Committees

They can organise Information, Education and Communication activities for creating awareness and for problem solving. They can come up with innovative methods for providing access to skill and for making skills relevant to the needs of the local population and realise their aspirations.

AtmaNirbhar Skilled Employee Employer Mapping (ASEEM)

Al-based digital platform to bridge the demand-supply gap of skilled workforce across sectors. The platform integrates candidate data coming to the Skill India portal from various State and Central Skilling Schemes, the database of labour migrants including those who returned to India under and aims to connect job seekers with relevant livelihood opportunities in their local communities especially in the post-COVID-19 situation.

Neighbourhood Youth Parliament

Organised by Nehru Yuva Kendra Sangathan for encouraging debates and discussions among youths

Aajeevika under National Rural Livelihood Mission (NRLM)

Aided in part through investment support by the World Bank, the Mission aims at creating efficient and effective institutional platforms of the rural poor, enabling them to increase household income through sustainable livelihood enhancements and improved access to financial services.

Barefoot Technician Programme under Mahatma Gandhi National Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA)

To make new employment opportunities at the part of  MGNREGA scheme.

GOAL programme

The Ministry of Tribal Affairs in collaboration with Facebook has introduced mentorship to tribal youth through digital mode.

UDAAN

Udaan program is focused on youth of J&K who are graduate, post graduate or three year diploma engineers. The aim is to provide skills and job opportunities to the youth.

The National Skill Certification and Monetary Reward (STAR scheme)

It has been launched for encouraging skill development: among the youth by providing monetary rewards for successful completion of approved training programmes.

Advanced Vocational Training Scheme (AVTS)

 The aim of the scheme is to upgrade and update the skills of serving industrial workers, this was launched in 1977.

State Government Schemes for youth employment:

Apart from the Central schemes, States run their own forward-looking and aspirational skill development schemes that are NSQF-aligned and linked to employed creation. Some such schemes in which ASCI is involved in curriculum design, assessment, and certification are:

  • Utkarsh Bangla scheme of West Bengal,
  • Placement Linked Skill Training Programme of Assam,
  • SURYA scheme of Haryana,
  • Employment Linked Skill Training Programme of Rajasthan,
  • Entrepreneurship and Employment Linked Skill Training Programme of Uttarakhand,
  • Skill training Programmes under APSSDC, UPSDM, and BSDM.

Skill Courses in Schools and Colleges:

The New Education Policy 2020 as cleared by the Union Cabinet has proposed to make VET as an integral part of school and higher education in a phased manner. This is a historic form that has the potential to address the long-standing issues of integrating vocational and academic education, ensure mobility, and make skill programmes aspirational. SamagraShikshaAbhiyaan of the Ministry of Human Resources and Development (MHRD). Till now there are 1527 schools across 22 States, which run agriculture courses assessed and certified courses.

Skill-based programmes can also be taken as part of the higher education system under the University Grants Commission (UGC). The opportunities for doing a certificate, diploma, B.VOC.or M.VOC courses has expanded considerably. In these flexible credit-based skilling programmes there is also scope for multiple entries and exit enabling the candidates to enter job markets at the end of a course and re-join skilling programme at a higher level to upgrade skill competencies. At present, there are 130 UGC affiliated colleges where NSQF aligned skill-based training courses in agriculture are being run.

Apprenticeships

The National Apprenticeship Promotion Scheme (NAPS) has significantly improved the scope, access, and effectiveness of the apprenticeship programme. Apprentices are now eligible for a monthly stipend of Rs. 5,000-9,000 depending on educational qualification and experience. There are a wide range of opportunities provided by agri-input companies, agri-logistics, warehouses, pack houses and commodity management; crop insurance, organised retail, and technology-intensive modern farms, which requires skilled labour to manage their activities.

Involvement of Industry

Industry participation in the skill ecosystem is critical for bridging the skill gaps, in-service and apprenticeship training, training of trainers, and absorption of trained candidates. Certificates under Skill India Mission carry a greater weight and wider acceptability as all the agriculture modules have been approved by professional bodies and largest industry players. Certified skilled candidates have also been able to secure international placements.

Support for Entrepreneurs

Important strides have been made in capacity building and empowerment of farmers through Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) in collaboration with State Governments, autonomous bodies, and industry leaders-

  • Maharashtra Agri Skilling Programmes (2.5 lakh farmers in group farming),
  • Kerala Agro-industries Corporation (40 thousand in solanaceous crops, coconut, and gardening),
  • National Fisheries Development Board (12 thousand in fisheries),
  • Spices Board (20 thousand in organic farming and vermicompost),

Tea Board (20 thousand tea growers),

  • Assam Skill Development Mission (20 thousand in sericulture, tea, bamboo plantation),
  • Patanjali Bio Research Private limited (80 thousand in group farming and organic cultivation), etc.

Conclusion:

Agriculture is truly the backbone of India's economy, reverberating with a new dynamism and excitement. The sector is poised for a big leap forward towards a sustainable future. India's skill ecosystem has geared up to be an effective tool to harness the power and enthusiasm of youth who are at the forefront of this transformation and ASCI is committed to upgrade their skills by building necessary infrastructure, tools and the right capabilities.

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