Readings for Mains

Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY): A skill development initiative 

Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY) is a skill development initiative scheme of the Government of India for recognition and standardisation of skills. The aim of the PMKVY to encourage aptitude towards employable skills and to increase working efficiency of probable and existing daily wage earners, by giving monetary awards and rewards and by providing quality training to them. Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY) was launched  in July 2015.  The government allocated Rs 1,500 crore (Rs 15 billion) to train 2.4 million people, including 1.4 million fresh trainees and skilling of the remaining under the Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) programme.

Training programmes have been worked out on the basis of National Occupational Standards (NOS) and qualification packs specifically developed in various sectors of skills. For this qualification plans and quality plans have been developed by various Sector Skill Councils (SSC) created with participation of Industries. National Skill Development Council (NSDC) has been made coordinating and driving agency for the same. An outlay of Rs.120 billion ($1.9 billion) has been approved by the cabinet for this project. The scheme has a target to train 1 crore Indian youth from 2016-20. As of 18 July 2016, 17.93 lakh candidates were trained out of 18 lakh who enrolled for the scheme.

Main Findings of Sharada Prasad Committee Report

According to the Sharada Prasad Committee, set up by the skill development ministry to review the performance of various sector skill councils, while the trainees were rewarded between Rs 5,000 and Rs 12,000, the government through the National Skill Development Council (NSDC) overshot its target by training 1.8 million people, and certified another 1.2 million.  The second phase or PMKVY 2.0 was launched the following year, with  a target to train 1 crore  ( 10 million) Indian youth during 2016-20 and a budget of  Rs. 12,000 crore (Rs 120 billion) by 2020. Of those 10 million, 6 million were to be provided fresh training and 4 million were to be certified for the RPL programme.  But the Sharada Prasad Committee polited out that , no evaluation was conducted of PMKVY 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. The committee added that in its consultations with various stakeholders, ‘all of them said in one voice that the targets allocated to them were very high and without regard to any sectoral requirement. Everybody was chasing numbers without providing employment to the youth or meeting sectoral industry needs.’ Data shows that the NSDC, through its partners, only managed to skill around 600,000 youth till September 1, 2017, and could place only 72,858 trained youth, exhibiting a placement rate of around 12 per cent. Under PMKYV 1, the placement rate stood at 18 per cent. Critics say the focus of PMKVY has been largely on short-term skill courses, resulting in low placements. The critics have also noted that the programme was considered as solution to all skill related problems, so it got over emphasis. Instead there is need for a holistic approach to vocational education and skill development by having a defined approach for both, short-term and long-term training courses to meet the objective of skill India programme.

National Skill Development Corporation: A  bird’s eye view

The NSDC was set up in 2008 as a limited liability company, under Section 25 of the Companies Act, 1956. The National Skill Development Corporation India (NSDC) was setup as a one of its kind, Public Private Partnership Company with the primary mandate of catalysing the skills landscape in India. NSDC is a unique model created with a well thought through underlying philosophy based on the following pillars:

  • Create:Proactively catalyse creation of large, quality vocational training institutions.
  • Fund:Reduce risk by providing patient capital. Including grants and equity.
  • Enable:the creation and sustainability of support systems required for skill development. This includes the Industry led Sector Skill Councils.

The main objectives of the NSDC are to:

  • Upgrade skills to international standards through significant industry involvement and develop necessary frameworks for standards, curriculum and quality assurance
  • Enhance, support and coordinate private sector initiatives for skill development through appropriate Public-Private Partnership (PPP) models; strive for significant operational and financial involvement from the private sector
  • Play the role of a “market-maker” by bringing financing, particularly in sectors where market mechanisms are ineffective or missing
  • Prioritize initiatives that can have a multiplier or catalytic effect as opposed to one-off impact.


NSDC operates through partnerships with multiple stakeholders in catalysing and evolving the skilling ecosystem.

  • Private Sector– Areas of partnerships include awareness building, capacity creation, loan financing, creation and operations of Sector Skill Councils, assessment leading to certification, employment generation, Corporate Social Responsibility, World Skills competitions and participation in Special Initiatives like Udaan focused on J&K.
  • International Engagement– Investments, technical assistance, transnational standards, overseas jobs and other areas.
  • Central Ministries– Participation in flagship programmes like Make in India, Swachh Bharat, Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana, Smart City, Digital India and Namami Ganga, among many others.
  • State Governments– Development of programs and schemes, alignment to NSQF and capacity building, operationalization of program, capacity building efforts among others.
  • University/School systems– Vocationalisation of education through specific training programs, evolution of credit framework, entrepreneur development, etc.
  • Non-profit organizations– Capacity building of marginalized and special groups, development of livelihood, self-employment and entrepreneurship programs.
  • Innovation– Support to early-stage social entrepreneurs working on innovative business models to address gaps in the skilling ecosystem, including programs for persons with disability.


  • Over 5.2 million students trained
  • 235 private sector partnerships for training and capacity building, each to train at least 50,000 persons over a 10-year period.
  • 38 Sector Skill Councils (SSC) approved in services, manufacturing, agriculture & allied services, and informal sectors. Sectors include 19 of 20 high priority sectors identified by the Government and 25 of the sectors under Make in India initiative.
  • 1386 Qualification Packs with 6,744 unique National Occupational Standards (NOS). These have been validated by over 1000 companies.
  • Vocational training introduced in 10 States, covering 2400+ schools, 2 Boards, benefitting over 2.5 lakh students. Curriculum based on National Occupational Standards (NOS) and SSC certification. NSDC is working with 21 universities, Community Colleges under UGC/AICTE for alignment of education and training to NSQF.
  • Designated implementation agency for the largest voucher-based skill development program, Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana.
  • Skill Development Management System (SDMS) with 1400 training partners, 28179 training centres, 16479 trainers, 20 Job portals, 77 assessment agencies and 4983 empanelled assessors. Hosting infrastructure certified by ISO 20000/27000 supported by dedicated personnel.

The main objective of the NSDC was to train 150 million people by 2022. NSDC did not succeed in realizing its targets. On November 13, 2015, the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) made a recommendation to the Union government to re-look at the design and operations of the NSDC and the National Skill Development Fund to ensure achievement of skill development goals. The CAG report was based on various irregularities and performance aspects of the NSDC. NSDC provided financial assistance to partners for meeting their agreed training targets. It was observed that in the years 2010-2011 to 2013-2014, the percentage of partners, who had not achieved training targets were 57, 77, 83 and 68, respectively. Majority of them also could not achieve the placement targets for the trained persons.’ The Sharada Prasad Committee, in a report made public on April 25, 2017, also held the NSDC responsible for poor implementation of the Standard Training Assessment and Reward programme between August 2013 and September 2014.

According to Sharada Prasad Committee report, only 8.5 per cent of the persons trained were able to get employment. That is what has been claimed by NSDC. ‘But the real ground reality will emerge only after a detailed survey of trainees trained and placed.

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