Finance Minister Shri Arun Jaitley deserves heartfelt congratulations from the entire vocational education and training (VET) community for presenting a Budget that has skill development as one of its core tenets.
The announcements in the latest Budget pertaining to providing youth with the skills to earn sustainable livelihoods – be it through jobs or self-employment – will contribute significantly to strengthening the foundation for India to emerge as the ‘Skills Capital’ of the world.
The proposed 10-fold increase in the coverage area of the Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Kendras (PMKKs) to 600 districts, the plan to establish 100 India International Skill Centres, and the launch of the Skill Acquisition and Knowledge Awareness for Livelihood Promotion programme (SANKALP) together have the potential to transform the entire Indian skills landscape.
The increase in the allocations for the National Rural Livelihood Mission and the Prime Minister’s Employment Generation Programme, as well as the decisions to launch the next phase of the ‘Skill Strengthening for Industrial Value Enhancement (STRIVE)’ initiative and employment promotion schemes in the leather and footwear industries will lend further impetus to the skills movement in the country. The more than generous expansion in the allocation for the Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship (MSDE) for the next financial year will ensure that the MSDE is on a stronger wicket to earmark funds for skill development ventures.
Last, but not the least, the doubling of the lending target of the Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana (PMMY) for 2017-18, with priority being given to the socially and economically marginalised and women, will encourage more people to start their own enterprises and thereby provide a boost to the entrepreneurial ecosystem in India.
Mr. Dinesh Sood
CEO, Orane Institute of Beauty and Wellness.