Skilling 150mn Indians by 2022

At the recently concluded NASSCOM Product Conclave, I moderated two panel discussions related to (a) seed/early stage funding and (b) exploring options from various agencies (and funds) affiliated with the government. In the latter panel, I had Yuvaraj Galada representing the newly formed National Skills Development Corportation (NSDC). NSDC’s charter is simple–train the Indians who are now beyond a stage to get a primary/secondary education.

A large part of Indian society has been left out of the economic development of last 20 years. Imagine the situation when informed but uneducated 300 million Indians take up cudgels and come out on the street. For the lack of education and lack of skills they would fight for the same unskilled jobs in the urban areas. This creates imbalance in the cities, leads to migration and disrupts the economics of smaller towns.

Moreover, as India tries to regain it’s position in manufacturing & development after an upward IT led growth, there is going to be a huge requirement for skilled and semi-skilled manpower to move and operate the machines. Skilling the uneducated becomes necessary. Trained manpower increases customer satisfaction at even the smallest touchpoint with service / product consumers.

NSDC’s effort is rightly timed, considering the recent UNDP Human Development Index report points out that the mean years of schooling for Indians is a paltry 4.4 years. Illiteracy and corruption are India’s Achilles’ heel. NSDC’s vision is ambitious and they have access to large corpus. They need ideas and executioners to take it forward. Let me know, if you have something going and I can connect.

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