Union Minister for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship Dharmendra Pradhan urged that a comprehensive approach be adopted towards skill development in the country.
"We will have to focus on adapting ourselves to skill education along with conventional education. We would want support from all States for the same. Only skill development can change the future of the country," he said at the State Skill Development Ministers Conference held here on Friday.
In a bid to improve skill development, Pradhan said the Centre aims to ensure one Industrial Training Institute (ITI) in every block of the country by the end of 2018, and upgrade these skill institutions with market-relevant skills.
"Industrial Training Institutes played a vital role in economic development of the country, especially in terms of supplying skilled manpower to industries. We have focused extensively on modernisation of our institutes. It is our endeavour to establish at least one ITI in each block of the country by end of 2018," he said.
On the vocational training front, Pradhan said it is imperative that the central and state governments work in close coordination to ensure that relevant issues are addressed, and gaps, if any, are identified and tackled.
"Centre and State governments should work closely to ensure a paradigm shift in addressing the issues relevant to skill development and identify the gaps in skill development, so as to achieve the objectives in terms of quantity, quality, outreach, and mobility while building this largest human resource exercise that we have undertaken. The States should align themselves to reforms being done to our central initiatives like Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY), Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Kendras (PMKK), Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) and National Apprenticeship Promotion Scheme (NAPS)."
The conference witnessed the launch of new courses for ITIs for India's youth, as an endeavour to promote emerging skill areas such as Artificial Intelligence, Virtual Reality, Robotic Process Automation, Internet of Things, Robotics, Big Data Analytics, and 3D Printing, which would be in high demand globally in the coming days.
Pradhan, along with other ministers, launched a common portal under the NAPS to integrate all apprenticeship training under both designated and optional trades. The new portal will provide all stakeholders a uniform user experience with customised dashboard to respective user requirements. It will have more automated modules with minimal outside intervention.
Recognising the concurrent nature of the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MSDE), the conference marked the launch of new Affiliation Norms 2018 for ITIs is which restores the primacy of State Government in the ITIs Affiliation process.
MSDE also announced a self-grading exercise for ITIs to provide "Star Rating" to each institute, to ensure quality assessment of ITI and a healthy competition between them.
On a related note, Skill Development Ministers from Bihar, Maharashtra, Manipur, Rajasthan, Uttarakhand and other states participated in the day-long conference, which witnessed discussion between the central and the state governments on the critical need for scaling up concerted efforts to enhance skill development in India, in the context of the country's transition to a knowledge-based economy, through the creation of a professional skilled workforce.