Thursday, 23 January 2014

National Skill Development Scheme

National Skill Development Scheme was announced by the Union Finance Minister in his Budget Speech of 2013. The scheme titled ‘National Skill Certification & Monetary Reward Scheme’ encourages skill development for youth by providing monetary reward for successful completion of approved training programs. The scheme is to be implemented by the National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) through Public-Private and Public-Public partnerships.

 The objectives of the scheme were delineated by the Union Finance Minister ShriP. Chidambaram when he announced the scheme at a function held recently in VigyanBhawan, New Delhi. He said “A large number of youth must be motivated to voluntarily join skill development programmes. I propose to ask the National Skill Development Corporation to set the curriculum and standards for training courses. At the end of the training, the candidate will be required to take a test conducted by authorized certification bodies. Upon passing the test, the candidate will be given a certificate as well as a monetary reward of an average of 10,000 per candidate. Skill-trained youth will give an enormous boost to employability and productivity. On the assumption that ten lakh youth can be motivated, I propose to set apart Rs.1, 000 crore for this ambitious scheme. I hope that this will be the trigger to extend skill development to all the youth of the country.”
Specifically, the Scheme aims to:
·        Encourage standardization in the certification process and initiate a process of creating a registry of skills;
·        Increase productivity of the existing workforce and align the training and certification to the needs of the country; and
·        Provide Monetary Awards for Skill Certification to boost employability and productivity of youth by incentivizing them for skill trainings.

Key Features of the Scheme
 The Scheme will provide monetary reward on successful completion of, market-driven skill training to approximately ten lakh (10, 00,000) youth in a span of one year from the date of implementation of the scheme. All trainings will be specifically oriented for developing skills in specific growth sectors. Assessing and training bodies for all purposes of the Scheme will be separate and no overlap of roles will be allowed to maintain transparency and objectivity. The monetary reward will be wholly funded by the Ministry of Finance, Government of India. Appropriate consideration will be provided to the economically backward sections.”

Eligible Sectors and Job Roles
 While the Scheme is intended to cover all job roles in all sectors, it will initially cover only a limited number of high-market-demand Job Roles in specified economic sectors from Levels I to IV in the NVEQF/NSQF.

            National Occupational Standards (NOS) and Quality Packs (QP) for these roles will be prepared by the respective Sector Skill Councils (SSCs), and will constitute 80% of the entry-level workforce in priority sectors.

Training Content and Eligible Providers
 In order to ensure that the benefit is extended only to the trainees taking courses which are aligned to NOSs and QPs for eligible Sectors and Job Roles, a select list of training institutions to offer these courses will be approved for the purposes of this Scheme.

            All institutions, government or private (who, during the last two years, have been selected by any State Government or any Ministry of the Government of India to implement any Government funded or sponsored Scheme),  or are NSDC partners, shall be deemed to be part of the approved list of training providers under this Scheme. All such deemed approved training providers will need to get each training course they propose to offer, aligned to NOS and QPs of various eligible job roles corresponding to Levels 1 to 4 as designed by SSCs.

            Those training providers, who have no prior affiliation with any government institution or NSDC, will go through a pre-screening process of the SSCs according to an Affiliation Protocol prepared by NSDC/SSC. The list of all the training providers in the skill development space that are NSDC partners shall be available on the NSDC website i.e.  in addition to theQPs, NOS, Approved Sectors and Job Roles.

            Training programs will be for a minimum of 30 days duration. It will be ensured that assessments are planned by SSCs only after completion of the training. The duration of training may also include on the job training, Internships etc. if required.

The NSDC provides services for the following sectors in India:
·        Automobile / Auto components
·        Electronics hardware
·        Textiles and garments
·        Leather and leather goods
·        Chemicals and pharmaceuticals
·        Gems and jewellery
·        Building and construction
·        Food processing
·        Handlooms and handicrafts
·        Building hardware and home furnishings
·        IT or software
·        ITES-BPO
·        Tourism, hospitality and travel
·        Transportation/ logistics/ warehousing and packaging
·        Organised retail
·        Real estate
·        Media, entertainment, broadcasting, content creation, animation
·        Healthcare
·        Banking/ insurance and finance
·        Education/ skill development
·        Unorganised sector
Assessment and Certification
 No entity that is engaged in providing training under this Scheme shall be eligible to be approved as an assessment and certification agency. All assessment agencies will be pre-screened and approved by the SSCs and their details updated on the Skill Development Management System (SDMS).

            Initially a select set of assessment agencies with national presence and having demonstrated ability to assess the eligible training content w.r.t. NOS and QPs, will be selected by SSCs. Later the Scheme would be made open to all eligible assessment agencies. In due course, any institution or body offering assessment services can apply to work with specific SSCs, for designated NOS and QPs for eligible sectors and job roles. All assessments will conform to assessment guidelines laid down by the concerned SSC for each QP.

            Assessment Fees charged to candidates by the assessment agencies for each assessment will be capped as follows:-
i.                     Courses aligned to shop floor job roles in manufacturing – maximum Rs. 1,500
ii.                   All other Courses – maximum Rs. 1,000

Eligible Beneficiaries
 In line with the objectives stated above, this Scheme is applicable to any candidate of Indian nationality who:

Undergoes skill development training in an eligible sector by an eligible training provider as defined above;Is certified during the span of one year from the date of launch of the scheme by approved assessment agencies as defined above; and.Is availing of this monetary award for the first and only time during the operation of this Scheme. The scheme is currently meant only for candidates availing themselves of skill development training from eligible providers.

Monetary Rewards
 The banking network will be used for direct transfer of the funds to the candidates/training provider. The reward corpus will be placed with a nodal bank in each District in consultation with the Indian Bank Association. Monetary Reward for certification is as follows:

            Each category would have pre-defined number of awards. Once the number for a particular category gets exhausted, only proposals for the remaining categories would be entertained. In order to enable the financially disadvantaged to use the award money to fund a part of the training cost, the training providers will allow candidates to pay part of the course fee (minimum 25% of the prescribed fee) and the balance will be paid to the training provider from the monetary award whenever the candidate is eligible for its receipt.

Evaluation and Monitoring
 Skill Development Management System will have the central repository of data which can be utilized by various stake holders to monitor this Scheme.All agencies like SSCs, training institutions, assessment agencies etc. will have access to SDMS to maintain a central, repository of training data. Independent evaluation of the Scheme will be done by the NSDA based on agreed criteria with NSDC.

Process for Availing the Benefits of the Scheme
  The candidate can enrol in any course from the list of registered courses in specified high demand sectors. The candidate can pursue the course with any of the approved training providers.The candidate needs to intimate the training providers that he/she intends to participate in the Scheme.

            Candidates from economically disadvantaged sections will be allowed to pay initial fees equal to the difference between the training cost and the reward money they are eligible for. In such cases the candidate can authorize payment of the reward money to be directly transferred to the training provider after the candidate successfully passes the assessment.After completion of the training, the candidate may get assessed by any of the approved assessment agencies as specified above.

            The assessment agency, in association with SSCs, will award a secure certificate with a QR bar code for successful completion and assessment of a course through the SDMS. The certificate will be electronically verified using a CAM device and linked toUnique Identity Number (UID)/ National Population Register (NPR) number of the candidate
Grievance Redressal
 A complaints/grievance cell for this Scheme would be set-up which shall include representatives of the SSCs, the NSDC and the NSDA. The first level of redress would be the Governing Council of the relevant SSC and a second level would be the NSDA.

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