Sunday, November 16, 2014

Skill Development for Make In India

“Make in India” is an international marketing campaigning slogan coined by the Prime Minister of India.  With the aim to facilitate investment, foster innovation, enhance skill development and protect intellectual property, the campaign aims to build a best in class infrastructure to make india a global manufacturing hub.

Post release,  this campaign has been hitting social media circles popularity charts with different discussions centered around “make in india” campaign. A quick search in social media websites for “make in india” will reveal the popularity of this campaign. When I did a quick search in twitter I got around 12627 records after scanning around 10,000 tweets using  NodeXL tool. Below figures are Network graphs of twitter search for string "Make in India" and two tweets are highlighted.

But the biggest challenges that manufacturing industry faces today in India is skill development. The days of cheap Chinese goods are just beginning. Most Chinese products are legally or illegally entering Indian market and giving tough completion to the Indian producers. Though some have issues with quality, the Chinese entrepreneurs are improving. Xiaomi is a best example of a Chinese product that has founds it foothold in Indian market without any brick and motor store. Go to any corner of Indian market in rural or urban area, you will find retailers talking about Chinese goods. 
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In the backdrop of such heavy competition, it is important that Indian manufacturing sector works on improving the skills of manpower to meet the competitive forces of free economic market. As per a government estimate, Manufacturing has the potential to add 9 crore jobs in the next ten years. However this can only be attained if India focuses on skill improvement and ease of doing business.
Initiatives must be taken for skill development to warrant that skilled manpower is available for manufacturing. The manufacturing sector cannot develop on its own without skilled labor force. The creation of suitable skill would absolutely set rural immigrants and the urban poor on a track towards comprehensive development. This would be a vibrant step for improving manufacturing.

Skill growth and charting of skills to trades is an significant striving that must be followed. Some associations such as Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) has taken many initiatives in this area and trained many workers with specific skills across sectors by embracing Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs) and developing skill repositories. Besides, the New Ministry for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship has initiated the process of revising the National Policy on Skill Development. Some of the achievable Targets for the manufacturing sector highlighted by the government through national manufacturing policy are as follows:
1.       An surge in manufacturing sector progress to 12-14% per annum over the medium term.

2.       An surge in the stake of manufacturing in the country’s Gross Domestic Product from 16% to 25% by 2022.

3.       To create 100 million supplementary jobs by 2022 in manufacturing sector.

4.       Establishment of appropriate skill sets among rural migrants and the urban poor for comprehensive growth.

5.       An upsurge in internal value accumulation and technical depth in manufacturing.

6.       Enhancing the worldwide attractiveness of the Indian manufacturing sector.

7.       Ensuring sustainability of development, predominantly with regard to nationwide manufacturing.

Despite having a promising demographic contour, labor and skill scarcity continues to be one of the key worries for the Indian industry. Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) assessments state that only about 2% of India's labor force has undertaken some kind of job-related training, signifying a enormous demand-supply gap of skilled workforce. Besides  20% of Indian youth are presently jobless, signifying the disheartened state of the labor market.

Till now the government was worried about the rich and poor gap. But If skill building is not addressed then the gap between skilled and non-skilled will increase leading to more social problems. Skill development initiatives that are need of the hour (also stated in the National Skill Development Policy, released in 2009) can be given as follows:
1.       Growing ability and proficiency of present Education/Training system to ensure rightful admission to all.

2.       Encouraging life-long education, upholding superiority and significance, according to changing obligations mainly of developing knowledge economy.

3.       Producing operational union between school education, different skill improvement efforts of government and between government and Private Sector initiative.

4.       Capacity constructing of institutions for design, quality assurance and participation of stakeholders.

5.       Creating institutional machinery for research growth, quality declaration, examinations & certification, memberships and certification.

6.       Increasing contribution of stakeholders, rallying adequate investment for financing skill development, attaining sustainability by firming physical and intellectual resources.

As new initiatives are being launched and new terms such as First develop india (FDI) are being developed, the government has its task clear that without the support of citizens nothing can be successful. Once Empowered and skilled citizen gets a job, it will increase consumption demand thereby indirectly help other industries.  Hence there is a huge opportunity in making in India for corporates. But continuously upgrade of skills is important to keep the momentum of the growth and at the same time provide a stable and efficient platform for “Make in india”.