One big push towards employment and employability was the Skill India program launched in 2015, by the Modi government.
The aim of this mission was to skill India's youth with "industry-relevant" training and help them secure a better livelihood with a target to skill over one crore people in the next three years.
CNBC-TV18 filed an RTI to find out if the Skill India mission is on track to achieve its targets. Not really, reveals data. While there has been a big push on skill development, finding jobs has been the sore point.
Watch: 4 Years of Modi Government: Has the Skill India mission been successful so far? Here is what the RTI data reveals.
There is a substantial increase in the number of people who were skilled in FY17 and FY18. It has risen more than four times times, from over 3.5 lakh people in FY17 to nearly 16 lakh people in FY18. But not every one who is getting skilled is getting placed.
In FY17 just over half of those skilled managed to find jobs and in FY18 this fell below 30%, meaning just about 3 out of every 10 person who undertook the Skill India mission in FY18 found a job. So there is a 4-fold increase in those getting trained but only a 2-fold increase in those finding jobs.
The data received through RTI has been compiled from two short term training schemes: One, Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY) 2015-16, that had some spillovers in next fiscal and another, an extension of this is the PMKVY 2016-20 where the government targets to skill 1 crore youth. It has budgeted 12,000 crore rupees for PMKVY 2.0.
Let's break this down into sectors now.
Agriculture, the largest contributor to G-D-P saw a 2-fold rise in those trained but placements were not forthcoming. Only 37% found jobs in FY18.
Labour intensive sectors like leather saw a drop in the number of people who got skilled and those who found jobs. Over 5,400 people were trained in FY17 in leather sector but this dropped to about 3,000 in FY18. Moreover, only 42% of those skilled found jobs in FY18 in the sector.
In the textiles space, The number of people trained in FY18 compared to FY17 has halved and only 55% found jobs in FY18.
In capital goods there is an almost 5-fold jump in the number of people trained from FY17 to FY18 but only 23% found a job in FY18. Leather, textiles and capital goods are all export-driven sectors and jobs are scarce in all 3 of them, clearly indicating the state of the economy.
Two sectors where the government has made a big push for training and developing skills has been electronics and IT. In electronics, there is a 11-fold rise in the number of people trained from FY17 to FY18 but, there is only a 5-fold increase in jobs with 25% of those trained finding placements in FY18.
The IT industry is mirroring the electronics sector where once again a 11-fold increase in those getting trained but only 2 out of 10 trained in this sector found a job.
A recent report from research agency Crisil also alluded to this point. "Labour-light sectors have expanded faster than labour intensive ones over the last few years. Thus, the faster-growing sectors have offered fewer employment opportunities. This trend intensified in fiscals 2017 and 2018, when the economy was in the throes of a slowdown."
With GST-related glitches hurting exports, labour intensive sectors have seen a sharp deceleration. This suggests employment conditions, too, would have suffered. Skill India's RTI data corroborates this.
Experts say even the consumer electronics sector has been hit by imports and while Make in India held out a promise, progress has been slow. So while multiple investments have been committed very few have materialized on ground and in turn jobs growth has also been skewed.The real success of Skill India Mission will not be when all are skilled, but when all skilled find relevant jobs. Hence, an equal push needs to be creating jobs.