Skill India campaign: Manish Sisodia takes potshots at Centre


Taking a dig at the Centre for using Sachin Tendulkar as brand ambassador for Skill India campaign and highlighting only carpentry, Delhi deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia on Friday said a complete change in mindset is required to make millions of youth entering the job market fully equipped.

“When we talk about skill, the biggest problem is the educated class has confined its definition to thinking that skill means carpenter, skill means welding. Interesting thing is that by using a brand ambassador like Sachin Tendulkar for Skill India, what kind of advertisements did we make, what kind of skills were promoted? We promoted skill like carpentry,” Sisodia said while speaking at the India Economic Summit here.

Calling for a holistic approach to the issue, Sisodia said: “I am not demeaning anything, but if we have to think about the future of Skill India, if we have to skill each and every student who are passing out from 10th or 12th class, we can’t ask each and every parent in this country to send their son or daughter to become a carpenter or a welder.”

In April this year, the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship had roped in Tendulkar to endorse its ambitious initiative of skilling 40.2 crore youth of the country by 2022 under its Skill India campaign.

Elaborating, the deputy chief minister said a broader outlook is need where skilling covers a wide variety of areas such as hospitality, retail or even providing delivery services for the burgeoning e-commerce sector.

“We have to have a clear vision. Right now, as a nation, as a society, I don’t think we have a clear vision over skill.

Because of this, sometimes we call it ITI, sometimes polytechnic, sometimes certificate course. We don’t call it skill in totality. We have never thought about it in totality and that’s where we are stuck,” Sisodia added.

Equal emphasis must be given to smaller aspects like driving, security guard, salesperson at a retail shop, or a waiter.

Airing similar views, LinkedIn Corporation India Managing Director Akshay Kothari said: “Although initiatives like Skill India are steps in the right direction, if you ask those who got skilled, most of them are having a problem in getting a gate, from getting an opportunity.”

He further spoke of how a lot of college students have spent the family’s fortune to get a college degree and now are struggling to get a job.

“India is producing eight million college graduates every year and studies have shown that more than half of them are unemployable,” Kothari said.

Citing the World Bank report which stated that 69 per cent of jobs in India are threatened by automation, he said: “We have a problem here where college students are getting a college degree, but not getting a job. People are getting skilled, but not getting a gate, and people who actually have jobs are threatened by automation.”

(With inputs from PTI)