Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MSDE)

Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MSDE) was set up in 2014 to coordinate all skill development, industrial training, and apprenticeship promotion efforts of the government, and to relieve the Ministry of Labour and Employment of these responsibilities.

Associated Organisations

Sector Skill Councils

Sector Skill Councils are autonomous industry-led bodies, which promote skill development by setting qualificational and occupational standards, so as to ensure availability of adequately skilled labour in each sector. There are about 38 such councils for sectors including automotives, agriculture, tourism and hospitality, hydrocarbon, domestic workers, textile, Indian plumbing.

NSDC – National Skill Development Corporation

NSDC is a non-profit company, founded in 2008 by the Ministry of Finance, with 49% stake of the Government of India. To fulfil the gap between demand and supply of skilled manpower, the NSDC promotes creation of for-profit vocational institutions. It funds private sector skill development initiatives It is involved as an implementing agency in many of the schemes of the MSDE, including PM Kaushal Vikas Yojana.

NSDA – National Skill Development Agency

NSDA is an autonomous body under the MSDE, and anchors the National Skill Qualifications Framework (NSQF) and related standardisation and quality assurance mechanisms, for orderly growth of the skill development initiatives in the country.

National Skills Qualification Framework (NSQF) is “a competency based framework that organises all qualifications according to a series of levels of knowledge, skills, and aptitude”. National Occupational Standards followed by the industry mandatorily need to adhere to the NSQF.

National Occupational Standards (NOS) specify the standard of performance an individual must achieve at his workplace, and the knowledge he needs to meet such standards consistently. These standards are laid down by the employers through respective Sector Skill Councils, and need to be aligned with the NSQF, and approved by the Qualification Review Committee.

NCVET – National Council for Vocational Education and Training

The existing regulatory institutions in the skill development sector, the NSDA and the NSDC, will be merged to establish the NCVET.

Primary functions of NCVET will include – “recognition and regulation of awarding bodies, assessment bodies and skill related information providers; approval of qualifications developed by awarding bodies and Sector Skill Councils (SSCs); indirect regulation of vocational training institutes through awarding bodies and assessment agencies; research and information dissemination; and grievance redressal”.

Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs)

ITIs are post-secondary schools, constituted under Directorate General of Training, to provide training in various trades. A National Trade Certificate is awarded to each student on clearing the All India Trade Test at completion of their course.

NCVT – National Council on Vocational Training

NCVT is an advisory body, responsible for prescribing standards for training programmes, conducting All India Trade Tests and awarding National Trade Certificates.

Schemes and Initiatives:

PMKVY – Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana is a skill training and certification scheme. It provides free-of-cost skill training courses of duration between 2 and 6 months.

Recognition of Prior Learning Scheme certifies the skills of individuals with prior learning experience or skills acquired through informal channels, such as informal construction workers.

National Apprenticeship Promotion Scheme (NAPS): Under this scheme, the government reimburses a part of the stipend (25%, upto 1500 rupees) paid by the employers to the apprentices, to promote on-the-job skill training . It is an industry led, practice oriented, effective and efficient mode of formal training.

Jan Shikshan Sansthans are independent societies, set up by voluntary organisations and universities, and are funded through 100% annual grant by the Government of India. They impart training in trades/courses such as cutting and tailoring, electrical repairs, welding, plumbing, embroidery work, etc. The scheme was earlier under the Ministry of Human Resource Development, but is now under MSDE.

Dual System of Training (DST)

DST in India is inspired by the German dual vocational education and training system. Under the DST, theoretical training in Industrial Training Institutes will be combined with practical training in the participating industries, to increase the employability of ITI trainees while serving skilled labour needs of the industry. The students earn while they learn, as they get a small amount of stipend for their training at the industry. DST courses are available for one and two years’ duration.

Infrastructure for skill development:

  • Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Kendras are being set up in each district across the country.
  • National Skill Training Institutes are being set up.
  • National Skill Training Institutes (W) are being set up separately for women.
  • Indian Institute of Skills (IIS) are being set up, across four regions of India, as state-of-the-art centres of excellence on the lines of premiere global institutions such as Institute of Technical Education, Singapore. First IIS set up in Kanpur, second in Mumbai.

Establishing Academic Equivalence: The Skill India initiative is working to create an equivalence between vocational education and academic education, thereby enabling National Trade Certificate (NTC) holders to earn senior secondary qualification and pursue higher education.

More schemes at a glance:

  • SANKALP Project aims to implement the mandate of the National Skill Development Mission. To promote decentralised planning, ‘awards for excellence in district skill development planning’ are given under SANKALP.
  • Aspirational Skilling Abhiyan provides financial assistance to each aspirational district, through the SANKALP fund.
  • STRIVE Project (Skill Strengthening for Industrial Value Enhancement) aims at creating awareness through geographical industry clusters, so as to address the productivity challenges of MSMEs (Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises).
  • UDAAN – A special industry initiative for enhancing skill and employability of youth in Jammu & Kashmir.

Also see:

Sharada Prasad Committee 2016 : on rationalisation and optimisation of Sector Skill Councils.
National Policy of Skill development and Entrepreneurship, 2015.
National Skill Development Mission.


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