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What is the Sankalp Scheme in India?

The Ministry of Skill Development’s Skill Acquisition and Knowledge Awareness for Livelihood Promotion (“Sankalp”) initiative is funded by a World Bank loan. It strives to increase short-term skill training in terms of quality and quantity by strengthening institutions, improving market connectedness, and including marginalised groups in society. Sankalp Scheme was established on January 19, 2018 and will run through March 20, 2023.

Sankalp scheme is a support program for skill training schemes that focuses on quality improvement, institution strengthening, and the inclusion of underserved groups in skill training.

The project’s outcomes are assessed using the Results Framework and Disbursement Linked Indicators (DLIs) developed by MSDE and the World Bank.

Sankalp scheme focuses on three main outcomes: 

  • institutional strengthening at the national, state, and district levels; 
  • quality assurance of skill development programs; and 
  • inclusion of marginalised populations in skill development programs.
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Features of the Sankalp Scheme

The Sankalp scheme was established in order to develop skilled workers in the country, which will aid the country’s future prosperity. The program will assist marginalised people in overcoming their economic hardships. The plan will strengthen the system by allowing for skill growth. To develop trained workforce, the project has brought all of the states together under one roof. The vocational training will aid in the development of fresh ideas that will help the country grow faster. The following are the features of the Sankalp scheme in India:

  • It has a certification organization that will assess the trainees’ competence to set a standard for the scheme.
  • Because the plan will be overseen by a regulatory authority, it is expected to reinforce the national architecture.
  • A national accrediting board will be developed to supervise the training activities and centers in order to give the program a standard. A research division will also be established to develop a team of researchers and thinkers.
  • The impartial research team will assess the skill’s efficiency as well as the labor market trend. The scheme’s framework has been universalized to make it more adaptable.
  • The labor market’s information system is taken into account to make the plan functional. The skill development management will aid in the scheme’s ecosystem management. A platform named Kushal Mart was created to make the plan more effective. The platform will facilitate the exchange of skills, allowing workers to benefit from the scheme.
  • A site has been established to track the training program’s operations. Takshila-National Portal is the name of the portal. The trainers use the site to keep track of the regular activities that take place in the training centers.
  • The training institution must build capacity in order to develop entrepreneurship. This stage will provide funding to aspiring trainees so that they can concentrate on their training and create a profession.
  • The initiative will address the issue of a shortage of qualified trainers, and the non-operational institution will reopen.
  • The initiative would offer people with training to help them find work in other countries, and India International Skill Centers will be developed to help them do so. The initiative is being implemented in 16 facilities, and many trainees have been placed in foreign countries.
  • In phase II of the project, the government is attempting to create 66 more facilities. The International Awarding Body will oversee the centers as part of the system.

Eligibility for the Sankalp Scheme

The Sankalp scheme is exclusively available to Indian citizens, and candidates must be at least 18 years old to begin vocational training. To grasp the training program, candidates must have a basic education. The program is also open to those from scheduled castes, scheduled tribes, and people with impairments. Women, like males, are eligible to participate in the scheme and get vocational training.

Interventions Under the Sankalp Scheme 

At the National level, the Sankalp scheme is designed to operate at the sub-mission levels as well. The following are the interventions or areas of success under the Sankalp scheme:

  1. Building Capacity and Decentralising Authority To Amplify Impact
  2. Enhancing Market Relevance and Quality
  3. Boosting Inclusion and Improving Access

Building Capacity and Decentralising Authority To Amplify Impact

The progress in skill development and training differs by state; some have been involved in skill development for many years, while others are just getting started. Through Panchayati Raj institutions, the newly formed District Skill Committees (DSC), State Skill Development Missions, and at the national level with NSDC, NCVET, and other bodies, capacity-building initiatives have been undertaken across all entities involved in skill-building planning, implementation, and monitoring. 

The emphasis on capacity building is on decentralisation. For economic development and greater access to skill training for the general public, District Skill Committees and even Gram Panchayats are being dragged into the business of skill planning and management. Better integration of skill schemes and convergence of activity of many agencies and stakeholders are expected as a result of this. The existing MSDE institutions, such as NIMI, NSDC, and CSTATI, as well as schemes such as PMKVY, JSS, and NAPS, are all being connected together in the Sankalp scheme accomplishments.

The following is a list of initiatives at various levels.

Mahatma Gandhi National Fellowship (MGNF)

Mahatma Gandhi National Fellowship (MGNF), which is part of Sankalp scheme, is a two-year academic program that combines classroom sessions at IIM and rigorous field immersion at the district level. The MGNF program was established with the primary goal of strengthening district skill administration and District Skill Committees (DSCs). The Fellows would gain intellectual and technical skills in understanding the total skill ecosystem and assist the District Skill Committees (DSCs) in managing skill development planning at the district level by developing District Skill Development Plans (DSDPs).

Eligible Fellows must hold a bachelor’s degree from a recognized university and be Indian nationals between the ages of 21 and 30. Proficiency in the official language of the fieldwork state will be required. Fellows will not be government employees. Fellows will be compensated with a monthly stipend of Rs. 50,000 in the first year and Rs. 60,000 in the second year of their Fellowship. The Fellow will get a Certificate in Public Policy and Management upon completion of the program.

Adarsh Gram Skill Camp

MSDE proposes, as part of Sankalp scheme, to develop an institutional framework for integrating skilling and employment to selected services in Gram Panchayats/villages, as well as raise awareness about the value of skill certification. This covers the RPL of individuals who perform some job functions but do not have a formal certification. 

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) is a government-issued certificate that recognises prior learning that occurred outside of a formal environment. MSDE proposes to conduct RPL certification of workers in specified villages selected under the Pradhan Mantri Adarsh Gram Yojana (PMAGY) of the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, Government of India, as part of the Sankalp scheme.

Under the Pradhan Mantri Adarsh Gram Yojana (PMAGY), a ‘Adarsh Gram’ is a place where people have access to a variety of fundamental services, ensuring that all of society’s basic requirements are addressed and inequities are minimized. The scheme intends to integrate the development of villages with a Scheduled Castes population of more than 50%. 

To commemorate India’s 75th year of independence, weekly RPL camps will be held in over 100 villages throughout eleven states (Assam, Odisha, Rajasthan, Telangana, Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Tripura, Karnataka, Bihar, Gujarat, and Tamil Nadu). The initiative began on August 2, 2021, with the first RPL camp taking place in Adhuan village in the Bhadrak district of Odisha by Automotive Skills Development Council (ASDC).

Skill India Portal (SIP)

The Skill India Portal (SIP) is created to serve as a central repository for all skill-related data from states and ministries. The goal of SIP is to give skill practitioners and researchers enough data to make future projections and analyses. The portal is created to help India’s skill development programs scale more quickly by establishing an end-to-end, outcome-focused implementation framework. 

It would give possibilities for lifelong learning and link industry demand for a well-trained and talented workforce with citizens’ desires for secure livelihoods. The portal is an integrated skill management platform that supports a variety of National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC), state, and ministry-run programs. The principal objective of this portal is to report data that can be beneficial to all its stakeholders.

By establishing a quality assurance system, it strives to develop and enforce cross-sectoral, nationally and internationally approved standards for skill training in the country. SIP was created using cutting-edge technology to enable scalability for handling large amounts of data in the Indian skilling landscape. Individual data is secure, and the technology employed allows for flexibility in adjusting to constantly changing requirements.

Capacity Building of State Skill Development Missions (SSDM)

Encourage states to use the State Incentive Grant (SIG) Matrix to create capacity aligned with project goals, while supporting SSDMs with technical and financial resources, allowing them to serve as nodal organisations for all skill development programs in the state.

The SIG matrix was created by Sankalp to assess the state’s skill-building ecosystem based on pre-determined criteria. The SIG matrix is a set of indicators used to assess a country’s success in three areas: institutional strengthening, market relevance of SD programs, and marginalized people’ access to and completion of training.

States are urged to design and implement measures to improve their talent ecosystem’s capacity. Sankalp scheme helped them get started on the project by giving seed money. Subsequent rounds of financing have been made conditional on the state improving its SIG Matrix scores by a certain amount. States are conducting skill gap/job market studies to better plan initiatives, developing MIS and mobile/web-based applications for data reporting and analysis, hiring manpower at the state and district levels to strengthen institutional capacities, and conducting research and impact assessments as part of institutional strengthening.

To strengthen the market relevance and quality of skill development programs at the state level, activities such as industry involvement, apprenticeship embedding courses, methods to improve placement support, migration support centers, workshops, and seminars are being supported.

The project supports various pilots for the inclusion of vulnerable groups such as women, SCs, STs, and persons with disabilities, such as the provision of toolkits and study materials, the development of disabled-friendly learning materials, an entrepreneurship support program for women, special programs for SC/STs, enabling the marketing of tribal products, and post-placement support, among others. The SSDMs have set aside 50% of the cash from the Sankalp scheme for state-level initiatives.

Enhancing Market Relevance and Quality

Sankalp aims to improve the quality of TVET in India and, as a result, Trainers’ employability. All categories of people must have equal access to high-quality, market-oriented career training. Educational and vocational training curriculum has to have a market-driven approach, and help develop Master Trainers and industry-endorsed curriculums.

The key areas where interventions are planned include:

  • Developing a cadre of qualified and certified Master Trainers who can further percolate and infuse quality in the system
  • Facilitating alignment with the National Skill Qualification Framework (NSQF) for harmonisation in the system
  • Developing a comprehensive technology platform to provide overall linkages.

Remodelling the Training of Trainers and Assessors

It is commonly acknowledged that one of the important aspects that supports active learning is the quality of the teaching force. We currently need a robust cadre of effective trainers who can influence the full skilling value chain. Five workshops involving Trainers, Assessors, Training Partners, and Assessment Bodies were held to undertake a market analysis and obtain input from key stakeholders on the current ToT and ToA systems. 

These inputs were utilized to help shape the new ToT models. To ensure that the demand for both quantity and quality of talent reaches them, the talent and training demands of the pool of trainers, assessors, and skill-students must be synergized with industry requirements. With the GIZ-developed automotive cluster in Aurangabad, an industrial Cluster-Based Model is being piloted. With the help of the Indo-German Programme for Vocational Education and Training, a Marathwada Skills Hub has been built (IGVET).

The model attempts to explore cooperation between public and private organizations to build a model that is linked to industry demands and is also supported by the industry itself.

Establishing a Committee For Standardization of Training Content

It is critical to assure the quality of training content because it affects a learner’s employability in order to increase market relevance and quality. As a result, good courseware is emphasized, which is a combination of a theoretical and practical approach that is connected to labor market needs and prepares the trainee to be immediately employable.

Quality content development is dependent on the skill sets and methods used by the many organizations that create the courseware, since a lack of standard procedures and quality assurance mechanisms in organizations results in inconsistent output, which leads to poor content quality.

It is critical to give solid content to the trainers by establishing processes and standards to ensure that the content satisfies global standards and is updated on a regular basis. Moving ahead, the many entities involved in skill development material generation will follow similar approaches that will lead to standardization.

A team of national and international experts has been formed to review the current state of technical, vocational, and training education and training in India. It will also provide a Quality Assurance structure to ensure high-quality and consistent material.

Student Heritage Ambassador

Skill development can help visitors to diverse monuments and locations that represent our rich heritage have a better experience.

Unfortunately, our rich past and the different stories associated with it are confined to history books and do not convert into our youth’s interaction with such monuments. Youth involvement with monuments in a meaningful way will benefit them since it will help them develop an appreciation for the monuments’ history.

If such youth are also trained in storytelling, which has evolved into an art form, and given the opportunity to take visitors around to such monuments and narrate the history with the skill of a deft storyteller, it will enrich and reward the visitor’s experience while also ensuring that culturally rich traditions and heritage are passed down to the next generation.

Boosting Inclusion and Improving Access

Today, it is critical to provide an equal opportunity for underprivileged groups of society to participate in skill training. With targeted initiatives, Sankalp intends to provide chances to women, persons with disabilities (PwDs), and other marginalised groups. The Sankalp approach is two-fold in order to achieve this:

To begin, identify the difficulties that these groups of people confront and build pilot initiatives to address them.

Second, because India is a big country with a wide range of social, geographic, and economic characteristics, construct a “bottom-up” approach with the engagement of skill development machinery at the state and district levels.

Gender Action Plan

Each year, Sankalp strives to increase female participation in skill development programs by 1%. With this in mind, MSDE created the Gender Action Plan (GAP) to serve as a road map for turning this vision into strategy and targeted activities for women.

According to the findings of the study, there are a range of variables in the environment that require a gender-specific lens. Sankalp established a framework for this action plan that identifies stage-wise lacunas for women, highlights key areas, and strives to solve these with candidate-centric interventions.

GAP would not only help formulate a national response for women, but it would also be implemented by states and districts to encourage more women to participate in skill training and employment.

Skill Training on Gender Sensitisation and Prevention of Sexual Harrassment at Workplace

Including gender sensitization and sexual harassment prevention training modules in TVET classes to instill gender-inclusive attitudes and practices.

Sankalp scheme has planned an initiative to provide gender sensitisation and prevention of sexual harassment (POSH) at the workplace training to male and female trainees, trainers, mobilizers, counsellors, and management staff in order to raise awareness among trainees and other stakeholders about equal roles, responsibilities, opportunities, and expectations.

This project comprises the creation and distribution of digital, audio-visual gender sensitization and POSH training modules for use in the workplace. One module is aimed at trainees, while the other is aimed at professionals working in the skilling ecosystem. For the delivery of these courses, it would also comprise ToMT (Training of Master Trainers). Over 2000 individuals will be trained in select districts across Rajasthan, Haryana, and Punjab as part of a pilot program.

Design and Implement Innovative Skill Development and Entrepreneurship Pilot Programs for Persons with Disabilities

PwD participation in skilling, apprenticeships, and the labor force has remained low. As of 2019, just 0.22 percent of PwDs in the age bracket of 10 to 49 years had undergone skilling under PMKVY 2.0. According to the 2011 Census, only 26% of the overall impaired population was employed.

Sankalp allows for the ‘trial and error’ of approaches that will aid in filling present gaps in the success of PwD projects, as well as the exploration of newer/untapped areas with potential. Under the pilot, Sankalp scheme will use a design-thinking approach to address inclusion concerns for PwDs.

Districts across the states of Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Jharkhand, Maharashtra and Himachal Pradesh would be selected to design and implement novel interventions, and the impact and outcome would be measured across many success indicators.

The learnings and best practices that emerge out of district pilots for PwDs would feed into the development of recommendations – for adoption at the national level, as well as the state and district level, towards alleviating the status-quo of PwDs through skilling and allied community and industrial engagement.

Disbursement Linked Initiatives (DLIs)

Each DLI has a verification procedure that accomplishments are measured against.

  • Trainees who have completed and been certified in NSQF-aligned short-term Skill Development (SD) programs.
  • Within six months of completing short-term SD programs, the percentage of graduates who are employed or self-employed.
  • Model curriculum, trainer’s guide, and teaching-learning resource bundles based on NSQF-aligned QPs.
  • The number of trainers and assessors who have been trained or retrained.
  • Improved state performance in terms of institutional strengthening, market relevance of SD programs, and marginalized groups’ access to and completion of training.
  • An increase in the number of women enrolled in SD programs.
  • Improved service delivery to connect unemployed youngsters to local marketplaces at the Gram Panchayat (GP) level.
  • The District Training Committee (DSC) has improved its ability to administer short-term skill programs.

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