Enrollment surges 2000% in government's e-skilling plan during lockdown

Data from the National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) shows that enrollments increased by a record 2,062% between February (13,500) and end-August (over 291,000).

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New Delhi: Enrollment for skill development courses surged after the government launched online multilingual programmes to help people acquire new abilities during the pandemic-triggered nationwide lockdown.

The March-end lockdown, which was in place for more than two months, severely disrupted economic activity and left millions jobless. In this period, people accessed government-run online skilling courses to improve their chances of getting a job once the restrictions were eased. Data from the National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) shows that enrollments increased by a record 2,062% between February (13,500) and end-August (over 291,000).

“During the lockdown, we realised that it may not be possible for people to attend training programs physically. So we offered around 400 online skill development courses in nine different languages on our platform eSkillIndia,” Manish Kumar, managing director of NSDC, told ET. “The response has been very encouraging with more and more people opting for such courses.”


Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh accounted for the maximum enrollments at 15% each, followed by Bihar at 8% and West Bengal at 7%.

No enrollments were recorded from 15 states, including Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand which contribute heavily to the country’s migrant workforce, and the northeastern states.

Uttar Pradesh and Bihar are among the few states that saw migrant labourers return in huge numbers.
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Among sectors, IT and IT services courses saw maximum enrollments at 29%, while electronics accounted for 22% and healthcare 9%. The rest were for courses related to automobile repair, beauty, and mushroom cultivation, among others.

In IT services, most of the enrollments were in courses for basic computer skills and hardware repair. In electronics, mobile repairing, electrical goods repairing and LED bulb assembling received more enrollments.

“All the courses are job driven. However, on analytical study, we have found that 30% of the people who complete the courses don’t take any jobs in the beginning. Another 35% want a job at their place of stay, and it is only 35% that take the jobs offered to them,” said Kumar, who is also the chief executive of NSDC.

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