Panel working on single fund for all skill related schemes: Pandey

The government spends nearly Rs 15,000 crore every year on skilling through different schemes spread across 20 different ministries. This is topped up with matching contribution from states, taking the total spend to Rs 30,000 crore annually. Henc...

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New Delhi: A high-level panel is contemplating setting up a common fund pool for all skills related schemes and a decision to this effect could be made soon, skills development minister Mahendra Nath Pandey told ET in an interview.

“We are evaluating having a common fund for all skill development-related schemes,” he said, adding that a recently formed cabinet committee for skill development will be discussing this and “we will come to a consensus on what works best and how it should be regulated.”

The government is of the view that it was important that all skill development programs being imparted in the country are aligned to common norms and have a common overall objective, which is to make youth employable and efficient.


The government spends nearly Rs 15,000 crore every year on skilling through different schemes spread across 20 different ministries. This is topped up with matching contribution from states, taking the total spend to Rs 30,000 crore annually.

The minister, however, refuted any possibility of a unified skilling scheme for the country, something which was under consideration at the ministry level earlier. “Considering the diversity of the country and varied geographies and segments, one scheme cannot justify the local requirement for skilled workforce across all,” Pandey said.

Talking about his government’s priorities, Pandey said it is crucial to invest in quality secondary and tertiary education and in vocational education and training (VET) if India’s economy is to develop and remain competitive in world markets.
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“We are focusing on bringing about a shift from unorganised to an organised economy through recognition of prior learning and giving additional emphasis on ensuring job continuity,” he said.

Reiterating his commitment towards aligning skills training with education, the minister said it was imperative that children be acquainted with skills at an early age so they can make their choices in their formative years.

The ministry of skill development and entrepreneurship (MSDE) is working closely with the ministry of human resource development (MHRD) to set up skill hubs across 500 CBSE schools — 400 private schools and 100 government schools. Over 7 lakh students have benefited in close to 20 skills across 9,100 schools in 26 states.

Commenting on the response of corporates towards government’s apprenticeship scheme, Pandey said that while some sector skill councils have performed more than our expectation, some certainly need a push as there is some gap in the visionary approach of their leadership of these sector skill councils. “We are relooking at our approach with them and will further strengthen them,” he added.
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The National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC), under the ministry, has collaborated with about 80 industry partners thus far with a CSR portfolio of Rs 204 crore.
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