“India is a nation of opportunities and there is need to harness them,” said Smt Smriti Irani, Minister of Textile and Information & Broadcasting during the valedictory session of the Conference on Jobs & Livelihood: Critical Growth Enablers organized by Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) in partnership with NITI Aayog in New Delhi. Education and skills are two different things and a clear distinction has to be made between the two, she noted.
The minister said that we need to ensure creation of quality jobs, which are not just aspirational but are also inspirational. She cited several initiatives being taken by the Textile ministry to create greater livelihood opportunities for artisans, weavers and disadvantaged sections of the society not just in terms of financial support but also in terms of skilling.
Laying stress on the importance of relevant and updated data, Dr Bibek Debroy, Chairman, PM’s Economic Advisory Council & Member, NITI Aayog said that the last relevant data on jobs is from 2011 and the next set of numbers will be available by the end of 2018 so until then all such debate about job numbers does not hold much ground. He also pointed to generic problems that have impacted job growth like access to technology, finance or slowdown in sectors like manufacturing and MSMEs. He also pointed to factors that are not being looked at like the rising number of people leaving the workforce and increasing number of entrepreneurs that the data does not capture.
Mr Arun Nanda, Chairman, CII National Committee on Skill Development and Chairman, Mahindra Holidays & Resorts said that there is a need to change the perception of blue collar jobs in India and re-orient our education system to make it more job-friendly. “We need to counsel parents and enhance awareness about vocational courses at the grassroot level,” he pointed out. He made a reference to the India Skills Report 2018 launched during the event and suggested that there is an increased appetite in the industry towards hiring and even the employability quotient has gone up.
Dr Sunita Sanghi, Senior Adviser, NITI Aayog presented the key outcomes of all the 7 sessions. Some of the main outcomes detailed by her included more focus towards empowering the small and medium enterprises, enabling efficient use of digital technologies, identifying changes needed in the current skill ecosystem, formulation of efficient cluster system, and strategies needed to address gaps in pedagogies, among others.
9 February 2018