Professional skills is the new mantra for growing Indian economy

Written by Meghalaya Times. Posted in Editorial

Thomas Lim
In an attempt to transform India into a global design and manufacturing hub, Prime Minister Narendra Damodardas Modi launched Make in India, a type of Swadeshi movement covering 25 sectors of the economy in 2014 to encourage companies to manufacture their products in India. The pickup was slow due to lack of professional skilled human resources leading to the failure of the project. Also lack of market and industries has further created a shortfall of job avenues.
On the other hand, the people from the North Eastern region, particularly Meghalaya, who are accustomed to only seeking government jobs, which are now saturated have created the artificial unemployment as the educated youths refused to take risk in venturing out into manufacturing, production or innovation which can also generate employment.

This has indeed pushed the spirit of entrepreneurship backwards. There are various sensitizing programme being conducted in the region, but in most cases, the participants fall back to seeking white collar jobs in an attempt to secure their future, agreeing that entrepreneurship is the most risky affair!
According to the study conducted by professional networking platform LinkedIn the Words like “strategic”, “excellent” and “certified” have dropped off the chart for Indian professionals and “skilled” has entered the “2017 Top 10 Buzzwords” list for the first time. Words “oriented” and “innovative” are also new entries to the list. Meanwhile, the word ‘experienced’ moved from the ninth spot to the first spot in comparison to last year’s list.
Head of Communications for India, LinkedIn, Deepa Sapatnekar added that their Buzzwords data corroborates that Indian professionals are keen on highlighting their experiences and skills over personal qualities to gain a competitive advantage over other candidates, reveal the analysis of the most popular words across 45 million member profiles in India revealed that professionals are highlighting skills over personal strengths in describing themselves this year.
It may be reminded that in the past, be it government job, private, corporate or university teaching are being handpicked, unlike the contemporary crisis, where a single vacancy has thousands of applicants. The best “skilled” candidates with experience are always preferred and the cliché of learning the art while in the job is history now as every company needs people who can perform on day one of the job.
There are instances where the jobs are being created on purpose and the interview of the candidates is just a formality needed for the sanctioned post, while the post is being reserved on recommendation. Such practices have created more unemployment.
Like other states, Meghalaya too is a youth dominated state as is seen in the rest of India. In a country where 51 percent of the population is under the age of 25 years, the enrolment figures in various educational establishments touches nearly ten million students annually. A similar number of graduates, post-graduates and technical graduates are added to the society across India, and this hill state too needs to find its own footing in this competitive world.
The youth from this area need to be motivated to voluntarily join skill development programmes. The central government project - National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) has special STAR scheme have been initiated to boost employability and productivity of youth by providing them monetary incentives to voluntarily join an approved skill training course that is certified by the Sector Skill Councils, but there are hardly any takers from Meghalaya. This is not because the youth are not interested; it is simply because of the scarcity of trainers as prescribed by the schemes.
On the assumption that NSDC can reach out to about ten lakh youth through motivation, vocational training plays a critical role as the traditional instruction being carried out in various educational education simply produces graduates who are unemployable and unproductive, unable to take part in the recently introduced Make in India schemes to boost economy of the nation, as the Babus and the bureaucrats produced through colonial designs can only take instruction and seldom are visionaries who are autonomous in their working methods.
The failure to kick start any of the NSDC schemes here in Meghalaya is due to a lack of professionals with skills, starting from educational institutions. Most of the universities across India will only recruit teachers with a minimum of three years of industry knowledge on the subject to be taught in all professional courses. Here, most professional course teachers are fresh graduates or still pursuing their higher studies. How do we expect them to impart knowledge as demanded by the market?
On the other hand, one of the nodal departments – Meghalaya Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC), is now considered as a non functional department, except as a recovering cell for the loan to the local entrepreneurs. The Industries department, Government of Meghalaya too can take up the sensitizing programme to tap the entrepreneurship potential in the state; otherwise, the economic status of the state will remain a deficit one, and dependent on only the central funding.
The list of proposed industries suggested by MIDC for any of the entrepreneur are either outdated, or simply listed without understanding the availability of either raw materials or skilled labourers, at the same time the paper-work involved will discourage the youth to venture into entrepreneurship.
Besides that there is a need for Single Window system facilities for all paper work, including pollution clearance, permission for the license to financial assistance from respective financial institutions. At the same time more orientation programmes are needed to expose the youth to the successful ventures in the state and not inviting the resources person or businessmen from other states who do not have much knowledge about Meghalaya.
At the moment, the state government needs to understand the failure to promote entrepreneurship, in spite of land allocation as Industrial Estate in different districts, which did not benefit the deserving entrepreneur but politicking and favouritism turns out to be the main obstacles for entrepreneurial development in Meghalaya.
Adding to the woes, the untrained section of the population will not even allow others who are intending to do so to acquire the skills, either due to the phobia of influx if the trainers are to be invited from outside, or unwillingness to compete with the rest of the nation if the youth have to go out for training or study.
Even when Meghalaya gets her own Indian Institute of Skills, the Union Government should not allow them to admit trainees on quota or recommendation basis, otherwise, the deserving and candidates will not be benefited by such central schemes.
As the rest of the states develop their respective skills and partake in the STAR scheme under National Skill Development Corporation, Meghalaya has a long way to go to motivate our youth to change their perspective with regard to learning and employment. Otherwise, the new face of unemployment in the state of Meghalaya will be the fallout of untrained manpower and saturated government jobs which will only produce more unrest and conflicts within the society.
It is time to think of multi-tasking of skills rather than specialization and reservations of quota, with such practices, how does one expect the unemployed youth from this region to gain experience or master the skills which are in high demand in a developing economy?


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