This whole thing about skilling in India, the focus on getting people job ready and equipping them with skills – whatever be your position on this, whichever side of the political divide you may be on, and whoever you may want to credit for this initiative, one thing is clear – it has opened the eyes of the people of India to the completely inadequate education that we have been labouring under for so many years. Where for ages, we have always worried about getting a good degree and not about equipping ourselves with necessary job skills.
There was a time when a boy or girl was left unschooled and unskilled for life, because Oh! education is so expensive. An engineering degree or college education – who has money for that ? and so on. Now with the focus on skill oriented education, and the plethora of short term not too expensive job oriented skill development programs, job opportunities are opened up for people who were otherwise left behind.
A few years back, there was a time when a person with a short term certificate course in Java was preferred over a four year Computer Science graduate because the job called for just Java skills. Now, we have begun to see this play out across functions and occupations and jobs. There is a huge demand for skilled workers across functions, across industries. Suddenly, it looks like everybody has a future. Couple this with other major employment and work oriented initiatives and as they say, the sky’s is the limit.
We do not know how this will finally play out. Whether utopia awaits us or we will continue to flounder once more because of poorly implemented plans and/or vested interests. But for now, the feeling is one of empowerment, of possibilities, of a fist-pumping feeling of “Yes!”
That is a good place to be.