The Prime Minister has always placed skill development as a forerunner for India’s growth story through various measures including Skill India and the Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana for Technical Institutes (PMKVY-TI) amongst many others.  In last year’s budget as well, skill development was in significant focus as the government had announced an INR 3000 crore investment towards the skilling of diploma holders and graduates through the National Apprenticeship Promotion Scheme (NAPS). The Union Budget 2022 was no different as right at the outset the Finance Minister announced the government’s vision to create more jobs and opportunities for the youth under PM Gati Shakti.  

The Union Budget 2022, added yet another scheme in the domain of skill development to help create a digital ecosystem. Finance Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman, mentioned the launch of an e-portal for a digital ecosystem for skilling and livelihood known as DESH STACK e-portal which will aid in skilling, up-skilling and reskilling, thus, playing a huge role in digitally empowering citizens. Besides this, the portal will also provide an Application Programming Interface (API)-based trusted skill credential, payment and discovery layers which will be crucial in aiding potential job seekers to find relevant jobs and entrepreneurial opportunities.

A realignment of the National Skill Qualification Framework (NSQF) was also announced in accordance with the dynamic needs of the Indian industry so as to reorient skilling programs and partnerships with the industry in a manner that continuously promote skilling avenues, employability and sustainability. This initiative will be further strengthened with the government’s intention to launch various skill development courses in a select few Industrial Training Institutes.

Special provisions for vocational education, skill development, and re-skilling or upskilling are included in the Union Budget 2022. Since industries require consistent upskilling in order to improve production, efficiency, and effectiveness, the initiatives mentioned by the Finance Minister would be imperative in increasing their efficiency and productivity.