[Answered] Discuss the need and significance of skill development among women in India. What measures have been taken by the government for the same?

Demand of the question Introduction. Contextual introduction. Body. Discuss the need and significance of skill development among women in India. Mention measures taken by the government for skill development of women. Conclusion. Way forward.

Women empowerment is one of the biggest tools for development of any country. It means freedom of women from the vicious circle of social, political, economic and gender-based discrimination. Skill development not only creates employment opportunities but also empowers them.

Need and significance of skill development among women in India:

  1. Inclusive economic growth: India is one amongst the fastest growing economies of the world and has the second largest labour force. Women constitute 49% of the total population. Skill development of women is decisive to the economic progress of the nation.
  2. Demographic dividend: Women in neither in education nor in labour force category is large. According to a 2018 World Bank report, the labour force participation rate among females in India was 26.97 LFPR female in 2018 in India. This must change for India to reap demographic dividend for which skill development is important.
  3. Automation: With the advent of technology, digitization and automation, even those women who are employed in low skills and low paying jobs, are likely to lose their place in the workforce. Thus, there is a need to inculcate appropriate skills among women to make them ready to adapt to industrial changes.
  4. Gender equality: Skill development helps in providing women with employment opportunities and thus is important for achieving gender equality and women’s empowerment.
  5. Economic goals: Equal participation of women in the Indian economy is imperative to achieve our lofty goals of becoming an economic superpower and achieve the target of $5 trillion by 2025.

Government measures for skill development of women:

Training via Training Institutes Through a wide network of ITIs, spanning the country, special focus is laid on enrolment of women. There is nearly 97% increase in admissions in 2018 as compared to 2014 to reach 173,105 women trainees from 87,799.18 National Skill Training Institutes (for Women) are imparting skill training exclusively for women. Further, exclusive batches to provide basic training to women have been started under the National Apprenticeship Promotion Scheme in all Centrally Funded Institutes.
Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana The flagship program strives to promote increased participation of women in the workforce through appropriate skilling and gender mainstreaming of skills.
Skill India Mission Programs under the Skill India Mission are designed to not only train women in relevant skills that are sought by employers, they are also sensitive to their needs by providing safe transport, flexible schedules and childcare support.Skill India has partnered with Government Initiatives like Ayushman Bharat, Swachh Bharat Mission, and Smart City Mission etc. to align skill development efforts to these national missions by ensuring a steady flow of skilled workforce.
Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) Under the RPL more than 4 lakh women candidates have been oriented in different skill areas, recognizing their existing skills through a formal certificate and giving them a means to earn better livelihood.
National Skill Development and Policy The National Skill Development and Policy focuses on inclusive skill development with the objective of increased women participation for better economic productivity. NSDC, through its training partners such as Mann Deshi Foundation, Shri Mahila Sewa Sahakari Bank Limited and Sri Sarada Math RasikBhita are working exclusively on skill development of women, especially in rural areas.
Pradhan Mantri Mahila Kaushal Kendra (PMMKK) Recently, more than 6000 training targets have been allocated to train women in 4 PMMKKs. The crèche facility is also available at these centers so as to facilitate the new mothers to take up skill training.
Entrepreneurial Initiatives Linkage of Skill India and Mudra Yojana has been achieved. Since, women comprise about 78% of the beneficiaries of Mudra Yojana, this linkage will further give boost to aspiring women entrepreneurs.
Deen Dayal Upadhyay Kaushalya Vikas Yojana (DDU-KVY) DDU-GKY, the erstwhile Aajeevika Skills, is the skill training and placement program carried out as part of the National Rural Livelihoods Mission (NRLM). The DDU-GKY focuses on providing high quality skill training opportunities through Project Implementing Agencies (PIAs) to rural poor youth, though there is a special focus on women.

Way forward:

  1. Training policy: There is a need to further develop training policy from a gender perspective, with an understanding of local customs and traditions.
  2. Accessibility: Further expand training institutes mainly in the remote regions of the country and to build basic gender specific infrastructure, making ITIs more accessible, particularly for women.
  3. Private sector role: Make the private sector also responsible for skill development in the country. By encouraging their contribution in curriculum development, provision of training and internships, and in assessment and the certification of training programmes.
  4. Removing societal biases: It is important to identify and making efforts to change basic and nuanced socio-cultural values with a view to eliminate existing biases that women in the country face when seeking employment.
  5. Employment opportunities: Provide employment opportunities to trainees after the completion of training to assure sustainable livelihood options.

With limited participation in the workforce, the potential of women remains untapped. Effective implementation of the envisioned skill development interventions is needed to make them key stakeholders in development.

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