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Budget 2017: A Good Continuity in Skilling India It is heartening to note that the government has rightfully recognized the need to "energize youth through education, skills and jobs".

By Gayathri Vasudevan

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With respect to the skill industry, the budget 2017-18 has been in line with the expectation of the market keeping in view the demography dividend.

There has been a great boost towards housing and sanitation in the present budget, especially for the rural areas. This is likely to give employment to 5 lakh youth who would need to be will get trained and certified in masonry and other related skill.Acknowledging the affordable housing and middle-income housing shortage, the government's initiative of raising the allocation of Rs 1,000 crore in the budget for 2017-18 for the proposed Credit Linked Subsidy Scheme for MIG will see more builders getting into the segment.This is bound to raise more employment in the construction sector.

It is heartening to note that the government has rightfully recognized the need to "energize youth through education, skills and jobs" and considered it as one of the government's 10 important focus areas.The mention of PMKK centre coverage to 600 districts from 60 districts presently is a quantum leap in this direction. The humungous task of training 20 lakh youth under the PMKVY spread across 29 states and 6 Union territory, covering 596 districts, will get a distinct boost.

The announcement of 100 India International skill centres shows the continuity and commitment to Skill India campaign. This will help the immigrants to have a certified recognition of their skills and hence would be more respected and valued in the global market. Training in theses centre will not only enhance vocation skills, but will provide language skills, culture based-skills and other immigrant-related issues. Also this will help in servicing countries like Japan, Scandinavian countries which have a huge aging population.

The employment potential in leather sector is bound to increase if a similar package like textiles is extended to leather and footwear segment as mentioned in the budget. An estimate of 24 lakh employees will stand to gain.

The idea of setting up online learning platform, Swayam, with an introduction of additional 350 courses, will provide skilling through ICT. This effort will enable semi-rural and rural youth to get access to learning skills through the digital medium. Skills for employability can be nurtured across geographies at an enhanced rate. This will, in turn, provide great employability gains for the MSMEs

The announcement of 4000 crores towards Skill Acquisition & Knowledge Awareness, livelihood Program called SANKALP will provide market linked training which will focus on entrepreneurship. This will provide entry to rural skill development and is a welcome step.

Largely the focus has been in rural development. However, much has not been articulated with respect to urban skill development, especially keeping the smart city initiative making inroads across the country.

Overall, the budget is a good continuity in Skilling India.

Gayathri Vasudevan

Co-Founder & CEO of LabourNet Services India Pvt Ltd

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