ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Skill Training or Nipping Potential in the Bud?

The introduction of skilling programmes in government schools from the secondary level itself--as part of the Indian government's ambition to make India the "Skill Capital of the World"--will restrict young people, largely from socially underprivileged backgrounds, to low-productivity blue-collar employment in the informal sector. What is needed is not truncated education in the form of vocational training, but quality basic education for all, which will enable young people to compete for employment in the formal economy.

In his much acclaimed book At Work in the Informal Economy, Jan Breman noted:

Development was not a clear-cut process of urbanisation and industrialisation which would have allowed the swelling tide of migrants from the rural hinterland to settle down in their new habitat and find a regular job. Rather ongoing circulation and casualisation became the hallmark of their life and work. A turn for the worse was the withering away of secure employment and the changeover by vested interests to a strategy of informalisation that has kept labour footloose (2013: xi–xii).

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