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  • Vaid's ICS, Lucknow
  • 22, Jul 2021
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Why in News?

Recently on the occasion of the World Youth Skills Day, PM Narendra Modi argued that India had laid the foundation for improving the level of skill among the youth.

Key Points:

According to most estimates India continues to be a country that faces one of the highest shortages of skilled workforce

On the one hand, companies in India face an acute shortage of skilled manpower and, on the other, India has millions of educated unemployed.

What is Skilling?

There are three types of skills.

  • First, the cognitive skills, which are the basic skills of literacy and numeracy, applied knowledge and problem-solving aptitudes and higher cognitive skills such as experimentation, reasoning and creativity.
  • Technical and vocational skills, which refer to the physical and mental ability to perform specific tasks using tools and methods in any occupation
  • Social and behavioural skills, which include working, communicating, and listening to others.
  • Different levels of these three types of skills can be combined to further classify skills into foundational, employability, and entrepreneurial skills

  • Around 31% were illiterate, only 13% had a primary education, and only 6% were college graduates.
  • Only about 2% of the workforce had formal vocational training, and only 9% had non-formal, vocational training.
  • If the skilling issue is not resolved, India risks forfeiting its so-called “demographic dividend”.

Indians have excelled in technical expertise at the global level — be it medicine or engineering. Then what explains India’s domestic skilling paradox

According to researchers at the NCAER, India is trapped in a vicious cycle:

  • Greater workforce informality leads to lower incentives to acquire new skills.
  • Faced with inadequately skilled workers, businesses often choose replacing labour with machinery.
  • That’s because “skilled labour and technology are complementary, but unskilled labour and technology are substitutes”.
  • A distinct disadvantage with India’s approach towards skilling has been to ignore the demands of the market.
  • For the most part, skills have been provided in a top down fashion.
  • Thus, most skilling efforts focus almost solely on providing certain skills but fail to “match” them with the needs of the market.

Facts for Prelims:

Monkey B virus (BV:

China has reported the first human infection case with Monkey B virus (BV).

About Monkey B Virus:

  • First identified in 1932, the virus is learnt to have infected only 50 people till 2020, of which 21 died.
  • It is an alphaherpesvirus enzootic in macaques of the genus Macaca.
  • B virus is the only identified old-world-monkey herpesvirus that displays severe pathogenicity in humans.
  • Currently, there are no vaccines that can protect against B virus infection.