Skills Development, Social Mobility and Educational Change: A Sociological Analysis of the Effects of the National Policy on Skills Development in India Completed

Area(s) of work: Education

Duration: June 2016 – December 2016

Status: Completed

Funder/ Partner: Azim Premji Foundation

Internationally, skills have come to be accepted as the key drivers of economic prosperity and social mobility (Gibb and Walker, 2011; Keep and Mayhew, 2010; Nikson, Warhurst Cullen and Watt, 2003). The new skills discourse is not just a reinstatement of the earlier emphasis on practical or vocational-technical education, but in fact represents the new linkages sought to be established between the individual’s self and body as the site of work, and the global conditions of economic production and development.

Against this context the study proposes to review the outcomes and implications of the National Policy on Skills Development (2009; 2015) and the skills training and education programmes that have resulted from it. Despite the urgency and massive investments made towards this, particularly by the current government, there are few studies that have critically examined its outcomes and effects.  The current study attempts to understand what implications do these  forms of alternate educational initiatives have for employment, social mobility and security? Specifically, using qualitative approaches, the primary question explored in will be, “How has the National Policy on Skills Development transformed the context of education and work in the country? Has this led to qualitative changes in social conditions and quality of life of disadvantaged groups such as SC/ST youth, Muslims, and women?”

A paper titled ‘Skills Education and Workforce Preparation: Examining the Disconnects between Policy Intentions and Outcomes in India‘ was presented at the 5th Conference of the Regulating for Decent Work Network, International Labour Organisation, Geneva.