According to the Boston Consulting Group report, 60 percent of the 1.3 billion Indian population is likely to be in the working age bracket by the year 2020. This would result in a surplus of active population in India (15-59 years old), that would be more than the rest of the world combined. Even China would experience a net loss of 10 million in active population. Going by these estimates, India's human resources could be the only hope for nations lacking active population for employment purposes. India is blessed with an unmatched demographic dividend gearing for economic development and skill export opportunities.
At the same time, Indian markets are growing, driven by robust infrastructure, investments and friendly government policies. Projections indicate a need for 700 million skilled personnel by 2022 to meet these growing requirements. For instance, requirements are expected to be 84 million in real estate and construction, 102 million in retail, 11 million in manufacturing, 36 million in tourism, and 10 million in food processing.
Currently only two percent of the Indian population is trained in vocational skills, as against 90 percent of skill based jobs in India that require vocational training1. Despite 60 percent of population in working age, low employability rate can dilute the benefits of demographic dividend.
The Government of India has undertaken several initiatives to close this skill gap at central and state levels targeting many sectors. It has created a new skills ministry - the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship and allocated Rs.25,000 crore in 2014 budget for skill development.
While these initiatives are path-breaking, traditional training methods still pose significant challenges in delivering large scale results.
With focused Government initiatives such as Digital India with an outlay of Rs.1 lakh crore1 towards rural broad-brand and mobile connectivity, e-governance, etc., technology can address the issues of reach and expansion. Re-imagining skill development through low-cost, effective technology solutions can provide the following advantages:
TCS is at the forefront of reimagining education and building skill initiatives in India with a host of technology deployments. iON Digital Learning is an effort in the direction of redefining learning outcomes and also reducing the skill gap in this country. The community-based structure of the platform hosted on the cloud offers features that:
- Enable peer learning in a community structure at the taluqa or district or any other level
- Provide improved learning with a powerful tool repository
- Facilitate enhanced collaboration among stakeholders
- Provide multiple assessments and analytics for outcome reporting
- Allow the ability to build a skills repository for improved stakeholder visibility
The solution is being used in some universities and colleges across India to drive better learning outcomes and bridge skills gaps.