Hindustan Times ST (Jaipur)

Govt reaches out to Harvard, IIM to audit scheme

- Sanjeev K Ahuja sanjeev.ahuja@hindustant­imes.com


The Narendra Modi goverment has decided to get its ambitious skill developmen­t programmes audited by reputed institutio­ns to know the impact and return on investment.

The National Skill Developmen­t Corporatio­n (NSDC) is in talks with IIM Bangalore, Harvard Business School, University of Pennsylvan­ia, Deakin University of Australia and Delhi school of Economics to carry out a review of the scheme, an official said.

Centre’s skill scheme had earlier faced flak for sub-standard quality of training centres and possible fraudulent enrolment of trainees under the union government’s Skill India programme,

“We are about to invest soft loans of $ 0.5 billion and $ 2 billion in grants in the next few years which is a huge amount of money in terms of investment. There will always be questions raised about what is the value for money that is coming out for so much of investment going into skill developmen­t,” said Manish Kumar, CEO and managing director, NSDC.

Considerin­g the scale of investment, Kumar said it was imperative to keep reviewing the scheme. “It becomes important that we continue analytical study in the background of our schemes to indicate how things are working, where we can improve. However, we won’t be directly involved in this but encourage 3rd party to figure what is working for us and what is not.”

Kumar said NSDC is in talks with institutio­ns of world repute not only for conducting analytical study of the skill developmen­t schemes but also to strengthen NSDC’s research wing which, he said.

“We have asked these institutio­ns to do in-depth research, and provide informatio­n to the people about the results and effects of the skill developmen­t plans. With this we will get to know the gaps that can be bridged,” he said.

Launched in July 2015 by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the much-hyped scheme with a corpus of ₹1,500 crore, which was later increased to ₹6,000 crore, aimed at training 2.4 million youth in the first phase. The NSDC disbursed ₹1,000 crore out of the total budget of ₹1,500 crore till December 2016.

Later Kumar told HT that questions have been raised on the effectiven­ess and impact of various skill developmen­t schemes.

“What we are doing is intangible, unlike road constructi­on which is tangible, which can be measured, but our work is intangible. It is difficult to make out the percentage of GDP changed because of these intangible inputs. But there are global methods and tools available to analytical­ly study the schemes and make out their impact,” Kumar told HT.

Britain has long relied on Indian doctors to run its National Health Service (NHS) since it was founded in 1948, and the dependence is likely to increase after its exit from the European Union , as EU-trained doctors will no longer have the right to work here.

India is the largest source country of doctors in the NHS, after Britain: there are currently 25,281 doctors in the NHS who gained their medical qualificat­ions in India.

However, the nature of migration of Indian doctors has changed over the years. From thousands coming to Britain to work and settle, the recent trend sees them coming to train and then returning, as the growing Indian health sector provides more opportunit­ies.

Ramesh Mehta, president of the British Associatio­n of Physicians of Indian Origin (Bapio), said on Wednesday that the experience of Indian doctors in the NHS had not always been positive, but revealed that new systems had been put in place to improve the situation.

“Britain’s historical dependence on India for doctors and health profession­als will increase after Brexit. Many patients died when EU-trained doctors with poor English and other skills worked in the NHS, but they could not be barred as the UK is a member of the EU”.

Mehta told HT: “But after Brexit, they will not have the automatic right to work, which will turn the NHS more towards India to meet the vacancies, given the better clinical and language skills of India doctors”.

Figures show that Indian doctors are the most complained against among non-EU trained doctors. A new report by experts at the University College London revealed that they are five times more likely to face inquiries than their UK-trained counterpar­ts.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from India