- The Standing Committee on Labour (Chairperson: Dr. Kirit Somaiya) submitted its report on ‘Industrial Training Institutes and Skill Development Initiative Scheme’ on January 4, 2018. In 1950, under the Craftsmen Training Scheme, Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs) were established, for imparting skills in various vocational trades to meet the skilled manpower requirements of the country. There are 13,353 ITIs across the country, of which 11,000 are private ITIs.
- Accreditation process: The Committee noted that in 2012, the Quality Council of India (QCI) was assigned the task of scrutinising, verifying, and accrediting the ITIs. Further, QCI grants accreditation to the institutes on the basis of fulfilling all requirements of accreditation criteria agreed between National Council of Vocational Training (NCVT) and the QCI. The NCVT is the central agency to advise the government in framing the training policy and for coordinating vocational training throughout India. The adherence to NCVT norms with respect to the accredited applications is checked by the Directorate General of Training (DGT) before giving orders for affiliation of the ITIs.
- The Committee highlighted that the QCI had compromised with the quality of accreditation and affiliation process. It had not followed the prescribed NCVT norms with respect to building infrastructure, equipment, and faculty. The Committee also noted the failure on the part of DGT for allowing this to continue without any check. In this context, the Committee recommended that appropriate action be straight away decided by the DGT against the QCI.
- Pendency of applications and complaints: The Committee noted that the QCI has not processed the cases of accreditation on a timely basis and there was a huge pendency of applications from 2013 to 2016. It also noted that between 2014-16, there were numerous public grievances regarding accreditation of ITIs by QCI. In this context, the Committee recommended that apart from examining the 263 complaint cases, a compulsory review of all 6,729 cases which QCI had forwarded for accreditation must be conducted.
- Further, the Committee also recommended giving the Craftsmen Training Scheme legal teeth to strengthen its regulation and monitoring powers.
- Employment prospects after training: The Committee observed that in 400 government ITIs (as of 2015-16), 64% trainees have found either wage employment or self-employment. The corresponding figure for 100 private ITIs is 53%. The Committee noted that more efforts are required to enhance employability of trainees by reviewing and augmenting the skills imparted at the ITIs. Further, it recommended making arrangements for regular campus placement (Rojgar Melas), and special recruitment drives in the ITIs which could be in contact with the various employer associations/industry representatives.
- Underutilised capacity: The Committee highlighted that the total trainee count in the ITIs is 19.4 lakh as against the seating capacity of 21.9 lakh, i.e. about 88% utilisation of available seats. In order to address this under-utilisation of available capacity, the Committee recommended that there should be a mechanism to assess the popularity of courses and divert resources towards them rather than keeping the capacity idle.
- Further, it noted a huge potential in apprenticeship training which remains untapped. In this regard, the Committee recommended that comprehensive efforts should be made by involving all the stakeholders including the state governments and private industry to tap this apprenticeship potential.
- Participation of state governments: The Committee highlighted that the requisite support from state governments is not forthcoming. For example, a scheme for upgradation of existing government ITIs into model ITIs has been launched. The Committee noted poor utilisation of funds under this scheme and recommended that concerted effort should be made to obtain plans from the states for proper release of funds to expedite fund utilisation under the scheme.