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Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY)

In 2018, as per the World Bank, India’s 67% of the population was in the working-age group; and as per the Sample Registration System 2018 by the Registrar General & Census Commissioner of India, 47% was under 25 years. To take advantage of this demography and boost the country’s economy, in 2015, the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MSDE) launched the Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY) to train and upskill country’s capable workforce. Under this scheme, the government will assess and certify individuals/candidates with prior learning experience or no skills and provide training based on the National Skill Qualification Framework (NSQF) and industry-led standards; will also bear assessment and certification fees, along with training, lodging and boarding costs.

Need for the Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana Scheme
According to the International Labour Organsation (ILO), in 2020, India comprised 4,717 lakh workers, of which, the agriculture sector consisted of 41.19% workforce, followed by the service sector (32.33%) and the industry sector (26.18%). In 2019, India’s labour force participation rate (% of the total population) stood at 48.14% for population aged >15 years; stood at 26.67% for the age group of 15-24 years. As per the ILO’s Periodic Labour Force Survey (LFS), the unemployment rate in India stood at 21.1% for the age group of 20-24 and 9.8% for the age group of 25-29 in 2019.

As of March 2021, India had 438 unemployed lakh people, who were willing to work. A recent survey by the National Sample Survey Office (NSSO) highlighted that India lacked training facilities for as many as 20 high-growth industries such as logistics, healthcare, construction, hospitality and automobiles. According to the ILO, India is likely to face shortage of ~29 million skilled personnel by 2030. With 15 million youngsters entering the workforce each year, corporates and research institutes have observed that 65-75% are not job ready or are unemployable, and if this deficit continues on its current trajectory, most industries will be plagued by ~75-80% skill gap issues.

Through the PMKVY, the government aims to improve/enhance the efficiency of capable workforce and therefore, contribute to the overall development of India. Currently, there is a huge gap between the needs of industry and skills of individuals at the local level that is rapidly expanding because of the pandemic. While employers struggle to employ people with the required skills, many displaced workers with limited skills strive to regain their livelihoods. Also, the present skilling ecosystem needs a new game plan, as ‘work from home' becomes the new norm, functional roles in different sectors are increasingly being redefined, resulting in fundamental changes in the ecosystem.

Key Objectives

  • Encourage and mobilise youth to take up industry-relevant skill training to become employable
  • Increase capability and productivity of the existing workforce and align skill training with the actual requirements of the industry
  • Promote standardisation of the certification process and implement it on a larger level to create National Skills Registry (NSR is a database of details of the professionals as entered by them and background check information on the same. It includes personal, academic and employment details of individuals employed / to be employed in the industry)

Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana – PMKVY (2016-2026)

PM Kaushal Vikas Yojana 1.0 (2015-16):

PMKVY was launched as a pilot in 2015 and was designed as a skill certification and reward scheme. The scheme was implemented by the MSDE through the National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC), Sector Skill Councils (SSCs), which were set up as autonomous industry-led bodies to create occupational standards, develop a competency framework, conduct studies on skill gaps and assess & certify trainees. The NSDC also established Training Partners (TPs)—that are private companies/not for profit companies/private & public universities—that sign term sheet with the NSDC for implementing training projects and receive financial payouts for the project. Between 2015 and 2016, 19.85 lakh candidates were trained under the scheme. After the successful implementation of PMKVY 1.0, the Union Cabinet approved the scheme for another four years (2016-20) with an outlay of Rs. 12,000 crores (US$ 1.6 billion).

PM Kaushal Vikas Yojana 2.0 (2016-20):

In July 2016, the government launched PMKVY 2.0 with an aim to augment the scheme in numerous sectors, geographies and align it with other government missions such as ‘Make in India’, ‘Digital India’ and ‘Swachh Bharat Mission’. Under PMKVY 2.0, 89.59 lakh candidates were trained from 2016 to 2020. For this sche

me, the government allocated Rs. 12,000 crore (US$ 1.6 billion), of which, Rs. 7,115 crore (US$ 967 million) was sanctioned until January 2021.

PM Kaushal Vikas Yojana 3.0 (2020-26):

Based on the learning attained from PMKVY 1.0 and PMKVY 2.0, the MSDE launched the newer version of the scheme to match the current policy doctrine and energise the skilling ecosystem that was affected due to the pandemic. The PMKVY 3.0 scheme will be implemented in two phases, wherein phase one was implemented on a pilot basis in FY21 (2020-21), with an outlay of Rs. 949 crore (US$ 129 million). Under this new scheme, 2.78 lakh candidates were trained between 2020 and 2021.

In addition, through PMKVY 3.0 phase one, the government will implement the framework for the second phase (from 2021 to 2026). Moreover, the government is working on a comprehensively mapping various schemes—which are being run by central and state governments and have similar goals (schemes such as National Apprenticeship Promotion Scheme (NAPS), MUDRA loans under Pradhan Mantri MUDRA Yojana (PMMY) and the Mahatma Gandhi National Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA))—to create a mechanism for better convergence of the related schemes.

Between 2015 and 2021, 108.65 lakh candidates were trained under PMKVY.


Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana Courses

  • Short Term Training (STT)

Under the PMKVY, STT provides training programmes to unemployed youths or school/college dropouts (aged 15-45 years) based on the National Skills Qualification Framework (NSQF). These training centres (which have the required accreditations and affiliations according to the PMKVY guidelines) offer training courses in soft skills, entrepreneurship, financial and digital literacy, wherein the duration of these training sessions vary as per the job role and can range for 150-300 hours. Moreover, the government provides placement/entrepreneurship/apprenticeship assistance to candidates who have successfully completed the certification courses under the scheme.

  • Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)

RPL refers to an assessment process that is used to evaluate an individual’s existing skill set, knowledge and experience gained either by formal or informal learning. Through this parameter, individuals with prior learning experience or skills can register themselves and get certified under the scheme. The main objective of RPL is to align competencies of the pre-existing workforce of the country to the standardised NSQF.

  • Special Projects

Training projects for new skills, which may not be conducted through STT due to the rules & regulation drafted in STT may be considered for special project on case to case basis. The objective of special projects is to create innovative, critical and practical projects that have the potential to impact various marginalised, vulnerable, socially disadvantaged, hidden and hard-to-reach populations of the society through placement-linked and entrepreneurial skill development training programmes.

The following criteria must be fulfilled for consideration as special projects:

  • If the job roles are outside the purview of the existing PMKVY job roles
  • If the TP provides greater than or equal to 80% captive placement or 90% wage employment
  • Training programmes conducted in varied institutional settings such as jail and government institutions
  • Proposals where training is executed through partial funding from the PMKVY and other sources
  • These criteria can change based on the project or case-to-case basis

Any training provider, corporate, government institution, association and NGO subject to scheme guidelines and qualification requirements under special projects can apply for PMKVY Special Projects.

  • Kaushal and Rozgar Mela

Social and community mobilisation is extremely critical for the success of PMKVY, as active participation of the community ensures transparency and accountability and helps in leveraging the cumulative knowledge of the community for better functioning. In line with this, PMKVY assigns special importance to involvement of the target beneficiaries through a defined mobilisation process. Kaushal and Rozgar Mela is conducted by TPs every six months with media coverage.

  • Placement Assistance

PMKVY links aptitude, aspiration and knowledge of the skilled workforce to employment opportunities and demands in the market. It provides placement opportunities to candidates who have been trained and certified under the scheme. TPs also provide support to boost entrepreneurship.

  • Continuous Monitoring

To ensure that high-quality standards are maintained by TCs and the NSDC, the empaneled inspection agencies use various methodologies, such as self-audit reporting, call validations, surprise visits and monitoring through the Skills Development Management System (SDMS) that manages the entire workflow ranging from enrolment of candidates to disbursement of tranche-based payments to TPs and certificates to candidates.

Key Statistics (As of March 31, 2021)




Special Projects

Enrolled candidates




Ongoing training




Trained candidates




Assessed candidates




Certified candidates




Candidates placed




  • As of January 19, 2021, 15,124 TCs have been empaneled and 1,595 TCs were operational across the country
  • As of October 2020, there were ~2700 TPs

Key initiatives and partnerships by the MSDE in 2020

  • In December 2020, the MSDE partnered with Microsoft and National Association of Software and Service Companies (NASSCOM) to provide digital content to Industrial Training Institutes (ITI) students and future-ready skilling programmes for upskilling and reskilling. Through this collaboration, ~1,20,000 students in ~3,000 ITIs would be benefit from this digitised e-learning module via the ‘Bharat Skills’ portal. Similar to this, the MSDE has joined forces with numerous digital industry leaders such as IBM India Pvt. Ltd., SAP India, Cisco Systems India Pvt. Ltd., Accenture Solutions and Quest Alliance, Adobe and SSC-NASSCOM, to enable students to become industry ready.In October 2020, the MSDE signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the High Commission of Australia to strengthen cooperation in skill development, vocational education and training (VET). To date, it has signed MOUs with eight countries including Japan, the UAE, Sweden, Saudi Arabia, Russia, Finland and Morocco for cooperation in the field of VET.
  • In August 2020, the MSDE entered an MoU with the Ministry of Shipping (MoS) to create a robust framework driven by the concerted efforts of the two ministries to address the need for a skilled workforce in the ports and maritime sector.
  • In July 2020, MSDE launched the ‘Aatmanirbhar Skilled Employee Employer Mapping (ASEEM)’ portal to help skilled workforce find sustainable livelihood opportunities. This AI-based platform aims to strengthen career pathways and help students attain industry-relevant skills and explore emerging job opportunities. As of December 2020, 1.3 crore skilled personnel were onboarded the portal and ~14 lakh job offers were made.

The Road Ahead…
The government is reviewing the existing programmes for skilling the country’s youth, with an emphasis on digital technology. In the next phase of PMKVY (2021-26), the government will focus on areas such as data analysis, AI and machine learning and entrepreneurship.

It will conduct an industrywide mapping to identify skills that have become outdated and those that are in demand; this will be reviewed by the department and skilling organisations to develop appropriate skilling manuscripts. For each sector, in-demand skills and job positions for those skills with salary will be assessed and certified programmes will be developed. After this, the government will work in partnership with public and private institutions to make these programs available. In addition to the central government, each state will provide inputs on the employment needs of the local youth. Jobs and skills mapping will also be done at a district level.

To survive in a rapidly evolving business environment, the government aims to focus on skilling, reskilling and upskilling over the next few years. Given the appalling degree of skill mismatch in India, the government expects that PMKVY 3.0 will bridge the demand-supply gap by promoting skill development in areas of new-age and industry 4.0 job roles.