Has the skill India mission made an impact on employment numbers?

Updated: Jan 12

Despite government data showing an increase in employment under the Skill India Mission, the unemployment rate remained at 7.3%.


The Skill India Mission launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 15 August, 2015, promised to provide skills and employment to 400 million youth by the year 2022.

Developed by Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship (MSDE) and implemented by National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC), the centre introduced the following schemes as part of it: Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojna (PMKVY),  Rozgar Mela, Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Kendra, Capacity Building Scheme, Udaan, School Initiatives & Higher Education, India International Skill Centres (IISC), Pre-Departure Orientation Training (PDOT). 

The official data

As claimed by the government in its National Skill Development Mission, India has been falling short of skilled workers. Only 2.3% have undergone formal training as per the NSDC. According to statistics, India’s ranking is the lowest when compared to first world countries. This probably explains why a huge chunk of the educated population is not employed too.

Hence, the mission was to educate youth and impart relevant skills to improve employment numbers. 

The Skill Development & Entrepreneurship Minister Mahendra Nath Pandey announced in February 2021 that the government’s target to skill 1.07 crore youths by January under the Skill India Mission was achieved. 

The Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojna 2.0 was launched in the year 2016-2020 to benefit 10 million youth by 2020. The scheme was divided into - Centrally Sponsored Centrally Managed (CSCM) and Centrally Sponsored State Managed (CSSM) modules and was to be implemented by the National Skill Development Corporation and State government’s State Skill Development Missions (SSDM) respectively.

As reported, 75% of PMKVY 2.0’s funds was allotted for CSCM and 25% for the latter. Moreover, PMKVY 2.0 is more focused on the Craftsmen Training Scheme running across 15,042 training institutions in the country. However, when the pandemic was announced in 2020, a lot of the initiatives took a hit.

Impact of COVID-19

Several salaried employees lost jobs during the pandemic, the unemployment rate from January to December 2020 was around 9.3 percent. Even the training centers set up by the government were shut.

Image credit: Pradeep Gaur, Mint

To make up for the dissipation, the government aimed to train 8 lakh people under the Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojna (PMKVY) 3.0 that was launched on 15 January 2021. This also includes working towards the goal of training an additional one lakh individuals to support the healthcare system at a time when coronavirus is spreading. 

After the succession of PMKVY 1.0, the MSDE presented data in the Lok Sabha in August, 2021, stating that PMKVY 2.0 has provided employment to 2,16,059 people in 2020-21 and 87,621 of them in 2021-22. 


The upgraded mission will provide Short-Term Training (STT) course for the unemployed college dropouts for the period of 200-600  hours to 2.2 lakh citizens, Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) course for the individuals with prior experience for the 12-80 hours to 5.80 lakh and Special Projects (SP) course that encourages youth to train for special courses under Qualification packs (QPs) or National Occupational Standards (NOSs) for 2021-26 in a phased manner. 

According to the data provided by the government, till date, 65,44,420 candidates have been trained under STT, 64,98,896 candidates under RPL and 2,56,866 candidates under SP. Although 23,72,745 candidates are said to be employed through placements under PMKVY, the current unemployment rate in India stands at 7.3 percent as per the CMIE.


Edited by Roshni Shroff

Written by Aparajita Ghosh


Get more information about the Skill India mission here: 

Skill India Mission - Latest updates

Skill India Mission target achieved, 1.07 cr trained till Jan 2021: Govt