The cornerstone of Budget 2019 lies in aspirations of a new India becoming a $5 trillion economy over the next few years. Key pillars on the roadmap to becoming so include ensuring an accelerated economic development and related job creation. One of key factors in achieving this goal will be developing India's talent pool to meet requirements of various sectors. Infrastructure development across the country in road, highways, railways, port, housing, water management and tourism were called out as contributors to this vision. This will require skilled personnel in areas such as construction, welding, electricians, plumbers and logistics on developing, operating and maintaining these.
Similarly, with the digital infrastructure and services envisaged to reach every district in the country, it will require skilled personnel to lay the infrastructure, operate, and service the same. The focus on promoting and strengthening MSME establishments across urban and rural areas also provides ample opportunities for job creation for which skills will be required.
In this age of industry 4.0 and renewed impetus on Make in India, new age industries like semi-conductor fabrication, solar charging products and solar photovoltaic cells manufacturing are being encouraged through various fiscal incentives. India is also being positioned to become a global electric vehicle hub. This will provide significant opportunities for engineers and other professions having the requisite expertise.
In this context, the reforms and transformation proposed in institutions of higher education through autonomy and improved learning outcomes is important. Enabling reforms is to be the mandate of the proposed Higher Education Commission of India. The proposal to transform existing higher education institutions as world class institutions and setting up new ones focussed on research and innovation and benchmarked to the globally best ranked institutes will not only ensure availability of the required talent pool within the country but also attract foreign students. This will result in the Indian campuses benefiting from a diverse student base as well as ensure the institutes continuously update their course curriculum aligned to industry needs, become research and innovation-oriented and attract quality faculty and students in their world class facilities, thus making India the global hub for higher education.
The addition of new age skills such as Artificial Intelligence, Internet of Things and 3D printing as key focus areas for Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY) is also a step in the right direction.
(The author is Partner at Deloitte India)