Industry 4.0 is the present trend of automation and data exchange in building technologies which includes cyber-physical systems, IoT, cloud computing, and creating a smart factory. It is the digital transformation of manufacturing or producing technologies, and value creation processes. With the fourth industrial revolution, industry 4.0 is used interchangeably and it renders a new stage in the organization and industrial value chain.
India is best placed to take advantage of industry 4.0 and become a technological and industrial superpower with its large medium of skilled manpower and flattering demography.
Indian philosophy and thoughts have always valued learning because learning and skilling have always been important. Constant skill up-gradation has gained new momentum with the emergence of industry 4.0 that attempts to redefine manufacturing and industries through the use of artificial intelligence, machine learning,and other processes.
The importance of skills among the youth is increasing as the world is fighting the global pandemic for the past one and a half years. The World Youth Skills Day, this year has an apt theme, ‘Reimagining Youth Skills Post-Pandemic’. It marks the six years of the Skill India Mission. The Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana has trained 1.28 crore youth in India, which also includes 46 lakh women. Under the placement-linked program of this scheme, more than 56 percent of students have been employed.
India is taking fast steps in skilling the youth, but still, there is a need to dramatically scale up efforts and ensure that the training provided is in guidance with requirements made by Industry 4.0. This requires the continuous involvement of India Inc, which can guide governments and train institutions on the kind of skills that are required. Partnerships that are established between governments, corporates, and civil society for training the youth, must increase multifariously because only they can make a notable difference to equip Indian youth with skill sets that are required and relevant.
In an era of specialization, India must not miss the trend and everyone in the country must take part to skill, re-skill, and upskill the youth in line with changing priorities. Such skilling of Indian youth, in line with evolving industrial requirements, will help Indian industries to become a bigger and more integral part of value chains across the globe. So, there is a captivating business case to be made for corporate India to increase investment in skilling the country’s youth.
The new education policy also rightly lays sufficient emphasis on training the youth and on digital learning. The only thing that is required is the increased coordination between stakeholders to ensure a highly skilled labor force.
In India, initiatives taken by the central government have been paired with enthusiasm, for example, the skilling initiatives run by the various state governments. In Madhya Pradesh, the state’s Mukhya Mantri Kaushal Samvardhan Yojna (MMKSY), which provides entry to short-term demand-driven training courses in employable trades, and a similar scheme, the Mukhya Mantri Kaushalya Yojna (MMKY) for women, have nearly 8.5 lakh students training through 424 registered training service providers and 856 affiliated training centers. This training is provided across 32 sectors.
This is just one success story. What has also been encouraging is the energy with which India’s non-profit organizations have taken the lead to help in skilling the youth. Organizations like The/Nudge Foundation run the Future Perfect skilling program, through which they focus to skill 30,000 youth by 2022. Another civil society organization, Smile Foundation, runs Smile Twin E-learning Programme (STeP), a program that trains underprivileged youth with skills required in the job market. So far, 47,000 youth have been trained through the program and 28,000 have been placed in over 200 companies through 95 operational projects across India.