The Union Budget 2023 has given the much-needed boost to youth empowerment in the country.

The government has formulated the National Education Policy (NEP), focused on upskilling, adopted economic policies that facilitate job creation at scale, and supported business opportunities to empower the youth of the country and help the ‘Amrit Peedhi’ realise their dreams.

“Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY ) 4.0 will be launched to skill lakhs of youth within the next three years.  On-job training, industry partnership, and alignment of courses with needs of industry will be emphasised,” Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said in her budget speech for 2023-24 in Parliament.

Arvind Bali, CEO, Telecom Sector Skill Council said the government’s focus on the skill development of India’s potential youth talent through initiatives like NEP, PMKVY 4.0 for skilling in niche new-age technologies draws further impetus to the ongoing efforts.

“Blue and grey-collar job demand in India grew by up to four-fold in 2022. Annual demand in telecommunications and 5G have increased by 33.7 percent in September 2022. There was a demand for 1.3 million workers in FY22-23 which is growing each year and. New use-cases including cloud computing, robots, and the Internet of Things (IoT) are also seeing a sharp rise in hiring. We believe the initiatives will be beneficial to close country’s growing demand supply gap of technical talent workforce,” he added.

“The announcement of PMKVY 4.0 to skill lakhs of youth within the next three years in alignment with the needs for industry 4.0 is highly appreciable as it will lead to the enhancement of employability. As IT sector has the potential to generate more jobs,  skills in  AI, coding, mechatronics, drones, 3d printing and more would be the focus,” said Rajesh Verma, Dean of Strategy & Marketing at Mittal School of Business, Lovely Professional University

“A focus on youth power as one of the key priorities and the intention to set up International Skill India centers is a welcome initiative. Our youth are the leaders of tomorrow across sectors and the right inputs and education will support the nation in the long term. It will be even more good to see an inclusive approach to ensure youth from diverse sections- with disabilities and from the LGBTQ community benefitting from this initiative,” said Sonica Aron, Managing Partner and Founder of Marching Sheep.

“The 30 Skill India international centers focused on emerging technologies, with a strong focus on, on-the-job training, will contribute to the country’s expanding knowledge capital, positioning India as a strong digital contender,” added S Durgaprasad, Co-Founder, Director, and Group CEO, Bahwan CyberTek.

Rahul Goyal, Managing Director (India & South East Asia), ADP said  the launch of a unified skill India digital platform for enabling demand based formal skilling will help the country successfully progress towards becoming a digital savvy nation.

“Overall, the budget includes significant measures that will help in the advancement of the youth of the country, help them become more competitive and secure positions on the world map,” he added.

Rituparna Chakraborty, Co-founder & Executive Director, TeamLease Services said in the days ahead, emphasis should be to facilitate seamless launch of the skill centers and effective integration of outcome based learning for new age courses on coding, AI, robotics, mechatronics IoT, 3D printing etc.

“Digitisation in skilling was an imperative requirement and the budget has addressed it through the launch of an Unified Skill India Digital Platform. This will create more avenues for demand based formal skilling, encouraging more employers, especially MSMEs, to adopt apprenticeships and entrepreneurship schemes. The aim to support 47 lakh youths in three years through direct benefit transfer under the India National Apprenticeship Scheme is a bold aspiration and cohesive efforts are required to convert this goal,” she added.

Alagar Samy, Director, Consortium for Technical Education (CTE) said the budget for self-directed online/offline training programmes will enhance job seekers’ soft and digital skills, thereby improving their employment prospects.

“PM Kaushal Vikaas Yoajna 4.0 launch is a positive move to skill the Indian youth in new age courses for industry 4.0 such as robotics, coding, drones and other soft skills. The budget focuses on improving education quality, strengthening teacher competencies, developing robust infrastructure, promoting skill development, and increasing access to affordable internet services.”

“Prior initiatives like Career Skills and Samagra Shiksha’s online teacher training, focus on research and innovation, e-learning and student financial aid are expected to enhance India’s education system and bridge the gap between education and industry, producing a globally competent workforce. Education moves forward with industry partnerships, data governance policies, and a technology-focused approach with a special emphasis on AI applications,” Samy added.

Sitharaman presented the Union Budget 2023 on Wedneasday, marking the first budget of the Modi government’s “Amrit Kaal”.

She said the Union Budget 2023 is a roadmap to drive India’s growth and development, focusing on seven key areas – inclusive development, last-mile connectivity, infrastructure, unleashing potential, green growth, youth power, and a robust financial sector.