National Policy on Skill Development
Skills and knowledge are the driving forces of economic growth and social development for any country. Countries with higher and better levels of skills adjust more effectively to the challenges and opportunities of world of work. Potentially, the target group for skill development comprises all those in the labour force, including those entering the labour market for the first time (12.8 million annually), those employed in the organized sector (26.0 million) and those working in the unorganized sector (433 million) in 2004-05. The current capacity of the skill development programs is 3.1 million. India has set a target of skilling 500 million people by 2022.
The policy envisions the establishment of a National Skill Development Initiative with the following mission:
- National Skill Development Initiative will empower all individuals through improved skills, knowledge, nationally and internationally recognized qualifications to gain access to decent employment and ensure India’s competitiveness in the global market.
The aim of skill development in the country is to support achieving rapid and inclusive growth through:
- Enhancing individuals‟ employability (wage/ self-employment) and ability to adapt to changing technologies and labour market demands.
- Improving productivity and living standards of the people.
- Strengthening competitiveness of the country.
- Attracting investment in skill development.
Objectives of the policy
The objectives of the national policy on skill development are to:
- Create opportunities for all to acquire skills throughout life, and especially for youth, women and disadvantaged groups.
- Promote commitment by all stakeholders to own skill development initiatives.
- Develop a high - quality skilled workforce/entrepreneur relevant to current and emerging employment market needs.
- Enable the establishment of flexible delivery mechanisms that respond to the characteristics of a wide range of needs of stakeholders.
- Enable effective coordination between different ministries, the Centre and the States and public and private providers
Scope of the Policy
The coverage of the National Policy on Skill Development includes the following:
- Institution – based skill development including ITIs/ITCs/vocational schools/technical schools/ polytechnics/ professional colleges, etc.
- Learning initiatives of sectoral skill development organised by different ministries/departments.
- Formal and informal apprenticeships and other types of training by enterprises
- Training for self - employment/entrepreneurial development
- Adult learning, retraining of retired or retiring employees and lifelong learning
- Non - formal training including training by civil society organizations
- E -learning, web - based learning and distance learning.
National Skill Development Corporation
The National Skill Development Corporation is a non - profit company under the Companies Act 1956 with an appropriate governance structure. The head of the Corporation is a person of eminence/reputed professional in the field of Skill Development. The Corporation would constitute Sector Skills Councils with following functions:
- Identification of skill development needs including preparing a catalogue of types of skills, range and depth of skills to facilitate individuals to choose from them.
- Development of a sector skill development plan and maintain skill inventory.
- Determining skills/competency standards and qualifications.
- Standardization of affiliation and accreditation process.
- Participation in Affiliation, accreditation, examination and certification.
- Plan and execute Training of Trainers.
- Promotion of academies of excellence.
- Establishment of a well-structured sector specific Labour Market Information System (LMIS) to assist planning and delivery of training
For More Information: National Policy on Skill Development (408KB)
Safety, Health and Environment at Work Place
The Constitution of India provide detailed provisions for the rights of the citizens and also lays down the Directive Principles of State Policy which set an aim to which the activities of the state are to be guided. On the basis of these Directive Principles as well as international instruments, Government is committed to regulate all economic activities for management of safety and health risks at workplaces and to provide measures so as to ensure safe and healthy working conditions for every working man and woman in the nation. Government recognizes that safety and health of workers has a positive impact on productivity and economic and social development. Prevention is an integral part of economic activities as high safety and health standard at work is as important as good business performance for new as well as existing industries.
The policy seeks to bring the national objectives into focus as a step towards improvement in safety, health and environment at workplace.
The objectives are to achieve:-
- Continuous reduction in the incidence of work related injuries, fatalities, diseases, disasters and loss of national assets.
- Improved coverage of work related injuries, fatalities and diseases andprovide for a more comprehensive data base for facilitating better performance and monitoring.
- Continuous enhancement of community awareness regarding safety,health and environment at workplace related areas.
- Continually increasing community expectation of workplace healthand safety standards.
- Improving safety, health and environment at workplace by creation of “green jobs” contributing to sustainable enterprise development
The following action programme is drawn up and where necessary time bound action programme would be initiated, namely:
- By providing effective enforcement machinery as well as suitable provisions for compensation and rehabilitation of affected persons
- By effectively enforcing all applicable laws and regulations concerning safety, health and environment at workplaces in all economic activities through an adequate and effective labour inspection system
- By establishing suitable schemes for subsidy and provision of loans to enable effective implementation of the policy
- By ensuring that employers, employees and others have separate but complementary responsibilities and rights with respect to achieving safe and healthy working conditions
- By amending expeditiously existing laws relating to safety, health and environment and bring them in line with the relevant international instruments
- By monitoring the adoption of national standards through regulatory authorities
- By facilitating the sharing of best practices and experiences between national and international regulatory authorities
- By developing new and innovative enforcement methods including financial incentives that encourage and ensure improved workplace performance
- By making an enabling legislation on Safety, Health and Environmental Workplaces
- By setting up safety and health committees wherever deemed appropriate
Occupational safety and health skills development
- By building upon advances already made through employer and employee initiative for providing safe and healthy working conditions;
- By providing for training programmes to increase the number and competence of personnel engaged in the field of occupational safety, health and environment at workplace;
- By providing information and advice, in an appropriate manner, to employers and employees organisations, with a view to eliminating hazards or reducing them as far as practicable;.
- By establishing occupational health services aimed at protection and promotion of health of employee and improvement of working conditions and by providing employee access to these services in different sectors of economic activities;
- By integrating health and safety into vocational, professional and labour related training programmes as also management training including small business practices;
- By adopting Occupational Safety and Health training curricula in workplace and industry programme
For More Information: Safety, Health and Environment at Work Place (132KB)
National Policy on HIV AIDS
The HIV/AIDS epidemic constitutes one of the most formidable challenges to development and social progress. The epidemic exacerbates poverty and inequality, and increases the burden on the most vulnerable people in society i.e. the elderly, the women, children and the poor. Countries and organizations that do not respond in time have to bear huge costs on public and private sector enterprises through declining productivity, loss of skilled and experienced labour and increased expenditures on employee treatment and associated costs as the demand for public services increases. National economies, as seen in the severely affected regions like the sub-Saharan Africa, have experienced the impact on virtually every sector.
- The National Council on AIDS, chaired by the Prime Minister of India, accords top priority to protection of workforce with regard to HIV/AIDS.
- The workplace, where a large number of people come together, is an ideal structure and setting to facilitate access to prevention, treatment, care and support for people living with and affected by HIV/AIDS and to help mitigate the impact of the virus.
- Stigma and discrimination associated with HIV/AIDS is a key challenge in the fight against HIV/AIDS.
- Government of India has ratified the ILO Convention No. 111 on Discrimination (Employment and Occupation). Therefore, a policy statement creating a framework for non - discrimination with workers on the basis of their real or perceived HIV status is essential. It is also necessary because in India a legislative framework on HIV/AIDS has not yet developed though the process has been initiated. However, there have been a number of landmark court judgments on HIV/AIDS related discrimination in employment that provide relevant background for this policy statement.
- Prevention efforts through the workplace are a globally recognized cost effective strategy
- Although efforts are being made, policy measures for unorganized sector workers are yet to be developed to provide guidelines for non - discrimination and social protection, including HIV in health insurance.
- Many employers in the public and private sectors have not taken up “work place interventions” due to low risk perception and lack of understanding. Partnership between State AIDS Control Societies (SACS), spearheading HIV/AIDS response at the state levels with trade unions, employers‟ organizations (whether publicly or privately owned) have been limited.
- India’s growth will generate about 14 million jobs per year in the next 10 - 12 years. Most entrants will be young people and uncontrolled spread of HIV and its impact among them will affect economic growth. Workplace Policy will ensure that they are provided appropriate services and information for prevention.
A National policy on HIV/AIDS and the World of Work is therefore, essential to provide guidelines to all the key actors and suggest mechanism for effective collaboration and implementation to protect the Indian working population from HIV infection and mitigate its social and economic impact.
The Policy framework is based on following facts about HIV/AIDS:
- The known routes of transmission of the Human Immuno – deficiency Virus (HIV) are through:
There is no scientific or epidemiological evidence to suggest that HIV can be transmitted through ordinary workplace contact (talking to or touching the person, using the same office equipment, tools, utensils or bathroom as a person infected with HIV). In special situations where there may be the potential risk of exposure, for example healthcare workers who may be exposed to blood or blood products, there are specific and appropriate infection -control procedures known as Universal Precautions that ought to be followed. Transmission is therefore not likely in the regular workplace setting.People with HIV may remain healthy and fit to work for several years despite their infection.With the availability of Anti-Retroviral Treatment, the life of people living with HIV can be prolonged substantially and they can lead a normal productive life.
- Unprotected sexual contact with an infected person;
- Transfusion of infected blood or blood products;
- Sharing of infected needles/syringes; and
- From infected mother-to-child during pregnancy, childbirth or breastfeeding
This policy, based on principles of human rights, aims to guide the national response to HIV/AIDS in reducing and managing the impact of the epidemic in the world of work. Specifically the policy aims to:
- Prevent transmission of HIV infection amongst workers and their families
- Protect rights of those who are infected and provide access to available care, support and treatment.
- Protect workers from stigma and discrimination related to HIV/AIDS by assuring them equity and dignity at the workplace
- Ensure safe migration and mobility with access to information services on HIV/AIDS.
- This policy applies to all employers and workers (including applicants for work) in the public and private sectors, all workplaces and contracts of employment, and all aspects of work – formal and informal and the self - employed worker including the spouse and children or other dependent family members of a worker.
- The employers‟ and workers‟ organizations, government ministries /departments at the national and state levels, public/ private sector companies, multi - national companies operating in India, and other social partners are advised to use this policy framework in formulating and implementing the workplace policy in their individual workplaces.
The policy adopts the key principles of the ILO Code of Practice on HIV/AIDS and the World of Work that is inline with the Government of India’s National HIV/AIDS policy. The ten principles are:
HIV/AIDS, a workplace issue
- HIV/AIDS is a workplace issue because it affects workers and enterprises, increases labour costs and reduces productivity. The workplace can play a vital role in limiting the spread and effects of the epidemic.
- There should be no discrimination or stigmatization of workers on the basis of real or perceived HIV status. Discrimination and stigmatization of people living with HIV/AIDS inhibits efforts aimed at promoting HIV/AIDS prevention.
- Women are more likely to become infected and adversely affected by the HIV/AIDS epidemic than men due to biological, socio – cultural and economic reasons. Equal gender relations and the empowerment of women are vital to successfully preventing the spread of HIV infection and enabling women to cope with HIV/AIDS.
Healthy work environment
- The work environment should be healthy and safe, and adapted to the physical and mental state of health and capability of workers.
- A successful development and implementation of HIV/AIDS policy and programme requires full cooperation and trust between employers, workers and governments.
No Screening for purpose of Employment
- HIV/AIDS screening should not be required of job applicants or persons in employment or for purposes of exclusion from employment or worker benefits. In order to assess the impact of HIV, employers may wish to do anonymous, unlinked HIV prevalence studies in their workplace. These studies may occur provided it is undertaken in accordance with the ethical principles of scientific research, professional ethics and the protection of individual and confidentiality. Where such research is done, workers should be consulted and informed that it is occurring. Testing will not be considered anonymous if there is a reasonable possibility that a person‟s HIV status can be deduced from the result.
- There is no justification for asking job applicants or workers to disclose HIV - related personal information. Nor should co - workers be obliged to reveal personal information about fellow workers.
- Personal data covered by medical confidentiality should be stored only by personnel bound by rules on medical secrecy and should be maintained apart from all other personal data.
For More Information: National Policy on HIV/ AIDS (319KB)
National Child Labour Policy
The National Child Labour Policy was approved by the Cabinet on 14th August 1987 during the Seventh Five Year Plan Period. The policy was formulated with the basic objective of suitably rehabilitating the children withdrawn from employment thereby reducing the incidence of child labour in areas of known concentration of child labour.
The policy consists of three main ingredients:
- Legal Action Plan: With emphasis laid on strict and effective enforcement of legal provisions relating to child labour under various labour laws;
- Focusing of general development programmes: Utilization of various ongoing development programmes of other Ministries/Departments for the benefit of child labour wherever possible;
- Project - based plan of action: Launching of projects for the welfare of working' children in areas of high concentration of child labour
The number of Child Labours as per the 1991 census was over 1.1 crores. Keeping in mind constraints of resources and the prevailing level of social consciousness and 'awareness, the Government has fixed the time till the end of the loth Plan to eliminate child labour in the hazardous sector. Elimination of all forms of child labour itself is a progressive process beginning with elimination efforts in the hazardous areas.
Under the scheme, the target group is all the children below 14 years of age and working in:
- Occupations and processes listed in the Schedule to the Child Labour (Prohibition & Regulation) Act, 1986; and/or
- Occupations & processes, which adversely affect their health and psyche
- In the latter category, the hazardousness of the employment towards the children should be reasonably established.
As per the 1991 census, the total number of working children in the country was 11.28 million. However, the NSSO survey 1999 - 2000 has reflected the magnitude of child labour as 10.40 million. It is proposed to adopt a sequential approach with focus on rehabilitation of children working in hazardous occupations in the first instance. Under the scheme, after a survey of child labour engaged in. hazardous occupations/ processes, the children are to be withdrawn from the above mentioned categories of occupations and processes, and then admitted to special schools (Rehabilitation – cum – Welfare Centers) in order to enable them to be mainstreamed into the formal schooling system. Vocational training is also proposed to be provided under the 10th Plan strategy.
Under the National Child Labour Projects, it is proposed to focus on different developmental and welfare programmes for the benefit of child labour in the project area. Effective convergence and an integrated approach of the relevant social sector schemes need to be carried out to achieve the project goals. The activities to be taken up under the project in the 10th Plan are:
- Stepping up of enforcement of child labour laws
- Formal Non -formal education
- Provision of Vocational Training
- Income and employment generation activities
- Direct rehabilitation of child labour
- Raising of public awareness
- Survey and evaluation.
For more information, visit NCLP Scheme (983KB)
Under the Constitution of India, Labour is a subject in the Concurrent List where both the Central & State Governments are competent to enact legislation subject to certain matters being reserved for the Centre
Entry No. 55
Regulation of labour and safety in mines and oil fields
Entry No. 22
Trade Unions; industrisl and labour disputes.
Entry No. 61
Industrial disputes concerning Union employees
Entry No. 23
Social Security and insurance, employment and unemployment.
Entry No. 65
Union agencies and institutions for "Vocational ...training..."
Entry No. 24
Welfare of abour including conditions of work, provident funds, employers "invalidity and old age pension and maternity
Source: Ministry of Labour and Employment