On Wednesday, February 1, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman presented Union Budget 2023, the last full budget of the Modi government before the 2024 general elections.
The Government outlined seven priorities for Union Budget 2023: inclusive development, unleashing potential, green growth, youth power, last mile reaching, financial sector and infrastructure investment.
It has identified youth empowerment as one of its top priorities this year. Let us discuss all the major steps taken in this year's budget.
Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana 4.0
Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY) was launched in 2015 with a focus on skilling, reskilling and upskilling. PMKVY 1.0 was launched in 2015, PMKVY 2.0 in 2017 and PMKVY 3.0 in January 2021.
To further empower our youth and help the ‘Amrit Peedhi’ realize their dreams, the fourth phase of Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY) has been announced to give a push to skilling in the country. Announced in the Union Budget 2023, this scheme will be launched in the next three years to skill lakhs of youth.
The main objective of PMKVY 4.0 is to provide industry-relevant training to the youth, which will enable them to find employment and self-employment opportunities. The scheme will cover a wide range of courses including Industry 4.0 technologies such as coding, AI, robotics, IoT, mechatronics, 3D printing, drones and soft skills. On-job training, industry partnership, and alignment of courses with needs of industry will be emphasized.
Skill India digital platform
With an emphasis on skilling, reskilling, and upskilling, the Skill India initiative was launched in 2015. The government has been executing numerous skill development initiatives around the country through approximately 20 central ministries/departments under this umbrella.
FM Sitharaman announced that 30 Skill India International Centres will be set up across different states, to help the youth get international opportunities. Moreover, a unified "Skill India" platform will be launched to enable demand-based formal skilling, linking with employers (including MSMEs) and facilitating access to entrepreneurial schemes.
National apprenticeship scheme
The government has announced a pan India national apprenticeship scheme to empower youth from rural areas and economically disadvantaged families with both soft and hard skills. To provide support to 47 lakh youths in 3 years, a Direct Benefit Transfer scheme under the National Apprenticeship Scheme will be rolled out by FM Nirmala Sitharaman.
The initiative is aimed at giving them access to emerging tech, software and data sectors, while also equipping them with the necessary skills to succeed. This move is expected to open up fresh opportunities for those looking to better their lives and make the most of the current job market.
Al progress and 5G rollout
The Government of India has announced the setting up of three centres of excellence for Artificial Intelligence (AI) at leading educational institutions in the country. The move is part of its Digital India initiative and aims to create a strong AI ecosystem within the country.
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said that the AI centres will be set up in collaboration with top educational institutions and relevant industry leaders, and focus on researching and developing practical AI applications in the fields of agriculture, health, and sustainable cities.
Apart from this, the government also plans to set up 100 labs for the development of 5G apps in leading engineering institutes. This is expected to promote made-in-India apps, which would enhance India’s presence in the global tech market.
Commenting on these Budget developments, Apoorva Ranjan Sharma, Cofounder and Managing Director of Venture Catalysts stated, “the emphasis to promote on-job training, industry partnerships, and alignment of courses with the various needs of respective industries under the Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana 4.0 reflects a progressive and resourceful outlook for encouraging and developing India’s resplendent startup ecosystem.”
“The importance given to the development of Artificial Intelligence ecosystem through Make AI In India and Make AI Work For India, along with the transformative measures for ease of doing business and boost for urban infrastructure, all will convene to ameliorate India’s global status as the leader in economic development, innovation and entrepreneurship, and will promote the startup culture to produce companies of the future. With the new budget, prospects of India’s entrepreneurial ecosystem seem bright and inexorable,” she added.