Odisha: Creating a workforce for the world

April 29, 2019

A Niti Ayog report from 2018 called out the fact that Odisha has been one of the better performing states in several critical areas

Odisha has received PMs award for the best state in the country in skill development of rural youth for the 2nd year in a row

The Government of Odisha has set up Skill Development Training Extension Centres across all districts of the state by the

Around 151,000 trainers and trainees from the World Skill Centre will form a pool of the world’s most skilled workforce

Odisha has been one of the better performing states in several critical areas, leading to an improved investment environment. Odisha enjoys the distinction of having won the Prime Minister’s award for being the best state in the country in skill development of rural youth for the second year in a row.

Odisha’s rise from aspirant to frontrunner status is not surprising. The state has a history of achievements in different parameters, since decades.

  1. Odisha was one of the first Indian provinces to be formed on a linguistic basis, as early as 1936
  2. Rourkela steel plant, India’s first ever integrated steel plant came up in Odisha in 1954-55
  3. Odisha’s Wheeler Island is the place where most of India’s missiles are tested.
  4. Odisha is a pioneer in the Food Security Program, with its own State Food Security Act covering more than 3 million beneficiaries
  5. None other than the United Nations has recognized Odisha’s preparedness for Disaster Management and the state’s ability to extend help to other states during crisis situations
  6. Odisha attracted industrial investment of Rs4.5 trillion and has used much of this to improve infrastructure, connectivity, healthcare, and human resources
  7. Odisha is India’s No 1 state to implement Mission Shakti,  empowering 7 million women through 700,000 self-help groups
  8. Odisha’s farmer income has risen dramatically and the state  has received the Krishi Karman Award four times for its agri-friendly policies and practices
  9. Dharma port in Odisha is the deepest port in India, after Gujarat; Odisha is India’s leading producer of Hematite.

A Niti Ayog report from 2018 calls out the fact that Odisha has been one of the better performing states in several critical areas, leading to an improved investment environment in Odisha. A survey jointly conducted by Invest India and World Bank in July 2018 ranked Odisha as an ‘Aspiring Leader’ in terms of investment promotion preparedness.

Odisha on the rise

Odisha’s rise to the forefront has been steady. Yet, nothing reflects this as much as the fact that Odisha has taken a lead in the Skill Development Sector and around 900,000 youth have been skilled in various job worthy areas. As a result, Odisha enjoys the distinction of having won the Prime Minister’s award for being the best state in the country in skill development of rural youth for the second year in a row.

To increase the employment opportunities in Odisha the government has announced plans to invest US$ 28.69 bn in the manufacturing sector. This will generate almost 300,000 job opportunities by 2020. In the past four years, Odisha has been the recipient of 118 large manufacturing projects approved, with an employment potential of 128,572, according to a news report.

In line with the Central Government’s flagship ‘Make in India’ initiative, the Government of Odisha held a ‘Make in Odisha’ conclave to bring in investment in the manufacturing sector. The state bagged investment commitments worth US$ 30.54 bn during the conclave. This investment will require a job ready workforce and Odisha is going all out to make sure that it will deliver.

Development opportunities

The Government of Odisha has set up Skill Development Training Extension Centres in all districts of the state, to make sure that people from every region of can enrol in one skill development program or the other and become future ready. The state government operates most of the existing centres under Public-Private Partnership mode. These include ITIs, Polytechnic colleges and Entrepreneurship Development Centres.

It has invited private partners to operate and maintain these Skill Development Centres and train students in different priority sectors such as textiles, healthcare, logistics, transport, information technology, electronics manufacturing, food processing, urban infrastructure, smart city projects, chemicals, petrochemicals, plastics, energy, tourism and downstream industries.

Private partnerships

The Odisha government has teamed up with NIT – Rourkela, Cisco, Tata Strive, Asian Development Bank, Tech Mahindra, Schneider India Electric Foundation, Suzuki Motor Gujarat Private Limited, the Employability Bridge, Chennai, the Government of Singapore and others to make Odisha the Skills Capital of India. The partners will assist the Odisha government to develop industry relevant electrical programmes, training modules in the latest technologies, draw up best practices from across industries, conduct lab sessions and finally help to place successful trainees.

The Odisha government is also encouraging a section of its population to go in for entrepreneurial ventures or SMEs. The target is 3000 ventures by 2020. To achieve this target, the Oriya Government is offering apprenticeship training, monetary assistance, mentoring and knowledge support. The Govt is procuring an 18-storey facility at Mancheswar to set up a World Skill Centre there, with technical expertise from the Singapore Government. 1,51,000 trainers and trainees from the World Skill Centre will form a pool of the world’s most skilled workforce.

Odisha’s ‘Skilled in Odisha’ initiative is now well into its second phase where it is well on target to achieve its stated objectives such as – (a) making the physical digital and intellectual infrastructure the best in the country, (b) increasing skilled women professionals to a minimum level of one third among the total skill personnel, (c) providing the eco-system for creating entrepreneurs and globally employable ITI graduates, (d) enhancing industry partnership in skilling exercise, and (e) making the teachers and students fit for carrying forward the vision of sustainability.