NEW DELHI: India's telecom sector, which is growing at 15 per cent annually, will require 4.16 million skilled workforce by 2022, Communications and IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said today.
Stressing on the need to train people, he said India should develop an architecture whereby it becomes the supplier of skilled workforce everywhere.
To train people, the Department of Telecom (DoT) and Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MSDE) today signed an MoU to develop and implement National Action Plan for Skill Development in telecom sector.
Prasad said the growth rate of telecom sector between 2013-2017 would be around 15 per cent and currently, the sector contributes 3 per cent of the country's GDP.
"The requirement of workforce in this field was about 2.8 million in 2013, it will reach 4.16 million by 2022. So you require a minimum 20 lakh trained manpower," Prasad said.
The minister also announced that an audit will be done to check spare space in public sector units (PSUs) under DoT, that can be utilised to a skill development centres.
MSDE and DoT together have agreed to make concerted joint efforts towards skill development by facilitating mobilisation of financial support for various activities for development of telecom skills.
Under the partnership, the two ministries will also make coordinated efforts to utilise old telephone exchanges of PSUs under DoT which are no longer in use or exchanges which have ceased to occupy major space in telecom sector, for skill development initiatives and upgrade the same on need basis.
PSUs under DoT will also utilise at least 20 per cent of their CSR funds for skilling purposes.
Prasad also asked private telecom operators to play a role in skill development. "You (private players) also have an obligation to skill Indians," Prasad said.
Speaking during the occasion, Union Minister for Skills Development and Entrepreneurship Rajiv Pratap Rudy said the government is trying to strengthen the sector skills councils and efforts are being made to integrate the skilling system.
"In next 6-12 months we will expand the Kaushal Vikas Yojana to provide training to unskilled Indians in remote areas," Rudy said.
On the mobile skill vans launch, Rudy said: "The pilot demonstration of mobile training labs for hard skills has been launched and based on its success we will take the campaign forward".
Telecom Secretary Rakesh Garg said there is special thrust on telecom sector in 'Make in India' programme as every section of the economy need telecom services.
Garg said PSUs under DoT including BSNL, MTNL and ITI will train people.
Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship Secretary Rohit Nandan said: "We have been assigned the task to skilling 40 crore in the next few years, people this task requires huge resources. It cannot be done by one department in isolation.
"We are very hopeful that our MoU with Telecom Ministry will extend our reach to those areas where otherwise we have got no access."
He further elaborated on the progress under the MoUs signed earlier with Railways and Defence Ministries.
"Training centres have been established at Benaras and Lucknow railway stations. Besides, we have been able to access infrastructure of defence PSUs. We will also be provided some share of their CSR funds which will be used for skilling".