Pradhan Mantri Yuva Udyamita Vikas Abhiyan is a rupee 500 crore flagship scheme of the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MSDE) on entrepreneurship education. The program also provides a support network targeting over 700,000 youth to have as many startups as possible set up in the next five years.
One of the primary objectives of this flagship scheme is to formally teach how to be an entrepreneur, and how to run a business. The courses are MOOCS (massive open online courses) developed by national and international experts, available both in English and Hindi at colleges, universities, higher secondary schools, vocational training institutes and entrepreneurship development centres.
The maximum number of applications to introduce these courses in the curriculum have come from Delhi-based educational institutes.
Union Minister of State Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (Independent Charge), GOI, Rajiv Pratap Rudy, said the pilot of the online courses was a relative success. “This is the official first initiative, and we hope to expand to reach at least 1500 educational institutes across rural and metro areas. So far about 75 schools have applied. We further invite public schools to join this initiative.” The scheme has not targeted public schools as yet.
The success of these courses will be measured by The Wadhwani Operating Foundation based in California and Bangalore. The partnership was formally recognised by signing a contribution agreement. Ms. Jyotsna Sitling, joint secretary, MSDE, GOI who signed on behalf of the Centre said, “The Wadhwani Foundation will act as the knowledge partner for this scheme. They will work as consultant and advisor, monitoring the effectiveness of these online entrepreneurship courses. The programme will be reviewed in 2 years.
This MoU is a modification and result of a previous MoU from April 2016. “The ministry took some time to obtain approval and trust of the Indian government because the Wadhwani Operating Foundation is primarily an American organization,” said Dr Ajay Kela, president and CEO, Wadhwani Operating Foundation, who signed on behalf of the Foundation.
“The reason we chose the Wadhwani Foundation is that they have the most experience and widest geographical scale to reach as many aspiring entrepreneurs across India,” said Ms. Sitling.
So far the Wadhwani Operating Foundation has signed MoUs with nine states for skilling programmes. This is the first MoU with the Centre, and the Foundation is discussing with NITI Aayog to partner for technology courses.
To those who expect formal education on entrepreneurship to trigger immediate economic impact, Dr. Kela says, “we should manage our expectations. Even though India urgently needs to add 7 to 8 million jobs, and SMEs and startups will create these jobs, it will not happen overnight. However, teaching and encouraging more youth to startup is a necessary step and will eventually translate into startups in the long run.”
The Wadhwani Operating Foundation is the US-registered entity while the Wadhwani Foundation is its Indian entity.