New special issue edited by Nandini Gooptu explores skill development in India

01 March, 2019

A new special issue of the Journal of South Asian Development edited by Nandini Gooptu looks at skill development in India, exploring how skills are conceptualised and the societal implications of skills training.

India’s then-governing Congress party initiated a major programme of skill development in 2009, with the goal of training 150 million by 2022. The programme was relaunched in 2015 by the new BJP government, raising the training target to 500 million people.

This special issue explores the skill training programme not in terms of implementation, and the multiple problems that have been encountered, or from the perspective of employers or the state. Instead it focuses on the perspectives, priorities and perceptions of the intended beneficiaries of skill development.

The articles draw lessons firstly from insights into historical traditions of skill acquisition and prevalent forms of apprenticeship and training; secondly, from an understanding of practices and identities based on social institutions such as caste and gender; and thirdly, from a political economy analysis of the role of the state and the private sector in shaping skill policy to mobilize labour.

The issue contains the following articles:

Arun Kumar, ‘Skilling and Its Histories: Labour Market, Technical Knowledge and the Making of Skilled Workers in Colonial India (1880–1910)’

Aparna Sundar, ‘Skills for Work and the Work of Skills: Community, Labour and Technological Change in India’s Artisanal Fisheries’

Nandini Gooptu, Rangan Chakravarty, ‘Skill, Work and Gendered Identity in Contemporary India: The Business of Delivering Home-Cooked Food for Domestic Consumption’

Orlanda Ruthven, ‘Getting Dividend from Demography: Skills Policy and Labour Management in Contemporary Indian Industry’

Saikat Maitra, Srabani Maitra, ‘Producing the Aesthetic Self: An Analysis of Aesthetic Skill and Labour in the Organized Retail Industries in India’

See the full issue:

Nandini Gooptu (ed) (2019) ‘Special issue on Skill Development in India’, Journal of South Asian Development 13 (3)