The National Skill Development Corporation today launched the Innovations for Skills Challenge 2014, where selected innovative enterprises will have an opportunity to get funding, leading to skill development in the country. In addition to the funding, the NSDC Innovations for Skills Challenge (NISC) 2014 will also provide finalists non-monetary rewards such as chance to connect with industry experts and business leaders, access to discounted working spaces, mentorship and national visibility. "Recognising the importance of skill development, NSDC has developed this Challenge to encourage organisations with innovative solutions that can provide scale, reduce cost and train & equip the workforce of India on par with industry standards". "The competition provides innovative skilling enterprises across the country an opportunity to receive funding up to, but not limited to Rs 3 crore. NISC 2014 will identify and invest in 10 to 15 robust enterprises, which will positively impact and create a multiplier effect in the space of skill development in India," a release said. By 2020, India will have more than 700 million people in the working age population, a demographic that, if leveraged properly can catapult the country as the world's next economic superpower. India's economy needs qualified, well-trained personnel who can contribute to high growth industries such as construction, hospitality, healthcare, manufacturing, retail and transport.
They are also required in labour-intensive sectors such as agricultural food processing, floriculture and horticulture. NSDC, through its Innovation Fund, has invested in enterprises such as Milaap, AVR Edge, Microspin, LIQVID, Employability Bridge, ACE Experiences (Asia) and Aspiring Minds. The first level applications are open till September 24, 2014, after which a list of selected proposals will be released. The selected proposals will receive a detailed template for further rounds. The evaluation process will include field verifications and a jury presentation to an expert panel of judges before the winners are announced.