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India reveals plan to fix poverty by doing ANYTHING-as-a-service

New Skills India plan calls for nation to export its brains in every field

India's launched a new “National Policy for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship” that prime minister Shri Narendra Modi hopes will propel the country to become “the world's largest provider of skilled workforce for the world.”

The thrust of the new policy is that India's universities delivered in the 1990s, as the rise of Indian outsourcers demonstrates. Those outfits have sufficiently solid reputations, Modi said, that they can serve as pathfinders for a new generation of labor export efforts.

The prime minister now wants India's technical colleges (think UK polytechnics, US community colleges) to step up and create a new generation of workers with the skills India needs, and that can be exported to the world.

Modi's speech pitched the plan as a poverty alleviation effort, suggesting that better trade skills make for better jobs, faster economic development and therefore raise India's standard of living. Professional drivers got a lot of love in his speech, as did removal of red tape so that young Indians can become entrepreneurs. But there was also mention of technologies of all sorts, because exporting labor can't just be about exporting people if economic development is the aim.

And India needs that development. Announcements of the new plan included admissions that India's own economy won't be able to provide sufficient jobs. India also has big bump in its demographic bell curve, as more than half the population is under 35. That smartphone-toting generation is just the kind of demographic to stir up strife if under-employed.

India's big outsourcers joined in with the announcement. Perhaps co-incidentally, IBM CEO Ginny Rometty, who met Modi on the same day as the launch.

Next steps in the plan call for 1,000 new training centres to be established and millions of kids to be trained by 2022. So don't break out your “My job was outsourced to India and all I got was this t-shirt” clobber just yet. It'll be a while before this one gets traction. ®

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