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India faces a large skills gap in qualification training. According to the data relating to the qualification gap published by the 2011 census, 104 million new employees would need a qualification and 298 million of the current workforce would need an additional qualification by 2022.

According to the 2011 census, about 2.68 crore people are disabled from the 121-crore population, or 2.21% of the total. Removing obstacles for people with disabilities would not only unlock their potential, but also help them contribute to the world. With the goals of sustainable development, the government has launched various targeted initiatives for inclusive development of people with disabilities through free online qualification programs.

According to the report on Disabled People in India – A Statistical Profile 2016, National Policy for People with Disabilities (2006) recognizes that people with disabilities (PwD) are valuable human resources for the country. Politics aims to create an environment that offers equal opportunities, the protection of their rights by people with disabilities, and full participation in society.

A nation’s economic wellbeing can be enhanced by creating entrepreneurial opportunities for sustainable living for people with disabilities through training, education and retraining. One such initiative within the PMKVY is to offer qualification certifications.

The only aim of this initiative was to give a large part of the young people in India the opportunity to continue their training in industry in order to ensure a better living. The Skill Council for People with Disabilities (SCPwD) is such an organization, founded with the national vision to qualify people with disabilities and to provide them with meaningful, industry-related skills-based training.

With the pandemic, however, the social connection and the low personal connection have increased, which fundamentally changes the existing educational infrastructure. The Ministry of Personnel Development is trying its best to provide free skills training to people with disabilities to help them get better paid jobs in rural and urban India. Efforts have been made to combine distance learning with practical skills and to develop cost-effective online methods for imparting knowledge and skills.

State and private academic institutions and companies work together to offer the best industrial education and qualification programs at low cost in EDU tech, FMCG, automotive and telecommunications startups. As the pandemic peaked, online platforms opened up new opportunities for people with disabilities to explore lively employment and career opportunities of their choice as part of mainstream society.

FINANCIAL ANALYST / RELATIONSHIP MANAGER– This is a great option for people with hearing impairments or for people with visual impairments. This professional role gives individuals the freedom to communicate directly with their customers and to offer business or portfolio advice. In times of the pandemic, it can be a great opportunity for many people with different skills to become financial analysts. A qualified FA / RM would be BA, BCom, Bachelor of Science (Bachelor’s degree in accounting / finance / economics) with pronounced skills in the areas of analysis and data collection, good business acumen, knowledge of the markets and portfolio investments as well as financial modeling.

HEALTH SERVICE MANAGER / ADMINISTRATOR– This administrative task in health facilities such as clinics / path laboratories and hospitals does not require mobility. The type of communication is monotonous and not alive. The job profile does not require long hours of standing or mobility from one place to another. Even during the pandemic, this role has been in huge demand due to the lack of health service managers in hospitals. The qualification for this is a qualified degree in Bachelor of Arts (BA) / Bachelor of Science (BS) and a high school diploma from a renowned institution. The job description would include the person who is to be involved in processing patient inquiries at the front desk, processing patient inquiries online, filling out forms and managing data entry.

HEALTH INSURANCE PRODUCTS – A great career opportunity for people with visual or hearing impairments. Being a health insurance representative is a great option in times of a pandemic as demand grows and retail customers focus on safe health insurance. The required qualification must be a graduate of an eligible institution, have a high school certification, proven sales ability, and qualify and pass an exam conducted by the IRDA (Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority).

CONSULTANTS-This professional role is best suited for those who have already experienced the challenges of life and learned to deal with the challenges of their disability. The qualifications are acquired by a renowned institution, have a degree in any discipline and the candidate must be good at communication.

(The author is Mr. Prashant Agarwal, President of Narayan Seva Sansthan. The views expressed here are personal.)

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