Thursday, October 08, 2015

Indian Skill Development Service: A new Group A service is born; 10 things to know

ISDS - Indian Skill Development Service will be a new Group “A” service to be created by the Government of India mainly to provide the newly-created union ministry of skill development and entrepreneurship a dedicated technical cadre. The Union Cabinet on Wednesday gave its nod to the proposal of creating this Group “A” service. Significantly, the last Group “A” service (Central Labour Service) was created 28 years ago. Here are 10 things you may like to know about Indian Skill Development Service:

1. As the union cabinet has given its nod to create ISDS, it’s only a matter of time and technicality before this new cadre is born.
2. Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, a new ministry created by the NDA government is likely to be the cadre controlling authority just like railway ministry for IRTS or IRPS, environment ministry for Indian Forest Service and ministry of home affairs for IPS.
3. Currently, the manpower for skill development work is being provided by the Directorate General of Employment and Training that comes under ministry of labour and employment. With the existence of ISDS, the migration of skill development work from the labour ministry to the ministry of skill development and entrepreneurship will be faster and smoother.
4. The changes in cadre restructuring, as approved by the Cabinet, include increase of one post at Senior Administrative Grade (SAG) level, increase of four posts at Junior Administrative Grade (JAG) level, increase of seven posts at STS level, and finally, reduction of 12 posts at the Junior time Scale (JTS) level.
5. The officers recruited to this new cadre will manage among others the national and state level programmes of vocational training and skill development. There is a nation-wide network of employment exchanges and Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs), and the new cadre of officers may play a role in revamping those and creating direct marketplace among workers and employers, as it has been done in United Kingdom.
6. The Cabinet also gave its nod for introduction of Non-Functional Selection Grade (NFSG) to the extent of 15 percent of SDPs at the STS level as applicable in Group ‘A’ Engineering Service. The NFSG is an intermediary scale between the pay scales corresponding to Junior Administrative Grade (JAG) and Senior Administrative Grade (SAG), and the duties and responsibilities attached to the posts are the same as those of the next lower grade, i.e. JAG.
7. Understandably, the ISDS officers will be recruited by the UPSC, but more clarity will emerge in the due course on whether the officer will be selected through the civil services examinations itself.
8. “It (the decision to create a new cadre) will attract the best talent to the skill development administration”, says Rajesh Agrawal, joint secretary in the ministry of skill development and entrepreneurship, as quoted by business newspaper Mint.
9. The new cadre, the first batch of which may be recruited through UPSC exam 2016, may play a key role in achieving the government’s target of skilling as many as 500 million (50 crore) people by the year, 2022.
10. As this will be a new Group “A” service being created after 28 years, there is a possibility that the government may look into the long pending demand of creating more dedicated cadres, say for the ministry of human resources development or the ministry of law.


  1. The Indian Skill Development Service ( ISDS) a new Group “A” service is created by GOI under ministry of skill development and entrepreneurship. Recruitment could be through UPSC's Civil Services exams. All to meet the challenges of " Demographic Dividend". Fair enough.

    No wonder, the State govts will rush for creation of similar Services.

    A slim, trim and smart bureaucracy is not possible in digital India.
    Parkinson's Law ; " work expands to fill the time available for its completion ", is active.

    Demand for creation of top level posts, supporting and administrative staff, recruitment/ management of new Service,will be obvious corollaries.

    There must be a total ban on creation of new posts, purchase of staff cars, hiring of office space etc. Let the GOI make-do from its vast human resources and physical assets. Dead wood must be weeded out on grounds of poor performance and corruption.

    Will the PM take the call ?

    A K SAXENA (A retd civil servant)

  2. There must be first a ban on more than two kids per couple and then other things may be banned else our " demographic dividend" may soon transform into a " demographic catastrophe"