Kurukshetra November 2023

Chapter 1:  PM Vishwakarma Yojana Empowering Artisans

About Scheme

  • Prime Minister of India has launched the 'Prime Minister (PM) Vishwakarma Scheme' on the occasion of Vishwakarma Jayanti on 17th September 2023.
  • This scheme is designed to uplift traditional artisans and craftspeople engaged in various occupations like blacksmithing, goldsmithing, pottery, carpentry, and sculpting.
  • It has special focus on preserving cultural heritage and integrating them into the formal economy and global value chains.
  • It is implemented as a Central Sector Scheme, fully funded by the Government of India.
  • Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MoMSME) is the Nodal Ministry for the Scheme.
  • The scheme offers a stipend of Rs 500 for skill training per day and Rs 15,000 grant for the purchase of modern tools.

Trades Covered- The traditional trades covered are Carpenter (Suthar/Badhai), Boat Maker, Armourer, Blacksmith (Lohar), Hammer and Tool Kit Maker, Locksmith, Goldsmith (Sonar), Potter (Kumhaar), Sculptor (Moortikar, stone carver), Stonebreaker, Cobbler (Charmkar)/ Shoesmith/ Footwear artisan, Mason (Rajmistri), Basket/Mat/ Broom Maker/Coir Weaver, Doll & Toy Maker (Traditional), Barber (Naai), Garland Maker (Malakaar), Washerman (Dhobi), Tailor (Darzi), and Fishing Net Makeb.

Review of Existing Artisans related Schemes under Implementation

  • Currently, there are about 20 central sector schemes that seek to support and empower artisans across the country.
  • The National Handicraft Development Programme and the National Handloom Development Programme focus on handloom and handicrafts artisans by providing them with credit, marketing, tookits, skill training, and social security support.
  •  PM SVANidhi, provides for collateral-free working capital loans with interest subsidies and incentives for digital transactions support to street-vendors/hawkers vending in urban areas.
  • Upgrading Skills and Training in Traditional Arts/Crafts for Development (USTTAD) implemented by the Ministry of Minority Affairs provides support for the upgrading of skills and training.
  • The Jan Shikshan Sansthan (JSS) Scheme of the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship and Rural Self- Employment Training Institute (RSETI) scheme of the Ministry of Rural Development are other central sector schemes whose main focus is imparting basic and advanced training to targeted beneficiaries.
  • The Vishwakarma Shram Samman Yojana of Uttar Pradesh provides credit, modern toolkits, and training support to artisans engaged in trades such as basket weavers, potters, blacksmiths, masons, tailors, carpenters, barbers, etc.
  • Handloom Spinning Weaving Assistance Scheme of the Government of Uttarakhand provides financial assistance up to Rs. 25,000/ to selected women for purchasing toolkits.

Benefits of Scheme- Scheme intends to provide end-to-end support to artisans and craftspeople through the following six interventions-

  • Recognition: The Beneficiaries will get a PM Vishwakarma Certificate and ID card after theymare registered and verified.
  • Skill Upgradation: Artisans will receive basic training of 5-7 days and advanced training of 15 days or more, along with a stipend of Rs. 500 per day as wage compensation. At the end of the basic training, an independent assessment will be conducted, and National Skill Qualification Framework (NSQF) certification will be provided to successful candidate.
  • Toolkit Incentive- At the beginning of basic training, artisans and craftspeople will get toolkit incentive of up to Rs. 15,000 through e-RUPI/e-vouchers.
  • Credit Support- Government will provide collateral-free loans of up to Rs. 3 lakhs in two tranches of Rs. 1 lakh and Rs. 2 lakhs, according to their requirements. These loans can be paid back in 18 months and 30 months, respectively. Loan is provided at a concessional interest rate fixed at 5%, with the Government of India subvention to the extent of 8%.
  • Incentive for Digital Transaction- The scheme will encourage beneficiaries to adopt digital transactions. The beneficiaries of this Scheme will be given cashback incentives every time they either sell or receive a digital transaction.
  • Marketing Support- A marketing strategy has been prepared to promote the products and services of these artisans in both domestic and international markets.

Registration- The Government has onboarded the services of Common Service Centres to register artisans/ craftspeople through the PM Vishwakarma portal. Registration would be followed by three stages of verification —Panchayat/ULB, District and State levels, after which the beneficiary will be provided with PM Vishwakarma Certificate and ID card and thereafter, they can avail the benefits of the scheme.

Eligibility- An artisan or craftsperson, aged 18 years or older, working with their hands and tools and engaged in one of the 18 family-based traditional trades.

  • provided they have not availed loans under similar credit-based schemes of the Central Government or State Government.
  • the registration shall be restricted to one member of the family,
  • a person in government service and his/her family members will not be eligible under the scheme


Undoubtedly, artisans and craftspeople, through their creativity and skills, have been contributing to the socio-economic milieu. Our vision is to take their talent to every part of the country and to the global level by ensuring that they are able to work in an enabling environment.

Chapter 2- Developing Talent in Healthcare

  • Recent reports indicate that India has only about 0.65 physicians and 1.3 nurses per 1,000 people, testifying to a shortage of skilled healthcare workers.
  • To meet these ever-growing demands, India needs another 15.4 lakh doctors and 24 lakh nurses.
  • National Health Policy has also recommended strengthening the existing medical education system and developing a cadre of midlevel healthcare providers.
  • NlTl Aayog's strategy for New India@75 had also aimed at generating 15 lakh jobs in the public health sector by 2022-29.
  • Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MSDE), ever since its inception in 2014 has made efforts to bridge the gap between demand and supply of skilled manpower.
  • For this Ministry is aided by its functional arms- the Directorate General of Training (DGT), the National Council for Vocational Education and Training (NCVET), the National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC), and Sector Skill Councils (SSCs) along with nearly 33 National Skill Training Institutes (NSTIs), about 15000 Industrial Training Institutes (ITls), and 187 training partners registered with NSD.
  • National Skill Development Fund (NSDF) has also been established for helping to enhance, stimulate and develop the skills of Indian youth.
  • It is aimed to create a cadre of 14 lakh trained personnel in healthcare sector (especially in the preventive and tertiary care segments) by the year 2025.
  • Ministry has also partnered with IGNOU to take this initiative further down to districts and villages with scaled up standards.

Initiatives for boost talent in healthcare-

  • Pradhan Mantri YUVA (PM-YUVA) Yojana has been implemented by the MSDE for creating an enabling ecosystem for entrepreneurship education, training, advocacy and an easy access to entrepreneurship network focusing mainly on the students/trainees.
  • Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Grameen Kaushalya Yojana (DDUGKY- an initiative of the Ministry of Rural Development) aims at skilling the rural poor youth and providing them with regular monthly-wage jobs.

Way Forward-

  • Developing skills and talent in early childhood care and education, particularly among the rural women, is needed to empower them in establishing and running of creches/mobile creches, day care centres for young children.
  • Promoting Entrepreneurial skills in the production and marketing of safe & nutritious food items can be developed among adolescents/young adults, especially the women.
  • The rural masses can be imparted training in Physiotherapy (for healthcare), yoga/ meditation (for overall mental/physical health) as well as education-cum-training in sports nutrition.
  • Rural masses can be imparted skills and training in conserving our valuable resources like food and water as well as the ways of minimizing wastage so as to achieve optimal resource utilization.
  • Effective collaborations between NGOs, private sector, and the village administration for education and empowerment of rural populations, particularly in the field of health, nutrition, and allied sectors for strengthening the rural health infrastructure, are urgently needed.

Conclusion- Sensitization, awareness generation, skill training, and talent development along with strengthening of entrepreneurial abilities among our rural masses, particularly in the healthcare sector (already posing an extremely high demand for the trained healthcare workers.

Chapter 3- Encouraging Micro-Entrepreneurship

Composite Criteria: Investment in Plant & Machinery/equipment and Annual Turnover

Classification Micro Small Medium
Manufacturing Enterprises and Enterprises rendering Services Investment in Plant and Machinery or Equipment:
Not more than Rs.1 crore and Annual Turnover ; not more than Rs. 5 crore
Investment in Plant and Machinery or Equipment:
Not more than Rs.10 crore and Annual Turnover ; not more than Rs. 50 crore
Investment in Plant and Machinery or Equipment:
Not more than Rs.50 crore and Annual Turnover ; not more than Rs. 250 crore

Enterprise- It refers to a for-profit business started and run by an entrepreneur. It is often said that people running such businesses are enterprising.

Scope of Micro-Entrepreneurship:

  • It caters to the community or a local market by selling products and/or services.
  • Typically, it has less than 10 employees and a limited geographic scope.
  • In addition to creating jobs, they also cut production costs, boost purchasing power and offer convenience, all of which benefit the economy.


  • Micro-business owners are able to quickly adjust to changing conditions and determine their own schedules.
  • Micro-entrepreneurs have the flexibility to adapt to changing market conditions quickly.
  • They can make decisions and implement changes without the bureaucratic processes larger organizations.

Low Barriers to Entry:

  • People can pursue their business goals without taking on a big financial risk because of the low entrance barriers.
  • They often require minimal initial capital to start their businesses.
  • This allows individuals with limited financial resources to pursue their entrepreneurial aspirations.

Job Creation-

  • It promotes local economic growth and aids in the reduction of unemployment.
  • They can help stimulate economic growth at the grassroots Ievel.


  • Micro-entrepreneurs are often more agile and innovative than larger companies.
  • They can quickly experiment with new ideas and adapt to changing market demands.

Local Economic Growth

  • They produce tax revenue that can be used to improve the neighborhood.
  • Microenterprises often serve local communities, contributing to the local economy by creating jobs and providing goods and services.

Self-reliance: They are less reliant on big businesses or conventional job frameworks, which can foster a feeling of empowerment and independence.

Diverse Offerings- Micro-firms frequently target specific markets and provide specialised goods or services that may not be provided by larger companies.

Economic Resilience- Microenterprises can be more resilient during economic downturns because of their small size and adaptability.

Top Schemes for promoting Micro-entrepreneurship: -

S.No. Scheme Details
1 ASPIRE (Scheme for
Promotion of Innovation,
Rural Industries and
  • It was created to create a network of technology centres and incubation centers across India with goal of encouraging innovation in agribusiness sector.
  • It provides financial support for the construction of livelihood business incubators and/or technology business incubators.
2 Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana
  • MUDRA is a NBFC that supports the expansion of the micro enterprise market in India through this scheme.
  • MUDRA offers refinancing assistance to banks and/or microfinance organisations to lend to microunits with loan requirements up to Rs. 10 lakhs.
  • The loans have been divided into the categories of Tarun, Kishore, and Shishu depending on the stage of development, the demand for finance, the age of the company, and the amount of loan that may be received by these enterprises.
3 Support for International Patent Protection in
Electronics and Information Technology (SIP-EIT):
  • This programme was launched by the Department of Electronics and Information Technology (‘DeiTY’).
  • It aims at providing government support to Indian micro, small, and medium-sized businesses (‘MSME’) and technology startups for filing foreign patent applications)
4 Credit Guarantee Fund Trust for Micro and Small
Enterprises (CGTMSE):
  • This programme strengthens the loan delivery system while facilitating credit flow to the MSE sector.
  • It provides loans at considerably discounted rates and without the need for collateral to start-ups, small businesses, and micro-firms.
5 Single Point Registration Scheme (SPRS):
  • National Small Industries Corporation (NSIC) oversees SPRS, a development programme that supports MSE.
  • This plan was designed to boost the number of purchases made in the small-scale sector.
  • NSIC registers qualified MSEs for involvement in government acquisitions without the need for an Earnest Money Deposit (EMD).
  • Government has set a minimum threshold of 25% of the total annual purchases made by central ministries, departments, and public sector undertakings from MSEs only, as well as reserved 358 (three hundred fifty-eight) categories of goods for being purchased exclusively from the MSEs.
6 Extra Mural Research or Core Research Grant
The goal of CRG is to assist academic institutions, research labs, and other R&D organizations in conducting research in all cutting-edge areas of science and engineering.
7 Design Clinic Scheme: The Ministry of MSME launched the Design Clinic scheme to create a sustainable design ecosystem through continual training and skill development in order to encourage small firms to experiment with new and inventive designs for their products.
8 Zero Defect Zero Effect (ZED) Scheme:
  • This aims to inspire manufacturers to produce better goods that are high-quality, defect-free, and reliable.
  • It is a handholding programme that offers MSMEs the chance to adopt cutting-edge production techniques, utilise cutting-edge technology, and continually enhance their goods.


  • With these and many more schemes, the Government of India's flagship programme, Startup India, aims to actively encourage startups and business owners.
  • The Aatmanirbhar Bharat mission and the ‘Make in India’ programme were subsequently introduced by the Indian Government with the goal of establishing India as a hub for international manufacturing and design exports.
  • Supporting the efforts with encouraging micro-entrepreneurship, the Government has successfully accelerated the process.

Chapter 4- Integrating Technology into Rural Education and Capacity Building of Teachers

  • With over 14.89 lakh schools, 95 lakh teachers, and nearly 26.52 crore students from various socio-economic backgrounds, the Indian education system is one of the largest in the world.
  • A total of 18.49 lakh (70%) students and around 12.34 lakh (83%) schools out of these are in rural India.
  • With a Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) of 100.13% (as per UDISE+ 2021-22), which shows that almost all children at the elementary level are enrolled in schools.
  • UDISE+ 2021-22 data also reveals that the overall dropout rate in schools in India at primary level class (1-5) is 1.5 per cent, upper primary class (6-8) is at 3 per cent followed by highest at the secondary level class (9-10) with 12.6 per cent which is still a major challenge.

Challenging Scenario

  • Differences between rural and urban population.
  • Persistent inequities in access to information and communication technology (ICT) facilities for students and teachers,
  • low levels of digital literacy etc.

Visionary Approach of NEP 2020

  • NEP has emerged as a game-changer and will help in bridge the gap between rural and urban areas by emphasizing access, equity, quality, affordability, and accountability.
  • It gives utmost priority to recognizing, identifying, and fostering unique capabilities to promote each student’s holistic development.
  • The policy also envisages a wider and more intensive role for the use of technology for the purposes of improving teaching-learning method.

Initiatives undertaken by the Ministry of Education

  • Pradhan Mantri Innovative Learning Programme-Dhruv – will help in identifying and encouraging talented children to enrich their skills and knowledge, gifted children are mentored and nurtured by renowned experts in different areas.
  • Samagra Siksha- It is a centrally sponsored scheme. It has various interventions, like the establishment of Youth club and Eco clubs to showcase their innate talents and hone their skills Also, activities like Kala Utsav, Rangotsav, Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat, Band Competition, etc. are supported in the school.
  • Ek Bharat Shreshth Bharat (EBSB)- It was launched by the Hon’ble Prime Minister on Ekta Divas (31st October 2015) to foster national integration through a coordinated mutual engagement process between states, UTs, Central Ministries, Educational Institutions and general public.
  • Navodaya Vidyalayas- It significance lies in the selection of talented rural children as the target group and the attempt to provide them with a ‘quality education comparable to the best in a residential school system.
  • National Talent Search Scheme (NTSE)- Conducted by NCERT. Scheme helps talented students by providing financial assistance in the form of monthly scholarships and also conducts nurturing programmes for them.


Technological Interventions to Enhance the Ecosystem

  • Enhancing the scope of ICT under Samagra shiksha: It is the largest centrally sponsored scheme for school education in India. It contains provisions for producing high-quality e-contents for teachers and students in addition to supporting ICT and smart classrooms. It also offers financial assistance to States and UTs for the creation of high-quality e-content.
  • Robust system of database - UDISE+ : Unified District Information System for Education Plus (UDISE+)  an updated and improved version of UDISE. It provides robust, real-time, and credible information for an objective evaluation of the system. It can be used for designing evidence-based specific interventions for improvement in the school education sector.
  • Performance Grading Index (PGI) 2.0- lt is a tool to provide insights on the status of school education and to catalyse transformational change in the States/ UTs on the basis of key indicators that drive their performance and critical areas for improvement.
  • NDEAR (National Digital Education Architecture)- It has been launched with a larger vision to create a unifying national digital infrastructure to energise and catalyse the education ecosystem.
  • Vidya Samiksha Kendra: It aimed at leveraging data and technology to bring a big leap in learning outcomes. It aims to further strengthen and enhance administrative functioning by providing real time data insight for contextual interventions.

Capacity Building of Teachers

  • National Initiative for School Heads and Teachers’ Holistic Advancement (NISHTHA) – It is an integrated training programme was initiated covering all the recommended areas and aims at holistic development of teachers.
  • About 24 lakh school teachers and head teachers at elementary education (Classes 1-8) across 33 States/UTs had completed training and were certified.

Conclusion- The integration of technology into education has not only changed the way we teach and learn but has also altered the very essence of education itself.

However, bridging the digital divide remains a crucial challenge in ensuring equitable educational opportunities for all. Teachers are no longer just disseminators of knowledge but have become facilitators of learning.

An inclusive, equitable, affordable, and integrated digital ecosystem will certainly facilitate and sustain lifelong learning and reap the benefits of inclusive technology development so that no one is left behind/

Chapter 5- Sustainability of Rural Enterprises

  • Rural entrepreneurship is a crucial aspect of India’s economic growth and development.
  • Rural enterprises are business entities that promote revenue generation and act as agents of social change at the grassroots Ievel.
  • According to official data released on April 30, 2022, India has more than 63 million MSMEs, out of which about 94% are micro-enterprises.

Types of Rural enterprises

Rural enterprises can be broadly classified into two types:

  • Proprietial ownership
  • Group entrepreneurship that includes SHGs, Cooperatives, and Producer companies.

Importance of Rural Entrepreneurship in India

  • Resource Utilization- Rural industries foster the appropriate utilisation of local resources like raw materials and labour for productive purposes.
  • Employment Generation- Rural industries create large-scale employment openings for rural people.
  • Avoid the Migration of Rural Population: Rural entrepreneurship can provide employment, and it will discourage rural people to migrate from rural areas in search of jobs.
  • Artistic Activities Promotion: The rich heritage of rural India is conserved by protecting and promoting handicrafts and art through entrepreneurship.
  • Check on Social Evils: It can diminish social evils like poverty, the growth of slums, pollution in cities, etc.
  • Encourage the Rural Youth: Rural entrepreneurship can promote the rural youth and expose them to several paths to adopting entrepreneurship and promoting it as a career.
  • Stimulate Economic Development: It can curb rural urban migration and also abate the unsymmetrical growth of cities, increase of slums, social tensions, social issues, environmental pollutions, etc.

Challenges Faced by Rural Entrepreneurs

  • Prevalent societal and gender-based biases.
  • Lack of understanding of business, entrepreneurship
  • Lack of Access to the requisite skills essential to running such enterprises.
  • Inconsistent market linkages,
  • Severe competition from urban markets,
  • Lack of infrastructural facilities and logistical challenges
  • Inadequate understanding of the government support mechanism
  • Lack of availability of working capital, the adoption of technology, and the inability to diversify their product range.

Recovery Roadmap

  • There is an acute need for rural skill and entrepreneurship development programmes in rural areas in order to increase the skilled workforce of the region.
  • Skilling and entrepreneurship can be done through various means. Following are three broad approaches that can be adopted:Skiling and Entrepreneurship Development through Project Mode- Selection of identified participants, based on their existing skills, geographic locations, and demographic traits. Post selection, the participants are given skill training and then are provided handholding support.
  • Skilling and Entrepreneurship Development through Cluster Development Approach- In this a holistic approach is adopted to provide both forward and backward linkage.
  • Skilling and Entrepreneurship Development through Incubation- initially skill development training programmes by selecting participants from various rural areas are provided training in the incubation centre. After the completion of training, based on performance, a few out of the trained participants are selected for the incubation process.

Role of Government-

  • Government of India’s Start-up Village Entrepreneurship Programme (SVEP) has been initiated with the purpose of assisting entrepreneurs to establish their business enterprises in rural India.
  • SVEP has been initiated with the purpose of assisting entrepreneurs to establish their business enterprises in rural India.
  • Scheme supports existing enterprises as well as new enterprises with their unit establishment at the village level.
  • Rural Self Employment Training Institutes provides skill and entrepreneurship development training programmes to the rural unemployed youth assisting them in commencing their own business units.


Conclusion- Developing rural entrepreneurship is essential for India’s progress as it augments economic and employment growth. It is fundamental to ensure that manpower, money, material, machinery, and understanding of market are complete for the development of a viable business model to better support aspiring rural entrepreneurs.

UPSC Mains Practice Questions-

Q1. Analyze how the PM Vishwakarma Scheme has impacted traditional workers in India, and discuss how such initiatives can contribute to preserving traditional skills and uplifting marginalized artisans.

Q2. Discuss some challenges that startups face in India, and how can they be overcome?

Q3. Despite the growing numbers of rural entrepreneurs, the productivity of such entrepreneurs is concerning. Discuss and also suggest the measures for their sustained growth.