NEW DELHI, JUNE 03: Chief Minister, Ms Mehbooba Mufti today called for joint effort by the government, the public sector enterprises and the corporate houses to make skill development initiative gainful for the unemployed youth.
“We have to launch a coordinated effort to empower large sections of conventionally-educated youth with requisite skills to enhance their employability,” the Chief Minister said while addressing the maiden meeting of the Governing Council of National Skill Development Mission (NSDM) convened here last evening chairmanship of Prime Minister, Mr Narendra Modi.
Ms Mehbooba said her Government has already nominated a Nodal Head for the Skill Development initiatives so that activities of different departments are coordinated in a much better way. “Different departments must concentrate in their areas of expertise so that youth are provided with base-level and up-graded skills, which will enable them to get productive employment in sync with the market requirement,” she said adding; “Our talented youth need opportunities. Converging skilling efforts as well as financial resources available with us will provide a clear line of action to enable the state to make further progress on this front.”
The Chief Minister said with the kind of infrastructure available in the State, it will be very difficult to achieve the targets on skill development, unless the intake capacity of ITIs and Polytechnics is increased with value-addition of these institutions. “We have already roped in some corporate houses for value-addition of ITIs and Polytechnics in the State under Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiative,” she said and added that the State Government has asked the Government of India to also revisit the Udaan scheme and instead of sending our youth outside the State for training, the corporate houses, presently operating in J&K, must train them here and provide them employment within the State.
She said the PSUs like NHPC should earmark a percentage of profits on ‘skill development’ initiatives in the areas where these operate.
She also called for having a skill development component in the budgets of major union ministries, like Power, Defense and Railways to be utilized for economically weaker and geographically disadvantageous states like J&K and the Northeast.
She said in order to ensure area-specific development, the State Government has done regional mapping wherein each district in the state has been evaluated in terms of a particular skill. “We have worked out a mechanism with private firms wherein our skilled youth will be trained by firms like HAL, BHEL, Bharti Infratel, NTPC and ONGC for corporate jobs,” she added.
The Chief Minister also suggested transforming ITIs into multi-skill institutes as well as roping in existing school and college infrastructure in the evenings to train more youth. “Our aim is not only to expand facilities for skill training, but also address the important task of raising their quality,” she added.
Describing skill as an integral part of employment, Ms Mehbooba said it is vital that it should be complemented by commensurate creation of jobs in different economic sectors like tourism, agriculture, horticulture, hospitality etc. She emphasized upon tapping the huge potential in creation of job opportunities in the floriculture and tourism sectors, particularly related to activities like landscaping, gardening and culinary.
“In J&K agriculture, horticulture, tourism, handicrafts and hospitality are the thrust areas of economic activity and these should also constitute the priority areas for skill development,” she said and added that similarly heritage conservation and promotion also offers great potential of employability for the skilled youth. “For J&K this remains a key area where we focus on fostering entrepreneurial culture and improving ease of doing business while at the same time promoting traditional crafts like famed Kashmiri crafts and Basholi paintings,” she said.
“All the three regions of the state including Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh have distinct heritage promotion potential and we have to train our local youth in the related skills to help them earn respectable livelihood,” she said.
Ms Mehbooba said since equity is also a focus of the National Policy for Skill Development, targeting skilling opportunities for socially and geographically marginalized and disadvantageous groups, “we in J&K, like many other geographically disadvantageous states, hope to benefit from the policy and its implementation.”
She said another specific focus area of the policy is ‘Development and Entrepreneurship programmes for women. “I am proud to say that J&K is taking a lead in this critical area. We are in the process of setting up two dedicated Entrepreneurship Centers for women one each at Jammu and Srinagar and would seek support for incubation, skill enhancement and marketing from both PSUs and Corporate houses,” she said.
The Chief Minister said J&K has to leverage Information Technology to scale up training by setting up virtual classrooms and online skill development courses where industry specific content is created and delivered. “At the national level all public sector enterprises need to identify skill gaps and set aside a sum for funding skill development activities from their CSR budget,” she said and added that this shall include, skill centers by corporates for quality industry specific skill training and skilling in operational areas of major PSUs under CSR.
For enabling high quality training centers, the Chief Minister said that the infrastructure of engineering colleges could be shared and utilized for high quality courses. She suggested setting up of dedicated Skill Universities focussed on conducting Vocational Degree Courses only.
To help the skilled youth setup their own income generating, Ms Mehbooba said easy loans should be available to skilled youth without any collaterals.
For incentivising skill development, Ms Mehbooba said the corporate houses should be given tax incentives beyond CSR threshold for participating in skill development initiatives.
To ensure employability of the skilled youth, Ms Mehbooba said NSQF (National Skills Qualifications Framework) certification should be made the basis for employment in the related jobs by the corporate houses.
The meeting was also attended by the Chief Ministers of Maharashtra and Arunachal Pradesh. Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, Mr Rajiv Pratap Rudy, Minister of Human Resource Development, Mrs Smriti Zubin Irani, Minister of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, Mr Kalraj Mishra, and Minister of Communication and Information Technology, Mr Ravi Shankar Prasad, senior officers of various ministries and corporate leaders, including, Mr Cyrus P Mistry, Chairman, Tata Group; Mr Sachin Bansal, Founder and CEO Flipkart’ and Mr Manish Sabharwal, Chairman and Founder, Team Lease Services.
Some of the major decisions taken at the meeting include, skill training to be scaled up to cover at least 1.5 crore people during 2016-2017, the Central Board for Skills Certification to be set up by September 2016 to infuse quality into India’s skill development system, unutilized infrastructure in existing engineering colleges to be leveraged for skill training courses, profit making Public Sector Units (PSUs) to be mandated to scale up apprenticeships, upto 10% of total manpower, over the course of this year, 500 Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Kendras, which will provide skill training free of cost to be opened this year, to impart training to aspiring youth, 50 Overseas Employment Skill Training Centres to be opened this year, in migratory pockets of the country, 500 Rozgar Utsavs to be held across Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs), Central Training Institutes, PMKVY training centres, toolrooms etc., to make skill training aspirational amongst youth, a national skills competition, known as ‘India Skills’ will be launched during 2016-2017, to recognize the skills of India’s youth, a national level Convocation will be held for candidates who successfully complete ITI courses, to recognize their success, over the next one year, the capacity of ITIs to be further enhanced from 18.5 lakhs to 25 lakhs and over 5000 new ITIs will be created, traditional skills will be recognized, nurtured and promoted through informal apprenticeships, under various programmes.
2015 Kashmir Despatch