Centre to unveil reworked skill development scheme Thursday

New Delhi, Sep 24 (IANS)┬áThe rural development ministry would Thursday announce a reworked skill development scheme aimed at providing quality training and placement opportunities to poor youth from rural areas and taking Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “Make in India” vision forward.

Officials said the reworked scheme – Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Grameen Kaushalya Yojna (DDUGKY) – seeks to re-position rural India, especially its 15-35 age group, as a resource that can support the needs of global manufacturing industry.

“We felt we should also fulfil the global demand for manpower. We have identified countries where there is huge demand,” said an official, who did not want to be identified.

He said countries such as the US, Japan, Russia, Germany, France, Spain, Britain and China apart from countries in the Middle East have demand for skilled and semi-skilled manpower.

The official said developed countries were predicted “to face a shortfall of 57 million semi-skilled manpower by 2020 and India was expected to have surplus of 47 million”.

The officials said the ministry had consolidated its previous efforts at skill development and introduced new features such as benchmarking quality to global norms.

The scheme has special component that allows the industry to take the youth as interns. “The company will have to assure job placement,” the official said.

The scheme will also be rural India skills emblem to allow certain level of background validation. “It will done by ministry empanelled bodies,” he said.

He said that courses like nursing which require training of two to three years could also be supported through the scheme.

The training will be done through over 2,000 centres and will entail an expenditure of around Rs.2,000 crore per annum.

“The present funding is sufficient. We are bringing in elements of responsibility so that the programme becomes responsive to youth,” the official said.

The ministry has been implementing skills and placement initiatives since 1999 and had started the Swarnajayanti Gram Swarozgar Yojana (SGSY) as a placement-linked programme for wage earning and self-employment.

SGSY was redesigned and launched as Aajeevika in September last year.

The official said the earlier skill development schemes were “not Information Technology-led” and there was no quality assurance.

The earlier scheme also did not have focus on career progression.

Under the reworked scheme, the minimum age of eligibility has been brought down from 18 to 15 years.

“We are targeting rural youth who are not able to carry forward their education,” he said.

The eligibility has been expanded to include rural youth from MNREGA households who have worked for 45 days in previous year as also beneficiaries of some other government schemes.

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