FROM OUR CORRESPONDENT
Itagar, June 3: Aruchal Pradesh Chief Minister Kalikho Pul on Thursday called for New Delhi's intervention in improving skill development in the Northeast to create employment opportunities, in the region.
Attending the mid-term review meeting of the governing council of the tiol Skill Development Mission (NSDC), chaired by Prime Minister rendra Modi at New Delhi, Pul insisted that with surge in development trajectory for northeast by the Centre's full-hearted support, the people of the region must benefit from the process and get equitable employment, an official report said here today.
Pul was one of the chief ministers to attend the meeting while the other two include Jammu & Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti and Maharastra Chief Minister Devendra Fadvis.
Emphasising on the need for the people of the Northeast to themselves contribute to their growth and to make gainful employment, Pul insisted that people must be trained in skills of the present and skills of the future to ensure the success of Skill Development Mission.
Calling for centre's intervention in skill development, the chief minister urged for "Udaan Scheme" to be introduced in the Northeast, particularly in the states of Aruchal and Sikkim, which is a Special Industry Initiative for Jammu & Kashmir of the Ministry of Home Affairs and implemented by tiol Skill Development Corporation.
"The scheme that aims to provide skills training and enhance the employability of educated unemployed youth of J&K, would eble graduates, post graduates and three-year engineering diploma holders of the Northeast also, to be chosen by corporates and trained by them," he suggested.
The chief minister also urged for continuation of the centrally sponsored Skill Development Initiative (SDI), which is likely to be subsumed with the Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yoja (PMKVY).
He pointed out that SDI scheme is the most suitable, as well as the most successful scheme under implementation in the state, under which so far 11,658 unemployed youth in Aruchal (0.85% of state population) were imparted employable skill development training and 3500 skilled youth are working in various sectors/organization all over the country.
Pul further suggested that as altertive, the Centre might consider incorporating similar provisions and incentives within the PMKVY.
"An informed effort may be made for bringing the positives of the SDI into PMKVY, so that the ideal of having one flagship program instead of several smaller ones is upheld," he opined.
Insisting on the need to engage state governments, Sector Skills Councils (SSC) and the local training providers for setting up model centers, the chief minister said that it could revamp the existing infrastructure stressing that while the process for selecting model centers is done centrally, it is suggested that a representative from the state governments should be on the Selection Board, as they would have a better understanding of ground situations.
Pul also asked for setting up of two centers for Overseas Employment, which is being proposed under the NSDC and the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship. He requested that at least 2 such centers to be set up in Pilot Project mode in the Northeast; one at Itagar and another in Assam.
Insisting on the importance of such centers in Northeast, he said that the youth from the region have good language skills in English, and also have the aptitude for the service industry as can be seen from the fact that in almost the entire hospitality and merchandise industry today, the young people are engaged.
Emphasising on building capacity of the trainers, he urged for setting up of Regiol Institute of Training of Trainers (RIToT), pointing out that no such training institute exists in any one the Northeastern states presently.
Pul proposed to setup a RIToT with funding from the Centre and urged to consider providing funds for the institute on a priority basis.
The chief minister also spoke on the need for hostel facilities and suggested that to fill in the need for accommodation facilities, zol and skill sector based locations may be identified in each state and the Centre could consider fincial assistance to the state governments to create such infrastructure.
He said that there is an acute shortage of use of hostel facilities as boarding and lodging is not paid for. In addition, state governments in the region also are uble to create such infrastructure.
The chief minister informed that under the 'Student-Paid' model, the university students are uble to pay the requisite fees of Rs 15000 by the end of 3rd year of graduation. Though this is a bare fee, for students in the northeast, it creates a big economic burden, he added.
He requested the Prime Minister to explore if similar to the Udaan scheme; university students could be funded for skilling.
He suggested that Ministry of Tribal Affairs could fund the top 50,000 students through scholarships from state government and central government colleges, who can be filtered by respective universities through a common criterion to be defined,
To reinforce the impact of Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yoja (PMKVY), Pul suggested that training in traditiol skills such as handicrafts and handloom, wood carving, thankha painting, etc. need to be structured as grant-based programs and not subsidy-based.
He pointed out that since these are being undertaken as a tradition and also for the protection and continuation of such skills, preparing a tiol level occupatiol standard might limit the creativity involved.
He also suggested that a regiol NSDC handholding and monitoring centre may be created at Guwahati at the earliest. States should be actively engaged by this team and support extended up to the block level centers, he added.
"Sectors such as handloom, handicrafts, agriculture, horticulture, construction, tourism must have their regiol office in north east and engage in identifying local training providers, grooming them, affiliating them," Pul pointed out.
Along with host of other dignitaries, Union Skill Development Minister Rajiv Pratap Rudy also attended the meeting, the report added.