BY OUR STAFF REPORTER
GUWAHATI, April 25: Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi today said that Assam is a net exporter of manpower- both skilled and unskilled-to the rest of the country. He was speaking at a meeting with the NITI Aayog and other officials in New Delhi on the issue of skill development.
In his speech, Gogoi said, “There is a need to develop basic level skill training in agriculture, animal husbandry and fishery, in weaving and sericulture security services, and in the middle level in food processing, construction, paramedical and nursing services, etc.,” adding, “We also need specialized training institutions for meeting the needs of the oil and tural gas and the tea industries.”
Expressing grave concern over rising unemployment in the State, Gogoi said, “While the insurgency problem has been greatly checked and the economy of the state gradually and steadily brought back on track during the last ten years, the numbers of the unemployed have continued to rise alarmingly. Various alysts have rightly cited unemployment as the root cause behind increasing social unrest, ethnic conflict and militancy.”
On the private sector participation in skill development, the Chief Minister said, “Private industry should partner with governments in a much bigger way than at present, to ensure the availability of quality skilled manpower to meet their requirements. There is no question that we will need more vocatiol training centres, ITIs etc., where private sector’s association would be needed. In less developed States like Assam, it may not be practical to invite only the private sector to impart training in these areas. We will need a judicious blend of public and private institutions.”
On the prevailing vocatiol education system in the State, Gogoi said, “We must study the successful vocatiol education models in Germany, Chi and Singapore to me a few, and to see if we can redesign and retool our own education system on the lines there,” adding, “There are hardly any vocatiol education courses as part of the official school curriculum under the many boards in different states. The result is that there is a large section of students who fail as well as who just drop out of the system. The students have to pick up other threads but have no real opportunities.”
He further said, “Vocatiol education and introduction of appropriate courses from middle school level as part of the normal curriculum of schools needs the close attention of the authorities concerned.”
On the issue of funding, the Chief Minister said, “Funds should not be a constraint in our endeavour of skilling India. Fund will have to be pooled from all sources. This is a tiol mission and hence we should marshal and dovetail all resources at our command. For the special category States, Central funds should be allocated on a 90:10 basis. The idea of using funds under corporate social responsibility is welcome, as skill development would in turn benefit industry,” adding, “It is also important to ensure faster, easier and cheaper credit for skill development by fincial institutions. We could also commit a fixed percentage of the budgets of all ministries and departments for skill development.”