Assam CM reiterates demand for Special Category Status at NITI-Aayog meet
BY OUR STAFF REPORTER
GUWAHATI, August 25: Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi strongly advocated for creating a dedicated fund for skill development to address infrastructural gaps in the Northeast.
Addressing the fifth and fil meeting of the Sub-Group of Chief Ministers on Skill Development at NITI Aayog Bhawan in New Delhi on Tuesday, Gogoi said proper skill development training must be imparted with linkages to industries for absorption of the created pool of skilled manpower. "We need to approach skill development with maturity and wisdom to ensure that it becomes an integral part of the grand framework of India's growth and prosperity," he said.
Citing unemployment problem as the root cause behind social unrest, ethnic conflict and insurgency, Gogoi pitched for greater strengthening of State Skill Development Mission to ease the unemployment problem in the State. "Skill development without absorbing the skilled manpower will not be meaningful unless public and private investments are not forthcoming," he added.
Gogoi also said that tural calamities like flood and erosion, climate change have compounded problems. "Every year flood and erosion devastates the economy of the State. 4 lakh hectare has already been eroded with an average loss of 8,000 hectare per year. As a result there has been a mounting pressure on land due to rise in population," he added.
In tune with the efforts of skill development, Gogoi also emphasised on reorientation of education system to address the serious problem of school drop-outs at the primary and secondary levels. In this context, the Assam chief minister pointed out that low education levels at primary and secondary stages have had impacted the government's initiatives for creating skilled manpower. "All skill-related efforts should be coordited and harmonized between the Centre and the states," Gogoi said, adding that the State government has set up the Employment Generation Mission and decided to launch the Assam Skill Development Mission to attain the objective.
Gogoi also said that the State Government has set up a target to generate employment opportunities for 7 lakh youth under different sectors this year.
In sync with skill development activities, Gogoi underlined the need for restoration of Special Category State status through allocation of Central funds either on a 100 per cent or on a 90:10 basis to bolster development in the North Eastern Region. "Resumption of North East Industrial and Investment Promotion Policy should also top the agenda of the Centre for the development of the North East," he added.
In view of low private sector investment in education in the North East, Chief Minister Gogoi also advocated for setting up of more institutes like IITs, IIMs and NITs in the backward Northeastern region. "These types of institutions should be set up only in the backward and Special Category States and especially in the North Eastern States where there are huge manpower shortages. For this the Central Government should provide special incentives," he said. Gogoi also called for enhancing the number of seats allotted to students of the region in the tiol level institutions considerably.
The Assam chief minister underscored the need for greater representation of the NER in the tion's paramilitary forces besides utilization of regiol training centres such as the North Eastern Police Academy (NEPA) as a training partner to enhance the representation of the NER in the paramilitary forces.
The meeting chaired by Chief Minister of Punjab and convenor of the Sub Group of Chief Ministers on Skill Development Parkash Singh Badal was attended, among others, by the Chief Ministers and members of NItI Aayog.