Skill development: Giving power to the performer!
Empowering the youth through employment is what the ongoing Swami Vivekanand Rojgar Bharti Mela aims at, which reinforces Shri Narendra Modi’s vision of empowering the youth by engaging them in employment, and thereby involving and designating them the central role in the nation’s development process. In its fourth phase, the job fair offered work opportunities to a total of 1,03,810 candidates, followed with the first round of distribution of job letters in the districts of Gandhinagar, Mehsana, Banaskantha, Patan and Bhuj. The program, conducted on November 25, witnessed the presence of Honourable Ministers, and had nearly 1000+ employers putting forth innumerable work options to the selected candidates at over 500 job fairs organized over a period of four months, beginning July 1, 2013. In the first phase of the recruitment programme, pioneered by the persistent efforts of Shri Narendra Modi in 2011, the CM had distributed appointment letters to over 65,000 youths at different functions in Ahmedabad, Surat, Baroda and Rajkot. “Gujarat has taken up the task of competing with China in creating a huge pool of skilled manpower. Not a single youth, having professional skills, will remain jobless in Gujarat,” Modi had said, during the first phase of distribution, in 2012.
With an array of skill-focused and youth-centric initiatives, Gujarat seems all set to contribute to the nation’s growth – with competent workforce as its device, and sustained development as its deliverable. There were as many as 28 million unemployed persons in the country in 2009-10, according to the Economic Survey 2012-13 – an inter-state comparison of which shows that the unemployment rate per 1000 people was the lowest in Gujarat where just 18 persons were unemployed. This truly is an achievement for Gujarat, and an honour for its people!
Focused initiatives, strenuous efforts and promising deliverables have brought this laurel for the State. Fledgling ideas that foresee replication by other states, and promising endeavours that ensure sustained growth of its populace, is what sums up the employment scenario in Gujarat.
Chief Minister Narendra Modi’s repeated reinforcement of empowering the youth has rightly been captured in the various initiatives of the State government, as is reflected in the recognition the State received from the Union Ministry of Labour and Employment for being the number one state in providing job placement in 2011. Truly a stark diversion from the Congress’ unfulfilled promise of providing employment to the Indian workforce in the past 60 years!
Skill development is the key to systemic development
At the Skill Development Conference held in September this year, Shri Modi had shared that the Centre had formed a Minister’s National Council on Skill Development in 2008, but took no action ever. Following this was the setting up of the Skill Development Board and even the National Skills Policy, which were later abandoned to create the National Skill Development Authority. “The Centre is moving slowly on skill development. Their skill lies in forming committees on the issue rather than focusing on the issue itself,” the Gujarat CM had remarked then.
However, the Gujarat story is different. Gujarat is the highest job creator in the nation today, generating 72% through employment exchange of the total jobs in India! In the special report of The Economic Times magazine (December 15-21, 2013), writer Malini Goyal talks about the basics of the newly introduced national job portal – the ambitious National Career Service (NCS). She also goes on to add some of the success stories in India wherein states have taken strategic initiatives to tackle employment crisis. Gujarat, as the article puts forth, leads the country in Employment Exchange (EE) placements and has one of the best-run exchanges. Managed solely by the government, the EEs actively reach out to workers, companies and trainers to help, vet, train, and employ jobseekers. The 41 EEs in the state are ISO-2008 certified, and reach out to the private sector for specialist help. These EEs not only provide basic soft skills and computer literacy programmes but also facilitate high-end training by closely collaborating with industry at their training centres. Notable achievements include the training provided to nearly 6 lakh youth at the state-government initiated flexible 60-hour basic computer training programme at 640 centres, including EEs.
A series of skill-development initiatives have been instrumental in positioning Gujarat as the land of opportunities.
- Educate and empower
A key focus area has been the development of ITIs that are now present in all 225 talukas of the state. “In the last century we were very proud of IITs. It is a very good thing no doubt but in this century we need to think about ITIs and give it the same importance,” said Shri Modi, at the National Conference on Skill Development held in September 2013. Having entered into partnerships with many national and international corporations, ITIs have trained nearly 44,000 candidates from the weaker sections of the society. And they also enable ITI students to pursue Diploma and Engineering courses after their ITI education.
- Freedom to perform
Creation of Skill Development Corporation, the success of Kaushalya Vardhan Kendras (KVKs), setting up of Employment Exchanges, and the monitoring of these by the Gujarat Skill Development Mission, are other promising initiatives that have intensified Gujarat’s stature as the land of opportunities. Through KVKs, the Government has adopted a flexible approach to harness the potential of the rural youth, adolescent girls, housewives etc. From August 2010 till March 2013, over 8 lakh people were trained out of which over 4,80,000 are women trainees. The matchless success of the KVKs, and its winning of the Prime Minister’s Award for Excellence in Public Administration for the year 2011-2012, perhaps, signals the beginning of a new era in the inclusive development module of India.
A development story worth emulating is that of Gujarat. And, a lot of credit for this accolade undoubtedly goes to the diverse yet optimistic approaches for the youth, focused at teaching them to perform, and training them to excel. Couple this with Shri Narendra Modi’s pioneering ideas of empowering the youth and his endless zeal to achieve through innovation and execution, and Gujarat has everything it needs to move forward and set new trends in growth and development.