The National Conference on Skill Development commenced in Mahatma Mandir on the morning of Wednesday 25th September 2013. Speaking at the start of the conference Shri Narendra Modi called for strengthening skill development initiatives in our nation so that it can help the youth of our nation. “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. Like there are industrial cluster, Shri Modi called for the setting up of Human Resource Development clusters that enable individuals to pick up skills that would give them ample opportunities near their homes. Shri Modi avowed that there would be development where there will be skilled manpower and that the time for the reverse to happen has long gone.
During his speech Shri Modi paid rich tributes to Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhyaya on his birth anniversary. Shri Modi stated that Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhyaya worked for the welfare of the poor and the marginalized communities and gave the 7M Mantra- Man, Machine, Material, Money, Management, Motive and Market, which are very important for this conference as well.
Speaking about the importance of holding such a conference, Shri Modi pointed, “There are conferences on doctors etc but no one looks at the real Rashtra Nirmatas (nation builders), the real Vishwakarmas. It is the small Karigar who will think of making things perfectly. The nation is built by their hands, it is they who take the nation ahead.” The Chief Minister stressed on giving importance to the dignity of labour (Shram Ki Pratistha).
Shri Modi opined that on one hand we hear things like the youth do not have jobs but on the other hand we hear things like a driver, plumber, cook is needed in many houses. “We have youth, we have skill, we have everything we only need to join it. Through this conference we seek to integrate these strengths,” he added. He affirmed that there cannot be any nation or government that would not focus on skill development, further stating that those nations blessed with youth are skill development and those without youthful population are focusing on how to get skilled manpower.
The Chief Minister called for upgrading the scale at which the skill development initiatives were going on In India. Recalling a National Development Council meet five years ago, Shri Modi shared that he was surprised when he heard the PM say that India is working on 500 works towards skill development when China is focusing on 50,000! He spoke about the efforts in nations such as Germany, Malaysia on skill development.
Shri Modi affirmed that it is not as if the youth of the nation does not want to learn. Given the right opportunity, he or she would never want to live off what the Government is giving. He shared that the Centre formed a Minister’s National Council on Skill Development in 2008 but nothing happened. They formed a Skill Development Board too and in 2009 they came up with National Skills Policy that looks good only on paper. Thus, in 2013 they abandoned these committees and formed a National Skill Development Authority. “They are great at forming and dissolving committees!” he remarked. Shri Modi shared that the Centre looked towards Gujarat’s initiatives on skill development and that Gujarat’s initiatives received the Prime Minister’s award for excellence in 2013. He called for a need of changing the laws and guidelines that prevail in this sector, sharing the present rules date back to 1961!
Narendra Modi ji spoke about the changes Gujarat has brought in the ITIs. He opined, “The more the skilled manpower, the more productivity, the better manufacturing and this will increase exports.”
The Chief Minister stated that in this world that is developing rapidly doing things in isolation would stop progress. He shared that the way ahead lies in learning best practices from every part of the country, to understand and to accept them. Shri Modi further stated, “Not only India but also the world is changing. Technology has changed how we think. It has altered processes too…we cannot develop isolated we have to develop in context of global requirements and we should see to it that we do not remain behind.”
An insightful speech was made by Dr. John Blomquist, an eminent economist. Labour Minister Shri Saurabhbhai Patel also spoke on the occasion. The vote of thanks was given ACS Shri P Panneervel.