Bouyed by the success of National Rural Health Mission, the government will now extend its reach to all towns in the country and set up a specialised authority to implement skill development schemes to enhance job prospects of the youth, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh announced on Wednesday.
"After the success of the NRHM, we now want to expand the scope of health services in our towns also. The National Rural Health Mission will be converted into a National Health Mission which would cover all villages and towns in the country," Singh said in his Independence Day address in New Delhi.
The NRHM was launched in 2005 to provide health services in every village in the country.
The Prime Minister said the government is also formulating a scheme for distribution of free medicines through government hospitals and health centres.
He said in a bid to create new job opportunities for youth in the coming years, the government is making efforts to put in place a system in which training facilities are available in many new skills.
"We also wish to provide short duration training courses of 6 weeks to 6 months...The National Skill Development Council has formulated a major scheme for skill development in which 8 crore people will be trained in the next 5 years," the Prime Minister said.
Terming it as an ambitious scheme, Singh said it can be implemented only through a specialised agency of the central government.
"Therefore, we are considering the establishment of a National Skill Development Authority so that skill development programmes all over the country can be implemented in a coordinated manner," the Prime Minister said.
"We would also need contribution from the private sector and non-governmental organisations in this work."