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Prasad Nichenametla , Hindustan Times
New Delhi, February 07, 2013
Gujarat is behind the schedule, as compared to Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh, in the IT sector growth but the state is making strides towards computer-aided empo­w­­erment of its underprivileged populace. Under a skill development initiative, Kaushalaya Vardhan Kendra, Gujarat has trained 2.74 lakh youth to become computer operators, in the last two and half years.

Most of these youth are school dropouts, and rural unskilled who would have otherwise ended up with odd, menial jobs. The list also includes adolescent girls and housewives. In fact, 60 percent of those trained are women.

On a day when Modi called India a country of ‘mouse charmers’, the state presented its achievements at a Planning Commission meet in the Capital.

From August 2010 till January 2013, a total of over 6.75 lakh people were trained under KVK in various modules like computer skills, beauty and hairdressing, garments and embroidery, electrician course.

“About 50% of the computer trained gained jobs like receptionists, data operators in the small and medium enterprises in their localities. Some are self employed,” Sonal Mishra, mission director, Gujarat Skill Development Mission told HT.

Kaushalya Vardhan Kendras take training to the unskilled by setting up centres in schools, Pachayat buildings covering a cluster of villages. While minimum qualification is fifth grade pass, over 230 short term courses are offered free of cost to SC, ST, women, PH and BPL candidates. A fee of R50 is charged from others.