Skills ministry to scrap franchisee model, shut down many training centres | india-news | Hindustan Times
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Skills ministry to scrap franchisee model, shut down many training centres

Investigation revealed financial irregularities in uploading Aadhaar details of trainees.

india Updated: Jun 29, 2017 16:06 IST
Sanjeev K Ahuja
Students of the Noida Deaf Society attend a skill development class in Sector 36 of Noida. The National Skill Development plan aims to prepare people for jobs but its ambition hasn’t matched implementation.
Students of the Noida Deaf Society attend a skill development class in Sector 36 of Noida. The National Skill Development plan aims to prepare people for jobs but its ambition hasn’t matched implementation.(Sunil Ghosh/ HT File Photo)

The government has decided to disband the franchisee model of training centres for its skills development programme after finding tens of thousands of ghost candidates at such private institutes in several states.

Besides, investigation revealed financial irregularities in uploading Aadhaar details of trainees.

The ministry of skill development and entrepreneurship, which runs the Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojna (PMKVY), has found an authorised skill centre in Rajasthan with 70 franchisees.

That’s just one of the many an internal investigation revealed in Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh and a couple of more states during the first round of the NDA government’s signature programme intended to spur jobs and economic growth.

“Though the franchisee system was mandated in the PMKVY, the concept is widely misused. Some of the centres have set up franchisees and outsourced training, besides tying up with other players for land, building and equipment,” an official said.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the much-vaunted scheme in June 2015 with a corpus of Rs 1,500 crore, which was increased to Rs 6,000 crore, to train 2.4 million young people at 2,500 training centres.

But PMKVY-1.0 fell short of its target and trained 1.7 million youth at its 13,000 centres, the majority of which were franchisees.

A senior ministry official, who didn’t which to be named, said about 40% of the enrollment at franchise centres in several states was bogus.

The skills ministry will shut down franchisee centres guilty of fraudulent activities.

The official said the number of ghost candidates was about 600,000 across the country in the first phase of the scheme.

These figures from 2015 to 2016 were highlighted in a Hindustan Times investigation report March 2 this year. The anomaly prompted the government to introduce biometric attendance of students in PMKVY 2.0.

“We are worried that there might be some bad players who have come in and we want to flush them out. Very soon we will ensure the bad ones go, and good ones remain. Maximum such centres are in Rajasthan … What is their business model, can you support such models?” said Manish Kumar, who heads National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC), the agency implementing the programme.

The ministry has suspended allocation of centres for PMKVY-2.0 in these states.

Agency data show just 34 institutes — 0.2% of the total — trained almost 40% candidates in the first phase that ended last year.

The records also reveal only 1.4 million people were assessed and awarded certificate, while the Aadhaar numbers of 571,880 couldn’t be validated.