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New ministry to train youth for jobs likely

The new government headed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh (76) is likely to add a new ministry. Kumkum Chadha reports.

india Updated: May 22, 2009 00:20 IST
Kumkum Chadha

The new government headed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh (76) is likely to add a new ministry.

Sources indicated that Singh might consider creating a skills development ministry. Aimed at imparting special training to workers, technicians and youths, the ministry will help generate employment for a large number of young people.

The move, it is learnt, is in keeping with the PM's view that it is necessary to tap the potential of India's youth.

Politically it makes sense because the youths voted in large numbers for the Congress. A ministry, if created, would send out the right message.

In the past, Singh has underlined the need of investing adequately in what he termed the "employability" of youth. He had once told the chief ministers that technically trained manpower is one of the most significant policy initiatives that needs to be collectively taken by the state and Central governments. "Some experts have estimated that India has the capacity to create 500 million certified and skilled technicians by the year 2022. This would provide employment opportunities to our young people to access opportunities provided by economic growth and make that growth more inclusive and shared," Singh had then said.

The new ministry, if formed, would focus on creating the world's largest pool of skilled workers with members of India's young population.

Skills development is an issue dear to Singh. In July last year, his government took the first step in this direction by creating a Skills Development Mission to overhaul the existing training infrastructure.

Singh had also written to the chief ministers of all states urging them to open up the public education infrastructure for skills development. He had underlined the need to train people at an affordable cost.

The newly created ministry would also focus on gender. The new ministry would also look into the rural-urban divide as well as the divide between the organized and unorganized sectors and between traditional home-based and contemporary work place-based occupations.

In the 11th Plan document, the Planning Commission has recommended a public-private partnership model to enable skills development through short-term vocational courses, which may range from six months to two years. This would follow a national test organised by the government. Once that is cleared they would get a certificate which will enhance their job prospects.