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HindustanTimes Tue,21 Oct 2014

State govt to assess skill development allowance

Saurabh Chauhan, Hindustan Times  Shimla, August 30, 2014
First Published: 19:00 IST(30/8/2014) | Last Updated: 19:02 IST(30/8/2014)

The Himachal government has decided to assess the skill development allowance scheme meant for educated unemployed youths.

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Sources said the scheme, which aimed at enabling such youths to develop skills which would enable them to get jobs in the fields of their choice, had not been able to benefit a large number of youths since it was launched in March last year.

Perturbed over the increasing growth of institutions to conduct course for skill development, the government has planned to review the scheme in particular rules for registration of training centres in the wake of reports on irregularities. The government is likely to redraw the guidelines for training centres so that youths could really get equipped with the skill.

In order to encourage youths between 25 and 35 years to take jobs of their choice, the government had announced this scheme in its first budget in March last year.

The government had even simplified the norms and application procedure so that maximum youths could avail of the benefit. The government had first lowered the entitlement age from 25 to 18 years and later reduced it further to 16 years.

For this, one has to get himself enrolled in any vocational course in an institute registered with the department of labour but there were some reports on irregularities. Sources said at some places it was found that even after getting themselves registered with the scheme several students started bunking classes and there were some institutions that did not provide any training but only enrol students for the sake of allowance.

A government official on the condition of anonymity said some of the training centres had come up after the announcement of the scheme and had been compromising with the quality and standards. "The scheme must be reviewed to remove the hurdle defeating its real objective."

Meanwhile, Mukesh Agnihotri, minister for labour and employment, said: "The scheme was started to benefit the educated unemployed. We'll do everything which could benefit educated unemployed youths."

Sources said so far, nearly 25,000 youths had availed of the benefit of the scheme and the government had allocated a budget of Rs. 100 crore for the purpose. But due to several practical reasons, the scheme was losing its sheen. Now, the government would restructure the guidelines so that 'illegal' activities could be checked and more youths could be benefitted.

Earlier in April, labour and employment department had initiated steps to review the scheme and feedback from the authorities concerned had also been collected.

In the run up to assembly elections in 2012, the Congress had promised unemployment allowance to educated youths and after taking the reins of the state, it started the scheme instead of providing direct allowance.

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