To rehabilitate jail inmates, the Punjab government has decided to set up skill development centres in various prisons across the state. The project will be undertaken by the Punjab State Board of Technical Education (PSBTE), said state jails minister and chairman PSBTE Sewa Singh Sekhwan on Saturday.
The minister was interacting with engineering diploma students of the Chandigarh Polytechnic College, Gharuan.
Under the project, the state government aims to train about 20,000 jail inmates in next one year lodged in various jails of Punjab.
“The project will start from Patiala by May. Initially, 1,000 inmates will be trained. The board has allocated a budget of about `40 crore for the project that will train 20,000 jail inmates in the next one year,” said Sekhwan.
“The state government plans to turn prisons into real time reformatory cells through this project. The idea is to change the criminal psychology of the inmates by diverting their mind towards something positive,” he added.
A production cell would be set up in every jail where inmates would undergo short-term technical training programmes in carpentry, bakery, publishing and printing and more. “They will be able to earn for their families by manufacturing products which would be sold in market,” said the minister.
“Technical institutes that will work under the skill development authority have been identified. The state board for technical education will give certificates to inmates who complete their training program” added the minister.
As part of the project, printing press machinery has already been installed at Patiala.
Diploma engineering syllabus to be updated
While replying to a question pertaining to updation of syllabus for diploma engineering programs in Punjab, Sekhwan, said, “The board has already constituted a committee comprising representatives from industry who would submit the report within two months. The suggestions made by the committee will be implemented from the new academic session.
A memorandum of understanding in this regard has been signed with the Mohali industry association, said the minister.