To boost Skill India Mission, Govt sets aside Rs 17,000 crore in Budget

Source: The Economic Times, Feb 03, 2017

NEW DELHI: The government has set aside over Rs 17,000 crore for skilling, employment generation and providing livelihood to millions of youth who enter the workforce every year, giving Skill India Mission—Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s pet project— a major leg up.

At least 10 million young people enter the country’s workforce every year, but job creation in India has not kept pace with this influx, making rising unemployment a major challenge for the government.

The total sector outlay for 2017-18 has been pegged at Rs 17,273 crore, 16% higher than 2016-17’s revised estimate of Rs 14,870 crore. In fact, the ministry of skill development and entrepreneurship, which has been set up by the BJP-led NDA government to implement the ‘Skill India Mission’ project, has seen a 38% jump in its allocation for the next fiscal at Rs 3,016 crore, as compared with Rs 2,173 crore in the revised estimate of 2016-17.

“The highest ever allocation to the sector will be used to speed up the process of skilling in a manner that we make our youth employable in the fastest possible way,” a senior official said. According to the official, the role of the skill development ministry does not end after imparting skills to the young labour force.

“For the success of Skill India Mission, the ministry has to facilitate employment for these skilled youths, and this requires mediation with industry and other ministries to help create quality and sustainable jobs in the market,” the official said. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, in his budget speech on Wednesday, announced at least half a dozen skilling initiatives not just for the youth but also for women to ensure gender parity.

The biggest initiative under the programme is the launch of SANKALP (Skill Acquisition and Knowledge Awareness for Livelihood Promotion Programme) at an investment of Rs 4,000 crore to provide marketrelevant training to 350 million youths. Besides, the ministry would set up 100 India International Skills Centres that will conduct advanced courses in foreign languages to help youngsters prepare for overseas jobs.



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