Stressing upon empowering large sections of conventionally-educated youth with skills to enhance their employability, Chief Minister, Mehbooba Mufti, on Wednesday passed directions to put an appropriate mechanism in place which brings together all projects of skill development, presently being implemented by different departments.
For this, she nominated Financial Commissioner, P&M, BB Vyas, as the Nodal Head of the Skill Development initiatives so that activities of different departments are coordinated in a much better way. “The Chief Secretary will also create a structure for Skill Development Mission Society which shall oversee progress of skilling programmes of various departments,” she added.
The Chief Minister gave these directions during a high-level meeting on skill development, here today. The meeting was also attended by Deputy Chief Minister, Dr Nirmal Singh.
Minister for Agriculture, Ghulam Nabi Lone, Minister for I&C, Chander Parkash, Minister for Finance, Labour & Employment, Dr. Haseeb Drabu, Minister for YS&S and Technical Education, Imran Raza Ansari, Minister of State for Education, Culture & Tourism, Priya Sethi, Chief Secretary, BR Sharma, Financial Commissioner, P&M, BB Vyas and Principal Secretary to the Chief Minister, Navin K. Chaudhary, were also present in the meeting.
Highlighting the significance of providing our younger generation with skills and ability, Mehbooba Mufti, who also heads the State Skill Development Mission, said it is the task of different departments to concentrate in their areas of expertise so that youth are provided with base-level and up-graded skills, which will enable them to hunt for jobs which are in sync with market requirement. “Our talented youth need opportunities. Converging skilling efforts as well as financial resources available with us will provide a clear line of action to enable the state to make further progress on this front,” she added.
While briefing the Chief Minister on the issue of convergence and building capacities, Dr Drabu said that with the kind of infrastructure available at our disposal, it will be very difficult to achieve the targets, unless the intake capacity of our ITIs and Polytechnics is doubled. He also spoke about NASSCOM mapping wherein each district in the state has been evaluated in terms of a particular skill. “We have worked out a mechanism with private firms wherein our skilled youth will be trained by firms like HAL, BHEL, Bharti Infratel, NTPC and ONGC for corporate jobs,” he added.
The Chief Minister also suggested transforming ITIs into multi-skill institutes as well as roping in existing school and college infrastructure in the evenings to train more youth. “Our aim is not only to expand facilities for skill training, but also address the important task of raising their quality,” she added.
Describing skill as an integral part of employment, Mehbooba Mufti said it is vital that it should be complemented by commensurate creation of jobs in different economic sectors like tourism, agriculture, et al. She emphasized upon tapping the huge potential in creation of job opportunities in the floriculture and tourism sectors, particularly related to activities like landscaping, gardening and culinary.
While briefing the Chief Minister about creation of J&K Skill Development Mission Society, the Chief Secretary said the modalities will be finalized for sending a proposal to the Cabinet for approval. This, he said will also pave way for accessing funds from the newly-created Union Skill Development Ministry.
On being asked by the Chief Minister about setting up of an Entrepreneurship Centre for women in the summer capital, Commissioner/Secretary I&C, Shailendra Kumar, suggested that once Directorate of I&C, Kashmir, shifts to the newly-constructed Sanat Ghar at Bemina, the vacated premises at the Residency Road can be utilized for setting up of an entrepreneurial centre , which will guide women in choosing the right kind of vocational courses as well as hone their skills, in tune with market requirement.
In his address, Dr Nirmal Singh said the Prime Minister’s initiative of skill development will not be a success unless we take the necessary measures to impart various skills to the younger generation of the state. He said a mechanism should be put in place to ensure that more youth are trained which would in turn ensure their requisite employability and also creation of more job opportunities. “Emphasis should also be laid on imparting traditional skill development courses to the aspiring youth,” he added.
While referring to the initiatives to be taken in the sector, the Deputy Chief Minister said the youth of far flung areas of the Jammu division especially in Samba, Kathua and Udhampur should also be provided with the requisite skill development initiatives.
J&K state has 33 polytechnic colleges and 88 ITIs, besides training institutes falling in the domain of Tourism, I&C, Health and other departments. Based on unique attributes of J&K, the skill requirement has been classified into four broad categories which include heritage industry skills, traditional and modern trades and agriculture-based skill enterprises.
Also present in the meeting were Principal Secretary Agriculture, Sandeep Nayak, Principal Secretary PDD, Dheeraj Gupta, Commissioner/Secretary, Social Welfare, Sarita Chauhan, Secretary, Labour & Employment, Nirmal Sharma, Secretary Technical Education, Hilal Parray, Secretary Tourism, Farooq Ahmad Shah, Secretary Horticulture, MH Malik and Director Technical Education, Shabnam Kamili.(Agencies)