The central rural skilling programme Aajeevika Skills launched by the previous government is getting a makeover, with a new name, Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Grameen Kaushalya Yojana, and changes including reduction in the minimum entry age to 15 years from 18 years.
Besides, skills imparted under the programme will now be benchmarked against international standards by roping in private players so that rural youths are provided with certificates recognised overseas. The programme aims to train 10 lakh rural youths by the end of the 12th five year plan (2012-17). According to a senior official, the government has identified seven countries where demand is high and where Indian rural youth can be absorbed after they acquire industry-specific skills under the public-private partnership mode. The countries include the United States, Japan, Russia, Germany, France, China and Spain besides countries in the Middle East.
Rural development minister Nitin Gadkari will unveil the scheme on Thursday to mark the 98th birth anniversary of Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya, the erstwhile Bharatiya Jana Sangh and BJP icon.
This will coincide with the launch of ‘Make in India’ campaign to promote the country as a global manufacturing hub. The rural development ministry estimates that by 2020 developed countries will have a shortfall of over 57 million semi-skilled workers while India is expected to have a surplus of 47 million. Hence, the Modi-led government at the Centre is now tapping international players for partnership in imparting skills to the country’s increasing rural youth population and offering them jobs.