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Phase 3 of Modi govt’s skills scheme to launch next year, with focus on Covid

Third phase of Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana will launch on 1 January 2021 and will focus on imparting skills related to healthcare, home delivery, sanitising, cleaning services among others.

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New Delhi: The Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship is all set to launch the third phase of its flagship development scheme Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY) early next year with a special focus on Covid-related skills.

The one-year scheme was supposed to launch in April 2020 but was delayed due to the Covid-19 pandemic and will now begin on 1 January 2021.

According to the ministry officials, this phase will focus on imparting skills related to healthcare, artificial intelligence, 3D printing, home delivery, sanitising and cleaning services and logistics — services that have become extremely important during the Covid pandemic.

Officials added that while the scheme was supposed to be for a duration of five year, it was cut short to just one year due to shortage of funds.

Praveen Kumar, the secretary in-charge of the ministry, told ThePrint, “The scheme is at the final stages of approval. The total cost of the scheme is about Rs 950 crore, and aims to skill eight lakh youth in this year. This scheme will see a paradigm change in how training is implemented and is a precursor of a much longer and bigger scheme, which is being conceptualised for implementation from next year.”

The government had launched the PMKVY scheme in 2015 and it was revamped in 2016 to impart skills to one crore people by 31 March 2020. The Modi government had also allocated Rs 12,000 crore for the scheme.

The skill development ministry has claimed that about 9.2 million people have made use of the scheme till now.

Also read: How Odisha went from skill development nobody to powerhouse in just 4 years

‘Bottom-to-top’ approach at district level

The ministry has decided to take a bottom-to-top approach with this phase of the scheme, where district-level skilling committees will determine the demand for particular skills and set up courses accordingly.

The ministry will then extend grants to these centres based on the demand and skilling programmes.

“So far we are witnessing a demand for skills related to Covid management like logistics and sanitisation, so the focus will largely be on skilling students and workers with such skills,” a ministry official, who did not wish to be named, told ThePrint.

The district committees will also be directed to mobilise candidates and spread awareness about the courses through events like the ‘Kaushal Melas’.

The committees will be tasked with creating information and counselling centres to counsel potential candidates. They will also ensure that all candidates get post-training support through placement, self-employment and apprenticeship opportunities.

Even after placements, help will be extended to all candidates to ensure they sustain their work.

The government has earmarked 5 per cent of the scheme’s expenses to help the district committees with administrative and other expenditure.

Under phase 2 of PMKVY, which was launched in 2016, training partners were largely in charge of roles like mobilisation, counselling of candidates and batch formation, which have now been handed to the district skill committees in this phase.

Training providers are owners of skill centres across the country and are engaged in providing skills to the Indian youth. Under phase 2, skills in sectors like beauty and wellness, apparel and tailoring, construction and auto mechanics, were provided.

In an address to mark World Youth Skills Day on 15 July, Union Minister of Skill Development Mahendra Nath Pandey had said, “PMKVY will now focus more on entrepreneurship, demand-driven skill development, digital technology, and skill pertaining to industry 4.0.”

Also read: What an ‘urban NREGA’ should look like


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