Involve private sector in skill development: Assam CM

New Delhi, Aug 25 (IANS) Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi on Tuesday said the involvement of the private sector was required for the country’s skill development policy to succeed.

“For the skill development policy to succeed, close involvement of the private sector is most essential,” Gogoi said while addressing the final meeting of the sub-group of chief ministers on skill development at the NITI Aayog here.

“Incentives should be offered to the private industry, whether in services or manufacturing, to offer staff as instructors and engage in the creation of training institutions especially in backward and special category states,” he said.

“The private sector will have to offer more internship, participate in curriculum redesign to suit its needs and participate in assessments of competencies based on national occupation standards.”

Gogoi said the role of the public sector should not be minimised in a state like Assam and the northeast as a whole.

He said various public sector organisations like BSNL, NTPC, NHPC, OIL and railways were “valued partners for training and skilling efforts”.

Gogoi emphasising the need for soft but crucial skills like public speaking, wellness activities, and basic computer knowledge across all skill training.

He said priority should be given to set up premier institutions in the northeast.

“I again reiterate that for the government of India, the priority should not be to increase the number of IITs, IIMs, NITs or other engineering or medical colleges or law schools equally all over the country,” he said.

“These kinds of institutions should be set up only in the backward and special category states and more so especially in the northeastern states, where there is huge manpower shortage of engineers, doctors etc. and very little private sector investment in education.”

He said Assam needed institutes of training for the oil and natural gas sector, to service the tea industry, for serving the wellness, tourism and hospitality sectors as also for water management, flood and disaster management and natural resource management.

Gogoi said he agreed with the recommendation in the sub-group’s draft report that there needed to be greater representation of the northeast in the paramilitary forces.

“Along with the recommendation for utilisation of regional training centres such as the North Eastern Police Academy as a training partner to enhance the representation of the northeast in the paramilitary forces, there is also a need for looking at the norms for the youth required for the armed and paramilitary forces,” he opined.

The chief minister also stressed the need to clarify the roles of the National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) and the state skill development missions (SSDMs).

“The NSDC and central government agencies should confine themselves to national level standardisation, accreditation, certification, advocacy, capacity building etc.,” he said.

“The actual training delivery should be done through state government agencies or SSDMs.”

In Tuesday’s meeting, deliberations focused on empowering and strengthening the SSDMs to address the challenge of skill development at the state level in a decentralised manner so as to improve the outreach of skill development, according to an official statement.

Emphasis was also laid on increasing participation by women and other socio-economic groups.

The NITI Aayog sub-group on skill development consists of the chief ministers of Assam, Chhattisgarh, Goa, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Odisha, Punjab, Puducherry, Tamil Nadu and Tripura. The Punjab chief minister is its convenor.

The meeting was also attended by NITI Aayog CEO Sindhushree Khullar, member V.K. Saraswat, and other officials.

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