Skill India mission will be youth’s war against poverty: Modi

New Delhi (IANS) Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday launched the Skill India Mission, terming it a war against poverty by training youth to earn their livelihood with honour and how the young population could do wonders with proper abilities.

Industry welcomed the endeavour as “need of the hour”, while the Congress however termed it yet another “relaunch” of a UPA government programme.

Launching the programme on the first World Youth Skills Day in presence of union ministers, chief ministers and leaders of industry, Modi said a large number of India’s population is young and could do wonders if trained well for various works and trades available in the world.

“A major part of our population is below the age of 35 years. They are young and need to be trained,” he said, adding that India would have to build on its strengths.

The prime minister said that the central government has launched a “war against poverty” by embarking on the mission to train Indian youth to earn his livelihood with honour.

“We have begun a war against poverty. Every poor is my soldier in this war and we have to win this war with their support,” Modi said.

“We have a large number of young people in the world, we just have to train and prepare them and I can assure you that India would provide largest workforce to the world in the decades to come,” he said.

The last century was of IITs (Indian Institutes of Technology) in the country, but his government would want this century to be of ITIs (Industrial Training Institutes), he said.

India Inc expressed support for Modi’s vision to train the youth skillfully.

Terming the Skill India Mission “a renewed effort to capitalize on India’s demographic dividend and create a large pool of skilled workforce, which “is crucial to support growth across sectors and the economy at large”, Microsoft India chairman Bhaskar Pramanik said that a skills mission of this scale will make the training efforts more systematic and will ensure a workforce which is professionally skilled and meets industry needs.

The Indian Electronics and Semiconductor Association welcomed the mission to “harness the country’s “demographic dividend” through appropriate and large scale skill development effort, which in turn should make India a country of choice to address global skill shortage.

“This initiative in tandem with the ‘Make in India’ initiative should result in good diversity in skills and high employment outcome via a public-private partnership,” said its chairman Vinay Shenoy.

The Congress, however, said that Modi government was doing nothing new and just launching re-named UPA government programmes.

“Be it ‘Nirmal Bharat’, be it ‘Beti Bachao Yojana’, be it Namami Gange’ that have been launched by the UPA and have been working successfully are being re-launched by the prime minister. Is this the achievement and the originality of thinking that Prime Minister Narendra Modi claims?” Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala told media persons, terming it a re-launch of the National Skill Development Mission (NSDP) launched in August 2010 under which 35 lakh people have already been trained.

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