The Centre’s initiative to provide training to youth in 34 Naxal-affected areas under the National Skill Development Mission(NSDM) has hit a roadblock as most of the proposed ITIs and skill development centres in these areas are either yet to come up or have low attendance. Construction agencies are not gaining enough confidence to venture into a hostile environment.
An official of the Ministry of Skills Development and Entrepreneurship(MSDE) informed a Parliamentary panel recently that the states are finding it difficult to rope in construction agencies for building ITIs and repeated re-tendering is being done in most of the cases. In some ITIs, which started working under the mission in Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh, trainees are not turning up.
The mission was approved in March 2011 and `241.65 crore was earmarked to construct 125 ITIs in the Naxal-affected districts. Even as the deadline of the project ended on March 31, 2016, only `50 crore of the amount was utilized and only six ITIs have come up. “We are trying to ensure security cover for construction agencies and expedite the pace of implementation,” an official of the ministry said. “But until the government restores confidence in the executing agencies, it will be difficult to take the programme ahead.”
Given the slow pace of progress, the government is planning to extend the mission by another three years. The 34 districts earmarked for the mission are from Telangana, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha, West Bengal and Uttar Pradesh.
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