Kolkata : Through capacity building activities and skill enhancement, the West Bengal government has been able to instill self-belief among thousands of rural women who are engaged in a wide variety of work – be it doing handicrafts, weaving kantha or making food products or engagement in the traditional agricultural and allied sectors.
This was stated by Chotn D Lama, state mission director and CEO of the West Bengal State Rural Livelihoods Mission under the panchayat and rural development department, West Bengal, at the Skills Conclave organized by CII.
She also requested CII to work alongside the state government and make sure that rural women receive top-notch skill training, acquire marketing acumen and gain wider market linkages. “With some handholding, they can be a new model in entrepreneurship,” Lama said, adding that the state government has taken up a slew of projects, primarily aimed at generating jobs for women living in villages.
Lama also said that all stakeholders in the skills sector must come together and work together to ensure that we can reap the demographic dividends of our nation’s youthful workforce.
She added that there has been a sea change in the way the bureaucracy functions, especially in the skills ecosystem and the focus of the West Bengal government is definitely its citizens and service delivery to them.
Communication and sharing between various players in the skills sector will support the establishment of an environment of mutual trust and respect and help in ironing out implementation challenges, she said, adding that these exchanges will also help in bringing about government policies which will be beneficial to all.
Jayanta Krishna, Executive Director & COO, National Skills Development Corporation (NSDC), too, observed that West Bengal holds a huge potential. “Budgetary outlays have been substantially increased and a lot of work is happening. However, a lot of work remains to be done as well,” he said.
Krishna also underscored the importance of skills and startups. In his view, the current skill building exercise in India is the largest human resources development initiative ever taken in the history of humankind. “And for that, the country greatly owes it to CII. I must extol CII for spearheading the India @75 initiative,” Mr Krishna said, adding that India has the potential to become the skills capital of the world.
Krishna also struck a note of caution, saying unless “we skill and employ a large number of young people” there could be a “demographic disaster”.
As to India’s 9th position in terms of GDP, he said while this is a significant achievement, India has a lot of distance to cover when it comes to its ranking in per capita income or human development index. Speaking about the National Skills Qualification framework, he said it has imparted both vertical and horizontal mobility. He also spoke about NSDC catalyzing the formation of 40 Sector Skills Councils.
Ravi Todi, chairman, CII Eastern Region Family Business Sub-Committee and director, BTL EPC Ltd, complimented the West Bengal Government for having taken steps to boost the skilling ecosystem in the state by launching of ‘Utkarsh Bangla’ with an aim to skill 12 lakh people in two years.
“In the current year’s budget Government of West Bengal has allocated Rs. 781 Crore to the Technical Education, Training and Skill Development Department for the next financial year. The need of the hour thus is to synergize the efforts and resources to provide a feasible platform for vocational education and skill development. The ideal way forward will be to seek partnerships that will strengthen the process of quality and inclusive education, Todi said.
Note: News shared for public awareness with reference from the information provided at online news portals.