Nagpur : There seems to be no takers for the Ministry of Railways (MoR) and Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MSDE’s) ‘Skill India’ initiative under which skill development centres were to be developed in Nagpur and Mandla under the South East Central Railway (SECR).
As a part of the ‘Skill India’ initiative, both the ministries had signed an MoU to make available spare capacity of railway infrastructure to the MSDE for setting up skill development centres.
Accordingly, the MSDE had identified 53 locations spread across the country in 15 railway zones. Two locations were in the SECR — one at Motibagh in Nagpur and another in Nainpur in Mandla district of Madhya Pradesh.
The MSDE had also identified training partners who were to set up skill development centres (SDCs) through the Directorate General of Training and National Skill Development Corporation.
According to Railway Board, out of the above 53, in 16 locations, agreements have been signed and sites handed over. Three more are under process. The SDCs will offer vocational training and learning of practical skills for profitable career choices.
In 20 places, even though locations have been identified, the training partners are yet to respond. Further, in 14 locations, either there is no response or alternative locations offered by the railways are not being considered by the training partners.
The SECR divisional railway manager (DRM) Amit Kumar Agarwal confirmed that in Guard Line in Motibagh two quarters (157 metre area) were allotted to a Noida-based agency SOCOM. A lease agreement was also signed with the agency in December 2016. However, the agency is yet to turn up to start the centre.
“Being an Indian Railways-MSDE joint venture, the premises was offered rent-free. Since December, there is no word and we are waiting for the agency to start the centre, where wards of railway employees will also benefit,” said Agarwal.
Agarwal said another centre was to be started by Pratham Foundation in Nainpur but the agency did not show interest.
Interestingly, Pratham is doing well in skill development and hospitality training to youth living on the fringes of the wildlife parks in Vidarbha region.
According to official sources, 477 people are undergoing training at these centres and 255 have completed their training so far. However, considering the huge railway network, the figures are not so encouraging.
The MoR initiative is part of a new non-fare revenue policy for encouraging viable proposals for generating revenue from non-conventional sources. Zonal railways and divisions have been empowered under the policy to take decisions regarding revenue generating proposals, subject to feasibility and desirability which, inter alia, includes selection of specific events and locations.
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