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Gujarat’s Kaushalya Vardhan Kendra (KVK) wins PM’s Award for Excellence in Public Administration

The development journey of Gujarat received another feather in its cap! Gujarat’s Kaushalya Vardhan Kendra, the flagship scheme of the Directorate of Employment and Training to enhance skill development among the people has won the Prime Minister’s Award for Excellence in Public Administration for the year 2011-2012. The award was presented by the Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh on 21st April 2013, which is commemorated as National Civil Services Day. The Award was received by Ms. Sonal Mishra, Director Employment and Training.

The Prime Minister’s Award for Excellence in Public Administration have been instituted by the Government of India to acknowledge, recognize and reward the good work done by State and Central Governments. Nominations were received for these awards after which a high-powered committee visited Gujarat to study the KVK initiative. Based on the various such field visits, 18 such projects were shortlisted out of which four were from Gujarat including the KVK.

This was followed by elaborate presentation on the subject by the Director of Employment and Training before a high powered committee consisting of the Cabinet Secretary of India, Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister; Secretary, Ministry of External Affairs; Secretary, Finance; Secretary, Planning Commission; Chairman, Railway Board; Scientific Advisor to the Prime Minister and Secretary, Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances.

It was after this elaborate process that the Government of India selected Kaushalya Vardhan Kendras as the winner of the Prime Minister’s Award for Excellence in Public Administration.

It may be recalled that Gujarat State Watershed Management Agency was conferred the Prime Minister’s Award for Excellence in Public Administration 2010-2011 at a ceremony last year. That Award was for remarkable work in watershed management programmes.

About KVK : Strengthening Skills Among Youngsters

The concept Kaushalya Vardhan Kendras in Gujarat was conceptualized during the Chintan Shibir held in Kutch in 2009. It was launched by Shri Narendra Modi on 15th August 2010. KVKs are institutes to strengthen skill development among the people of Gujarat especially youngsters and those in rural areas. Through KVKs, the Government has adopted a flexible approach to harness the potential of the rural youth, adolescent girls, housewives etc. Courses are designed on the basis of the participatory approach of Kaushalya Sabhas in the village clusters having population of 7000 and population of 4900 in areas dominated by tribal communities.

The main purpose of KVKs is to promote self-employment and entrepreneurship by multi-skilling and creative manpower as desired by the industry so that inclusive development can be promoted. Thus, instead of the trainees going to the institutes, the institutes go to the trainees!

As of today there are 335 KVKs that are functional in Gujarat and this includes 120 KVKs in areas dominated by the tribal communities. From August 2010 till March 2013, over 8 lakh people were trained out of which over 4,80,000 are women trainees.

Each KVK runs minimum four courses with a batch size of 20 trainees in each course. Nearly 238 short-term courses are running in the KVKs. Each course also has a soft-skill component. About 1074 types of services required by a person were identified and taught as per the WISH approach- (Women, Industry, soft-skills, hardcore traditional courses).

KVKs are also extremely affordable. A nominal fee of Rs. 50/- is charged from the candidates and no fees are taken for SC/ST/Women/Specially abled and BPL candidates. At the same time, there is no upper age limit for candidates- one is never old to learn something new! Keeping with Shri Narendra Modi’s vision of integrating technology with the working of the Government, all KVKs are equipped with DTH connection for learning through BISAG.

Popular courses at KVKs include computer fundamental, tally software, basic welding, electric wireman, beauty-parlour, make-up artist, hair dresser, other beautician related courses, garment stitching, hand embroidery, domestic appliance repairing, mobile repairing, plumbing, motor driving among others. After intense review of Gujarat’s KVK model, the Planning Commission and Labour Ministry felt that the KVK model implemented by the Gujarat Government appears to be appropriate for designing PPP architecture for setting up 5000 skill development centre across the nation.

Enhancing skill development among the people

The Gujarat Government’s efforts vis-à-vis KVKs can be understood in the larger context of the state Government’s vision to enhance skill development among our youth. Shri Narendra Modi always says that if India wishes to attain the pinnacle of world leadership as envisioned by Swami Vivekananda, our youth must posses various skills that will help them in the years to come.

In the last decade the Gujarat Government took numerous decisions in this regard. The Government undertook a complete overhaul of Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs). Shri Modi recalled that earlier belonging to an ITI was never a matter of pride but today things have changed and students from ITI have been able to leave a mark for themselves as well.

Government ITIs are present in all 225 Talukas of the state. From mere 275 ITIs in 2001 the number has shot up to 1054 in 2012, which is a four-fold increase. The course structure has been completely overhauled as well. Now, a student can study in an ITI and this can be equated with his Class X or XII examinations. More than 50% of the ITIs are running on PPP model. Imagine the opportunity this can open for a child!

In the state Budget for 2013-2014 the Gujarat Government set aside a budgetary provision of Rs. 800 crore for skill development. In contrast, in the Union Budget only Rs. 1000 crore was allocated for the same

As a part of the 150th birth anniversary celebrations of Swami Vivekananda, Gujarat observed the Swami Vivekananda Youth Employment Week in April this year. During the week, Shri Modi himself handed over a record 65,000 job letters to youngsters at programmes organized in Kutch-Saurashtra, Central Gujarat, South Gujarat and Ahmedabad.

Thus, it is evident how the Gujarat Government, under the vision and dynamic leadership of Shri Narendra Modi is leaving no stone unturned to change the lives of our youth. It is a commitment to deliver change backed by innovation and timely execution that sets Gujarat apart from the rest as the state brings home various awards for his golden development journey.

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