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J&K CM Mufti Mohammad Sayeed addressing media in Jammu on Wednesday after chairing cabinet meet.
J&K CM Mufti Mohammad Sayeed addressing media in Jammu on Wednesday after chairing cabinet meet.

J&K government has set up the state Skill Development Mission by identifying the area where skills need to be imparted and the institutions which will be tasked to accomplish the target. Chief Minister will head the mission personally.

The cabinet which met for more than two hours on Wednesday, informed sources said, identified more than 50 skills across various economic activities that would be form the main basket of the mission. These skill sets involve primarily horticulture, construction, the fast surging services sector and most importantly the heritage industry – the handicrafts.

Main target of the new policy would be tackling educated unemployed from twelfth to the graduation level, uneducated and the practicing artisans.

From the heritage industry sector, the government has identified eight skills which would be imparted. These include Papier Mache, Wood Carving, Crewel making, Kani Shawl, Namda making, Khatamband, Carpet Weaving and Hand embroidery.

The institutions which will be associated in managing these skills include Srinagar based Craft Development Institute and Indian Institute of Carpet Technology. The twin institutions operating from the Bagh-e-Ali Mardan industrial premises are being reactivated to manage the skill-deficit.

In the traditional trades basket, the cabinet has identified carpentering, plumbing, masonry, painting, fabrication and electrician. Apart from it is which are managing most of these skills, J&K Board of Construction and Other Workers will hand-hold managing skills like carpentry, masonry, and scaffolding.

From the agriculture sector, the emphasis, according to sources is on horticulture which has remained the main basket of growth in Kashmir. Areas identified for imparting skill include rootstock raising, gardening, orchard management, tree pruning and tree-grafting. Institutions which are being involved in training these skill sets include Central Institute for Temperate Horticulture.

But most of the skills that form the crux of the new policy fall in the services sector. Areas like tour operator, tourist guide, waiter, chef, caterer, room attendant and travel desk executive have been identified for specialized trainings. National Institute of Hotel Management is being associated for imparting these skills.

Four trades in textile sector identified for skill improvement are fashion designing, apparel making, tailoring and hosiery making. The upcoming NIFT that is yet to start its operations from Rangreth, where it has been given land, will be associated in this.

All the 25 Rural Self Employment Training Institutes (RSETI) operational across the state under various banking institutions, mostly J&K Bank, will be asked to train candidates in various financial services including cashiers, insurance and forex dealing. It remains, however, unclear if the RSETIs which are an initiative of the union rural development ministry will be asked to stop training in other trades as it is currently engaged with.

Cabinet has also identified various occupations in other sectors including nursing, paramedics, technicians and health clinic operator (in health sector); beauty parlors, fitness trainers, florists, front office managers, accountants, call centre operators, security guards and housekeeping (in services sector); besides, mechanics, forklift operators, drivers and miners in the logistics sector. Even the fast surging telecom sector has been considered for various trades including mobile repairing, computer repairing and allied electrical equipments repairing for imparting trainings.

In the vast chain of ITIs, the cabinet has reiterated taking PPP mode to get the best trainers. It wants to involve leaders in different sectors to engage in trainings of various crafts.

The main departments which will be associated as part of the mission include Technical education, Education, Labour and Employment, Tourism, Industry, Health, and Horticulture. Institutions falling within these departments will automatically be part of the process.


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