Centre plans 34 ITIs in Maoist hubs to woo back jobless youth

In its effort to reach out to unemployed youth in the red zone, the Centre will for the first time fund the setting up of industrial training institutes (ITI) and skill development centres (SDC) in 34 districts of nine Naxal-affected States.

These ITIs and at least 68 SDCs, two in each district, have been planned in different districts of Chhattisgarh, Odisha, Jharkhand, Bihar, Odisha, West Bengal and Madhya Pradesh to impart vocational and skilled training to about 17,000 to 20,000 candidates covering all these States.

Normally, ITIs are set up and run by the State Governments and private entities with the role of Central Government being policy making, setting up of standards and norms, trade testing and certification. “However, this will be a first of its kind of Centrally-sponsored scheme,” sources said. Thus Centre-State funding will be on the 75:25 pattern and the centres will be affiliated to the National Council for Vocational Training, the sources added.

The proposal has been mooted by the Labour Ministry and the HRD Ministry is likely to monitor the academic programme.

Seven districts of Chhattisgarh — Dantewada, Bastar, Kanker, Surguja, Rajnandgaon, Bijapur and Narayanpur — will have one ITI each which would impart vocational training to about 3,200-3,500 candidates. Chhattisgarh remains one of the worst affected by the Naxal problem and was in news for the recent kidnapping of the Sukma Collector.

Similarly, five districts of Odisha where the left extremists recently abducted two Italians and an MLA will be covered under the scheme. Gajapati, Malkangiri, Deogarh, Rayagada and Sambalpur districts will have one ITI and two SDCs each.

The plan will also cover Naxal affected Jamui, Gaya, Aurangabad, Jehanabad, Rohtas and Arwal districts of Bihar while Jharkhand’s 10 districts will include the industrial towns of Bokaro, Singhbhum (East and West), besides Palamu, Lohardaga, Latehar and Gumla.

Further, Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh will have an ITI and a couple of SDC at Khamam, Balaghat and Sonebhadra, respectively. Maharashtra’s two district — Gadhchiroli and Gondia will be covered under this Central scheme bringing about 1,000-1,200 candidates under skilled labour category annually.

In West Bengal, Midnapore (Paschim) — falling under the Naxal belt of Lalgarh area and which already has an ITI — will have an additional ITI and two SDCs as part of the Centre’s proposal.

The Labour Ministry has also decided to setup 1,500 new ITIs and 5,000 SDCs in Public Private Partnership mode in the unserviced blocks of the country.

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