During the month of October2018, the ACS Technical Education participated in the Tri-Partite Review Meeting organized by the Asian Development Bank at Vishakhapatnam wherein the progress of all ADB funded projects being implemented across India was undertaken.
ACS(TE) apprised the participants that the Government of India and Asian Development Bank funded Himachal Pradesh Skill Development Project has been started in Himachal Pradesh since July 2018 to assist the State Government in reforming and modernizing its technical and vocational education and training (TVET) institutions and programs to boost the employability of Himachal Pradesh’s youth and improve their employment prospects. The total Project value is $100mn and project period spans from 2018 to 2022.
It was shared that while the State will enjoy the demographic dividend in the near future but the hilly terrain and small industrial base will create challenges in providing suitable employment options to the educated youth in the State. In view of the constraints, HPSDP will support the State in addressing the “second-generation” challenge and prepare them for the dynamic labor market. In line with the Himachal Pradesh Skill Development Policy (Him Kaushal), the impact of the project will be a more productive workforce created in Himachal Pradesh equipped with market-relevant technical and vocational skills.
ACS informed that the Department of Technical Education is the Executing agency for the Project and there are 4 implementing agencies which include Department of Higher Education, Himachal Pradesh Kaushal Vikas Nigam (Nodal Agency), Directorate of Technical Education and Himachal Pradesh Public Works Department.
The ACS appraised the delegation from ADB and Ministry of Economic Affairs about the progress made by the Skill Development Project since its inception in July 2018 and informed the participants that under the Project, 25 MoUs have already been signed with Sector Skill Councils and key Industrial Associations to support generation of employment opportunities for Himachali youth. In addition, contract has been signed with Training Service Providers selected through national competitive bidding process as per ADB procurement norms for 2 packages to train 5000 youth and the training processes has been initiated with the mobilization of 400 trainees for the initial batches. In addition, as a result of project facilitation, the State has become one of the forerunners in the country to introduce UGC approved Bachelors of Vocation (B.Voc) in 12 Government Colleges in the State in the year 2017-18 in 2 sectors, namely, Hospitality and Retail with the enrollment of 824 students. The B. Voc program comprising of 40% academic component and 60% Skills Component has received good response from the youth and the enrollments have increased to more than 1,000 students in the academic year 2018-19. Furthermore, the Graduate Add-On Courses have been introduced in 8 government colleges in the State which offer short term vocational courses to the final year students pursuing graduation in various streams. These courses are being offered in sectors such as retail, Banking & Finance, Hospitality, Electronics, Beauty & Wellness and Apparel & Made ups and will provide the much needed practical exposure to the graduating students which will equip them with necessary industry oriented skills.
The ACS also informed the participants that an important component of the project includes development of vocational training infrastructure in the State wherein 7 Rural Livelihood Centers and 6 City Lively Hood Centers are being developed at various locations which will not only provide an avenue for undertaking vocational trainings in rural and urban centers but also provide a platform for aggregation of services. 3 Rural Livelihood Centers are under
construction at Sadyana (Mandi), Chopal (Shimla) and Pragatinagar (Shimla). In addition, contract has been awarded for the construction of City Livelihood centers at Mohal Sidhbari(Kangra), Shamshi(Kullu) and Sundernagar (Mandi). Keeping in mind the importance of counseling for effective career selection, the HPSDP will also undertake development of 9 Model Career Centers in the State (7 new and 2 renovation) which will act as a catalyst for connecting the candidates with industry and will provide comprehensive counseling and career guidance to the youth through recruitment of Young Professionals and Career Counsellors. Focus will also be laid on developing models for sustainability of MCCs. The contract for construction of MCC at Hamirpur is in progress and is likely to be operational by 2022.
Further, the participants at the tripartite meeting were also made aware of the future activities to be undertaken the Project which include procurement of latest training equipment for uppgradation of 22 trades in 50 ITIs from SCVT to NCVT levels; issue of request for proposals for 4 training packages for training of 9,500 Himachali youths; impetus to the skilling of women in the State by development of women only polytechnic with hostel at Rehan in District Kangra to impart vocational training in latest industry relevant courses to 300 girls annually; sites for remaining CLCs, RLCs and MCCs will be finalized and process for contract tendering will be started. In addition, programs for livelihood based skilling of 2,000 persons with special abilities will also be launched under the project in the next financial year.
The officials from ADB and Ministry of Economic Affairs shared their satisfaction over the progress of activities under the Project and offered their full support towards its successful implementation in the State.