Bihar to set up separate department and mega centres for skill development

Bihar will soon have a separate department for skill development and set up mega skill centres in each districts in order to ensure improved skill training to youth.

The new department is likely to be formed in February-March. It will be called the Department of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship. Currently the skill development work in the state comes under the Department of Labour Resources.

Skill training programmes in the state is implemented in a mission mode through Bihar Skill Development Mission (BSDM). The mission is headed by the Principal Secretary of the Department of Labour Resources. Principal Secretary of the Labour Resources Department is the ex-officio Chief Executive Officer of the BSDM.

With a new dedicated department for skilling this organisational set up of the BSDM is set to change.

The BSDM was constituted in 2010 with the vision to “increase the capacity & capability of the system to deliver quality skill training and professional knowledge to the youth to enhance their employability and bridge the skill deficit with a view to meet the growing demand for skilled manpower.”

Mihir Kumar Singh, Principal Secretary, Labour Resources Department, is currently serving as the CEO of Bihar Skill Development Mission.

Skill training is an important part of Nitish Kumar government’s ambitious ‘Saat Nishchay’ (seven resolves). Saat Nishchay is Nitish Kumar’s blueprint for development works done in the state. It was introduced in 2015 after Kumar took charge as chief minister as leader of the coalition that included Lalu Prasad Yadav-led RJD and Congress Party. In the run up to the 2020 General Assembly Election Nitish Kumar promised to come up with ‘Saat Nishchay Part-2.’

The decision to implement the ‘Saat Nishchay Part-2 was taken in the first cabinet meeting of new government chaired by Chief Minister Nitish Kumar earlier this month.

Kumar has decided to give a boost to skill training programmes through new departments and mega skill centres. The skill training programmes conducted in the past five years have been acutely short of the target.

In 2016, Nitish Kumar had set a target to provide skill development training to one crore people by 2020. Addressing the World Youth Skills Day programme organised at the state capital city Patna on 15 July 2016, Nitish Kumar had declared: “The state government will provide skill development training to one crore youths of the state by 2020 in order to make them self-dependent.”

“Our youths are meritorious and they just need opportunity… I am quite confident we will achieve our goals,” the chief minister had declared.

There are three types of skill development programmes run by the BSDM. These are – Kushal Yuva Programme, Domain Skilling and Bihar State-Certificate In Financial Accounting (BS-CFA).   

The total number of candidates trained under Kushal Yuva Programme stands at 802,556; Domain Skilling programme at 50,257 and Bihar State-Certificate In Financial Accounting (BS-CFA) at 1528. All put together the number comes at 854,341.

The target announced by the chief minister was to train 1 crore people by the end of 2020. While the actual training happened to only 854,341 candidates. So only 8.54 per cent of the target is met.

A dedicated department for the skill training is expected to give a boost to the skill training programmes. The government has also decided to set up “mega skill centres” and “tool rooms” across all 38 districts.

According to an official statement issued after the cabinet meeting on 15 December, these measures are expected to create “20 lakh new jobs in government and private sectors”.

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar chaired a meeting to review works undertaken by the department of labour, science and technology, in Patna on 22 December 2020.

Besides the skill training, the new proposed department of skill and entrepreneurship will be responsible for the recruitment of all non-government jobs in the state.

Nitish Kumar on 22 December chaired a meeting to review works undertaken by the departments for labour, science and technology. During the review meeting the chief minister announced setting up ‘centres of excellence’ at all polytechnic colleges.

Gyanendra Kumar Keshri

Gyanendra Kumar Keshri is consulting editor of BiharConnect. He has nearly 20 years of experience in journalism, having worked for diverse media streams in India and abroad.

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