MSDE launches Aspirational Hunar Abhiyan (AsHA) with an orientation workshop


Skill development is an integral part of transforming any district. As a part of the “Transformation of Aspirational Districts” program of NITI Aayog, the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MSDE) launched the “Aspirational Hunar Abhiyan 2018-19″ on 10th October 2018 with an orientation workshop in Delhi. This initiative is designed to complement the program of NITI Aayog by addressing the challenges of skill development at the district level. 

Highlights of Aspirational Hunar Abhiyan 2018-19 to complement  “Transformation of Aspirational Districts” Program of NITI Aayog

  • 6 out of 49 indicators for transformation are related to skill development under the NITI Aayog plan 
  • Includes a centralised application to ensure a paperless campaign
  • Skill Index will be developed to bring in healthy competition between the districts

 How Aspirational Hunar Abhiyan 2018-19 works

  • Dedicated team of over 150 officers from MSDE, Directorate General of Training (DGT), National Skill Development Agency (NSDA), National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) are being deputed to work with these districts in three phases.
  • The Abhiyaan’s first meeting of nodal officers, saw the induction of these officials who will be steering the program in close coordination with the district entities.
  • Through this program, MSDE endeavours to facilitate strengthening of governance and institutional infrastructure in the aspirational districts.

Aspirational Hunar Abhiyan (AsHA)

Skill development is one of the five themes, identified by NITI Aayog which is central to the success of the Aspirational Districts plan of the government. The progress shall be measured against 49 indicators identified by NITI Aayog, out of which 6 of them cater to skill development. These 6 indicators will be targeted through this drive and the States along with Central Government departments shall work collaboratively to ensure all parameters are addressed.

Setting the agenda of the program, Dr. K P Krishnan, Secretary, MSDE, in his opening remarks said, “This is MSDE’s initiative to take the NITI Aayog’s program of “Transformation of Aspirational Districts” forward with a holistic and inclusive approach towards mainstreaming the skilling efforts in aspirational districts, etc. Today’s Orientation Workshop for nodal officers is of immense importance for the success of this campaign. The three phased campaign of 117 districts across 28 states, includes: Phase 1: Identification of Challenges, Phase 2: Development of District Skill Development Plan (DSDP) and Phase 3: Implementation of District Skill Development Plan. I am certain this will assist in bridging the local demand supply gap of skilled workforce.”

“The success of this Aspirational Hunar Abhiyan (AsHA) will greatly depend on effective participation of the officers present here and executing the plan as per guidelines,” he further added.

Rakesh Ranjan, Adviser, NITI Aayog who also attend the workshop, stressed upon improving, the skill components of the District action plan prepared by the districts, under NITI’s program and that this can be done through AsHA. He also said that with 3 months of focus in skill related parameters can improvise the overall ranking of districts.

The meeting witnessed discussion around tools and templates to make this drive effective, transparent and outcome based. MSDE also used the platform to launch a centralized application making the Aspirational Hunar Abhiyaan (AsHA), a paperless campaign. The app was installed on the officers’ mobile phonesand a demo was given to them to ensure ease of use. The drive also aims to create a healthy competition between the districts ensuring that they contribute their best.

Aspirational Hunar Abhiyan (AsHA) Rajesh AgrawalAddressing the officials, Shri Rajesh Agarwal, Joint Secretary, MSDE, said, “Skill development is now a national policy priority. These visits will extend you the opportunity to understand the skill ecosystem right at the grassroot level. It is imperative that we onboard the district level committees, constitute the tools and templates in conjunction with them, work closely with district administration to map the local requirements and then accordingly handhold them in creating a district level plan. If the district entities take skilling as a priority, it will act as a catalyst in the growth of country.”

Preparing the team for the roadmap ahead, Shri Rajesh Aggarwal, Director General, DGT said, “It is important that each of you work closely with the State and District administrations to understand the challenges that will come your way because with each challenge comes an opportunity. The teams should take due precautions and keep the local sensitivities, infrastructure challenges in mind while implementing the Abhiyan.”

The visits will begin with a meeting with Districts Collector/CEO-Zila Parishad and other district level officers implementing the skilling programs. Teams will also have interactions with training providers, ITIs, Polytechnics and Jan Shikshan Sansthan administrators. Through this campaign institutional mechanism for skill development at district level viz; District Skill Committees shall be strengthened. The DSCs shall work with state skill development missions (SSDMs) to drive Skill India in these districts.

Ms. Sunita Sanghi, Sr Advisor MSDE said, the visiting nodal officer are the change makers and they should be actively involving with the district level officials. She also emphasized that it is the time for all of us to keep youth and their aspirations in centre of all skill development planning and the demographic opportunity that India has got now should be made good use of for the development of the nation.

Among many other key initiatives which ministry has taken since its inception, Aspirational Hunar Abhiyan (AsHA) is one of the pioneer-step to reach out to the masses and address the real time challenges faced at the ground level in the aspirational districts.

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