Top 30 districts were awarded as part of the second edition of ‘Awards for Excellence in District Skill Development Planning’ (DSDP). This was organised at Dr. Ambedkar International Centre in New Delhi. These districts were awarded for their innovative practices in skill development in the region. Rajkot in Gujarat, Cachar in Assam and Satara in Maharashtra respectively were ranked top three among all participating districts.
Thirty districts were awarded under the following three categories:
- Category I: 8 Awards for Excellence in District Skill Development Planning
- Category II: 13 Certificate for Excellence in District Skill Development Planning
- Category III: 9 Letter of Appreciation for District Skill Development Planning
Skill development initiatives at the local level
Shri Dharmendra Pradhan asked the District Collectors, District Magistrates and other officials to continue the demand-mapping of the skilled workforce and create awareness about skill development initiatives at the local level. He said that skilling is a lifelong process and the DCs should further the entire continuum of skill development and work towards strengthening the skill development ecosystem through innovative planning at the district level.
“All planning for skill development should have a link to the local economy, and that the way to an Aatmanirbhar Bharat is through the building of Aatmanirbhar districts.”
He said that the awards represent the Centre’s intention to build skill ecosystem where multi-skilling opportunities gave rise to ‘village engineers’ and increased livelihood chances. The science and method behind skill planning should aim to catalyse the local economy by creating multiple avenues of skilling and multiple job roles.
Shri Rajesh Aggarwal, Secretary, Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship
“Riding on its unique demographic dividend, India is on the path to fulfil Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi’s vision of becoming the Skill Capital of the World. Many countries with ageing populations are banking on India for skilled workers, and global companies are keen on starting businesses in India. There is an urgent need to skill, reskill and upskill the country’s youth and districts can play a pivotal role in fulfilling this mission.”
He also said that in order to build a high value addition economy, districts should ensure that trained youngsters also get practical experience. He congratulated all winners of DSDP Awards during his speech.
Skill development at Cachar and Satara districts
Farmers of Assam’s Cachar district were forced to dispose of large quantities of pineapple and sell them at sub-par market prices due to high transportation cost. By setting up a processing unit for manufacturing pineapple products locally, the Cachar DSC came up with a quick solution to address the problem. This gave farmers the flex and the bargaining capacity to sell pineapples at a handsome profit once more.
At Satara in Maharashtra, the DSC implemented various programmes to strengthen skilling, and training a workforce for disaster management. The district has also owned the responsibility of empowering women affected during COVID with skill training.
Skill Acquisition and Knowledge Awareness for Livelihood Promotion (SANKALP)
DSDP Awards were instituted under the SANKALP Scheme by MSDE in June 2018 with an aim to promote decentralised planning, acknowledge and reward the innovative work done by districts in the field of skill development. Districts with plans of fostering innovation and enabling local livelihoods with skill development initiatives were shortlisted for the awards.
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DSDP aims to maximise the impact of SANKALP’s primary initiative, by strengthening institutional mechanisms for skill development at the state and district levels.
Among winning districts, the Rajkot DSC has implemented several projects to augment skill development in the district. With a strong focus on skilling Persons with Disability (PwD), the district has supported people with learning disabilities and dyslexia.