National Institute of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj (NIRDPR), Ministry of Rural Development, Government of India has released Kaushal Aapti, an app for youth to discover their vocational interest and aptitude, at an online Conclave of the CEOs of the State Rural Livelihood Missions held on 09 April 2021.
Speaking at the Conclave themed on Rural Youth Counselling, the Director General of NIRDPR, Dr G Narendra Kumar, IAS, pointed out that the youth of rural India prefer to be guided and given choices, rather than advised, to make informed decisions. They like to discover their inherent potential for selecting a vocation. In order to help youth pursue their choice of vocational skill training, the government of India has offered a bouquet of schemes like Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Grameen Kaushalya Yojana (DDU-GKY). If training and placement of youth under schemes like Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Grameen Kaushalya Yojana (DDU-GKY) should lead to long term employment and sustainable livelihood for our youth, vocational guidance and counselling for them should be prioritised; and technology can enable this, the Director General said.
Unveiling “Kaushal Aapti” at the conclave, Smt Alka Upadhaya, IAS, Addl Secretary, Ministry of Rural Development said that Kaushal Aapti will be a milestone in the implementation of DDU-GKY. The App will enable youth to respond to a series of activities and discover their skill interest and aptitude. It has multiple language feature and will also provide a national level, state-wise and district-wise skill interest inventory of our rural youth. She urged that DDU-GKY and Rural Self Employment Training Institutes (RSETIs) should have call centres for Counselling, in order to make vocational guidance and counselling more accessible and seamless. Special training will be provided to the functionaries of State Rural Livelihood Missions on the implementation of Kaushal Aapti and counselling, Smt Alka Upadhyaya added.
Dr Sibnath Deb, Director of Rajiv Gandhi National Institute of Youth Development, Ministry of Youth Affairs, Government of India in his special address at the Conclave mentioned that trained and skilled counsellors are meagre, therefore counselling should be offered as a career option at the graduation level. Counselling is an ongoing process and does not stop with initiation into a vocation. Further, channels like NCC and other trained youth force can support the spreading of awareness about schemes available for the youth of Rural India.
Shri Charanjit Singh, Joint Secretary, Rural Livelihoods and Rural Skills, Ministry of Rural Development speaking on the occasion suggested that Rural Self Employment Training Centres dotted across the country should also serve as rural youth counselling centres. Efforts are on to promote avenues for re-skilling and up-skilling of trained DDU-GKY candidates, he added.
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Kaushal Aapti was developed in-house through research, consultations with experts in academics and industry and was tested with end-users to improve its functionalities. The Conclave has also paved the way for launching a training programme on “Vocational Guidance and Counselling rural youth” for training the counsellors of Deen Dayal Upadhaya Grameen Kaushalya Yojana (DDU-GKY).