Skill-development Scheme for Maoist-hit Areas

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In an effort to reach out to the youth in Maoist-hit regions, the Central Government on June 7, 2013 launched a new scheme. The placement-linked skill-development scheme, named Roshni, targets rural men and women, mostly tribals, in the Maoist-affected areas. Launching the scheme, Union Rural Development Minister Mr. Jairam Ramesh announced that Rs. 100 crore would be spent in the first three years. Saying that at least 50 percent of the candidates covered under the scheme will be women, the Minister added that special efforts would be made to proactively cover particularly vulnerable tribal groups on a priority basis.

The three-year initiative aims at skill development and placement of 50,000 youths from 24 Maoist-affected districts in nine States. Six districts each from Jharkhand and Odisha, five from Chhattisgarh, two from Bihar and one each from Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra have been chosen for the scheme. The project will be funded jointly by the Central and State Governments in the ratio of 75:25. National-level agencies will be designated to act as monitoring and coordinating bodies for the scheme.

The new programme draws lessons from a similar scheme being implemented in two left-wing extremism-affected districts, West Singbhum (Jharkhand) and Sukma (Chhattisgarh), as also the Himayat programme launched to address the needs and aspirations of the youth in Jammu & Kashmir. Beneficiaries aged between 18 and 35 with requisite aptitude will be selected. The scheme will be implemented through training partners from the private and pubic sectors as well as non-profit organisations. Four training models with duration ranging from three months to one year will be taken up to meet the diverse needs of youth depending on their entry-level qualifications. Placements will be provided anywhere in India.