Creating jobs reduced unemployment: Chidambaram

New Delhi, Aug 16 (IANS) India created 20 million jobs between 2004-05 and 2009-10 that reduced unemployment rate from 8.3 percent to 6.6 percent, Finance Minister P. Chidambaram said Friday.

"There is a misconception that jobs are not created. This is incorrect. Between 2004-05 and 2009-10, 20 million jobs were created," Chidambaram said at a function to unveil pan-India skill development programme called National Skill Certification and Monetary Reward Scheme.

The finance minister said the government had allocated Rs.1,000 crore to finance skill development programmes. It is expected to benefit a million people in the first year of its implementation.

The scheme branded STAR (Standard Training Assessment and Reward) for promotional purposes envisages a monetary reward that will financially help those who wish to acquire a new skill or upgrade theirs to a higher level.

Chidambaram said the government was committed to improving the skills of the country's youth.

The new scheme is a part of the "National Skilling Mission" that envisages adding 500 million skilled Indians by 2022. While the private sector working under National Skill Development Corporation is expected to contribute 150 million, the 18-odd ministries are to pitch in with the rest.

The National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) is public-private-partnership entity with 51 percent equity held by private sector and 49 percent by the central government. Formed in 2010, NSDC is a professionally run not-for-profit company that includes 22 sector skill councils and 87 training partners with over 2,500 training centres spread across 352 districts in the country.

Chidambaram said the government had allocated sufficient funds for skill development and money would not be a constraint in imparting skills to the young men and women of the country.

"If we can skill 10 lakh people in a year, it will be money (Rs.1,000 crore) well spent. And if we can skill 15 lakh people in a year, Rs.1,500 crore will be well spent," the finance minister said assuring the government would allocate additional funds for skill development if required.

Addressing the event, National Skill Development Corporation Chairman S. Ramadorai said the scheme was planned under the National Skill Development Policy, 2009.

He said the focus of the programme was on providing employment-oriented skills to the youth.

"Very simply put, the scheme visualises the sector skills councils set up as visualised under the National Skill Development Policy, 2009 to carry out an occupation mapping of their sectors and develop National Occupation Standards along with qualification packs for entry level jobs for level 1-4 as envisaged under the National Qualification Framework," Ramadorai said.

"These standards could then be used by any training organisation to deliver training and authorised assessors could carry out third party assessments on successful certification, the candidates would be given a certificate issued by the SSC and the reward money would be transferred to the bank account of the candidate," he said.

Ramadorai said the candidates would be required to pay at least 25 percent of the course fees.

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