Prime Minister sets goal of training 500 mn technicians by 2020


New Delhi : The government will set a goal of creating 500 million trained technicians by 2020, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said here Saturday.

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“In our National Action for Skill Development, we would like to set for the country the ambitious goal of 500 million trained people by 2020,” the prime minister said while speaking at the National Awards presentation to Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs).

This was in keeping with Sonia Gandhi’s vision of Rozgar Badhao (increase employment), he added.

“With one of the youngest populations in the world, India is estimated to have the capacity to create 500 million skilled and trained technicians by the year 2020 and claim a fourth of the global workforce,” the prime minister said.

“Education and skill development can be India’s global opportunity,” he said, adding that there are many simple measures that can help accelerate the pace of skill development.

“I have recently written to chief ministers to consider opening up the public stock of buildings of educational institutions of the high school level and above after class hours for those agencies and groups who are engaged in skill development for our youth,” he said.

“I hope chief ministers will respond positively and agencies that promote skill development in the private and public sector will be able to utilize these new opportunities,” he said.

He also urged the banking community to think of innovative ways to make skill acquisition by the youth a bankable proposition.

The Minister of Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises Mahabir Prasad was also present at the function.

While complimenting the work of Prasad and his ministry, the prime minister said the positive contribution that MSMEs made to employment was of the utmost importance.

“This sector provides employment to over 42 million people. It contributes about 45 percent of the total manufacturing output and nearly 40 percent of India’s exports,” he said.

Emphasising that affordability and timely credit to the MSMEs was of critical importance, Manmohan Singh congratulated those state-owned banks who were felicitated at the award giving function Saturday for excelling in ensuring credit flow to MSMEs.

He noted that state-owned banks had helped to more than achieve the target set in 2005 to double the credit flow to this sector in five years.

“I am happy to note that the credit flow has more than doubled from Rs.67,000 crore (Rs.670 billion) to Rs. 148,000 crore (Rs.1,480 billion) since 2005,” he said.

He concluded by wishing entrepreneurs of MSMEs the very best for their success “which means so much to the processes of growth and development of our economy.”