The government has accorded top priority to the skill development of youth and the creation of new institutions, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Saturday. In a virtual address to students at the first-ever convocation of students of Industrial Training Institutes (ITI), Modi gave the mantra of “Skilling, Reskilling and Upskilling” to the country’s youth and exhorted them to innovate and continuously upgrade their skills in line with the evolving times.
The prime minister said it is very important that the youth of India should be equally proficient in education as well as skill to make this the century of India. He remarked that as India is moving forward in the 21st century, history has been created on the occasion of the skill convocation of more than 9 lakh students of the ITIs while over 40 lakh students are connected to the programme virtually.
The Prime Minister pointed out that the students with their skills are taking their first step on the path of innovation on the birth anniversary of Lord Vishwakarma. I can confidently say that as pleasant as your beginning is, your journey to tomorrow will also be more creative, he said.
Highlighting the achievements of the government in the last eight years, the Prime Minister said that India has initiated new schemes with the inspiration of Lord Vishwakarma and is trying to revive the tradition of ‘Shramev Jayate’ by laying emphasis on skill development. “The first ITI in our country was established in 1950. In the following seven decades, 10,000 ITIs were formed. In the 8 years of our government, about 5,000 new ITIs have been created in the country. More than 4 lakh new seats have also been added to ITIs in the last 8 years, Modi informed.
Talking about the era of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, ‘Industry 4.0’, the prime minister remarked that Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs) will have a big role to play in India’s success. Modi said that many courses related to coding, AI, robotics, 3D printing, drone technology, and telemedicine have been started in ITIs.
The prime minister pointed out that as India is taking lead in the field of renewable energy, solar power and electric vehicles, the courses related to such fields have been introduced in many of our ITIs. It will be easier for students like you to get employment opportunities, he added. Talking about the recent developments of providing optical fibre to every village, and opening lakhs of Common Service Centers, the Prime Minister said that as technology is expanding in the country, so are the job opportunities.
He said that more and more opportunities are being created in the villages for the students who have passed out from ITIs. Be it the mobile repair work in the village or work concerning new technology in agriculture, spraying fertilizer or be it supplying medicine with the help of drones, many such new jobs are being added to the rural economy, the Prime Minister remarked, emphasising that the role of ITIs is very important in this and our youth should make the most out of these possibilities.
He said the Centre is continuously working to upgrade ITIs with a similar vision in mind. Modi also informed that there is a special provision for the recruitment of youth in the army who have taken technical training from ITIs.
He said the Centre will open more than 5,000 skill hubs to promote skill development at the school level. After the implementation of the New National Education Policy, experience-based learning is also being promoted and skill courses are being introduced in schools, Modi said.
Highlighting the opportunities on a global level, the prime minister said that many big countries of the world need a skilled workforce to fulfil their dreams and maintain their pace, and highlighted that there are many opportunities waiting in the country as well as abroad. In the changing global circumstances, the confidence of the world in India is also increasing continuously. Even during the Corona period, India has proved how its skilled workforce and its youth are capable of providing solutions to the biggest challenges,” he said.
Addressing the convocation ceremony, Minister for Education, Skill Development and Entrepreneurship Dharmendra Pradhan said that skill development is the instrument of empowerment. In the new National Education Policy, importance has been given to skill development to integrate it with education and to provide academic parity, he shared. Pradhan further said that Job seekers are also becoming job creators through skill training.
He stressed that India has a large, young, and educated population who can be assets to any industry globally if they are provided with focused training and capacity building as per industry requirements. Skilling, reskilling and upskilling have not only empowered marginalized communities and women but have also encouraged the youth to join the Armed Forces as Agniveers. Going forward, the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship will align its effort with world-class standards and even hand our degrees and even PhD certificates based on skills, said the minister.