States need to expand scope of skill development programmes to make country self-reliant: PM Modi

Mumbai: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday said the state governments need to expand the scope of skill development programmes for the youth so that they will help the country become self-reliant.

Speaking after inaugurating 511 Pramod Mahajan Gramin Kaushalya Vikas Kendras in Maharashtra through video link, he said the state governments should focus on designing skill development programmes in such a way that they will help the country grow.

The Gramin Kaushalya Vikas Kendras (rural skill development centres), named for late Pramod Mahajan, a prominent Bharatiya Janata Party leader and former Union minister, are being established across 34 rural districts of Maharashtra, as per an official statement.

“How to manufacture zero-defect products in the service sector, knowledge economy using modern techniques, which product manufacturing will help India to become self-reliant — we have to focus on such skills,” Modi said.

The prime minister also stressed the need to develop online modules for soft skills.

He said earlier governments had no vision or seriousness about skill development among the youth. “This cost the youth dearly despite there being demand from the industrial sector and talent in the youth,” he said.

During his tenure, when a separate skill development ministry was created, 1.30 crore youth have benefitted from skill development programmes, he said.

“Tribal, poor, Dalit, backward class youths were the true beneficiaries,” he added.

The agriculture sector also requires new skills for natural farming, processing, value addition, packaging and branding of farm produce, Modi said.