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'Yuva Urja' Needs to be Effectively Channelised: President Pranab Mukherjee

New Delhi: Asserting that youth is our greatest strength and ‘yuva urja’ needs to be effectively channelised, President Pranab Mukherjee on Tuesday said the government is taking several initiatives to skill the youth and improve their employability potential.

In his customary address to the joint sitting of both Houses of Parliament outlining the government’s agenda in the coming financial year, Mukherjee said a nation-wide network of 50 India International Skill Centres is being established.

The President highlighted that the Rs 6,000 crore package to boost employment generation and exports in the apparel and made-ups sector is expected to generate over 1.1 crore jobs, mostly for women.

The government, he said, plans to empower over two and a half lakh Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and women entrepreneurs through the Stand-up India initiative.

“For promoting entrepreneurship, the National Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes Hub has been launched with an initial allocation of Rs 490 crore,” said the President.

Pointing out that 65 percent of our population today is below the age of 35, Mukherjee said: “With the motto of ‘Har Haath ko Hunar’, my government has taken several steps for skilling the youth and improving their employability.”

Highlighting the initiatives taken by the government, the President observed that over 20 lakh youth have already benefited from the Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana, launched with a budget outlay of Rs 12,000 crore, to train one crore youth over the next four years.

“The National Apprenticeship Promotion Scheme has been launched with a budget outlay of Rs 10,000 crore. 978 employment exchanges spread across the country have been integrated as part of the National Career Service Portal,” Mukherjee said.

He said the government has opened new avenues and made higher technical education more accessible to students from economically weaker sections.

“For the first time, ITI trainees have been provided with academic equivalence at matriculation and higher secondary level through bridge courses to enable them to pursue higher education,” Mukherjee said.

He said the Pradhan Mantri Yuva Yojana has been launched to promote entrepreneurship education and training among 7 lakh students.