Cabinet approves formation of new skill development council


The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) on Wednesday approved the merger of National Council for Vocational Training and the National Skill Development Agency into the National Council for Vocational Education and Training.
In a press conference held today, Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said that the move will help boost India’s skill ecosystem.
“There is a huge skill gap. As a Minister of Information and Technology, I can say there is need for digital skilling,” Prasad said, adding that skilled Indians are in great demand globally.
The minister pointed out that currently 54 per cent of the population is 25 years or below. The average age will be 29 years by 2020.
“The demographic dividend requires to be trained properly,” he said.
Prasad added that the new council will lay down “standards, regulate awarding bodies, approval of qualification, and research information dissemination” for all the industrial training institutes currently operating in India.
“Today, there are 14000 accredited industrial training institutes out of which 80 per cent are private. There are 13000 other training institutes. All of them were in need of a regulatory oversight,” Prasad said in the briefing.
Besides the merger, the CCEA also decided to close down two companies.
The CCEA approved the proposal for closure of Bengal-based Biecco Lawrie Limited, including giving Voluntary Retirement Scheme / Voluntary Separation Scheme to the employees of the Company.
This company, Prasad said, has been in financial stress for a long time and all efforts to revive it failed.
The Cabinet also approved the closure of National Jute Manufactures Corporation Ltd and its subsidiary Birds Jute and Exports Ltd. The government said that all attempts were made to revive the companies for 25 years from 1993 to 2018.
Closure of both loss-making CPSEs will ensure release of valuable assets for productive use, or for generation of financial resources for developmental progress.
“But the interests of the employees will be taken care of,” stressed Prasad, while adding that land of the companies will not be used by Textile Ministry.
The Cabinet also decided to allocate Rs 3074.12 crore for permanent campus at Indian Institute of Science Education and Research in Tirupati and Behrampur.
“A total of 1855 students will study in the institutes,” informed the minister.
In a major decision for the non-gazetted employees of the Indian Railways, the Cabinet approved the payment of Productivity Linked Bonus equivalent to 78 days’ wages for financial year 2017-18 to them.
There are around 11.91 lakh non-gazetted employees in the Railways.
Prasad said that the total payment will amount to Rs 2044.31 crore. “Every employee will thus receive Rs 17,951,” he said.
The Cabinet also approved key MoUs signed between India and nations such as Romania, Finland and Lebanon.

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