Union Minister Rajeev Chandrasekhar on Friday said the narrative around unemployment in the country is not correct, as the Narendra Modi-led government is dealing with a "legacy problem" since it came to power in 2014 when 31 crore of 42 crore Indians at the workplace were unskilled.
"This narrative about unemployment is not correct because there are a lot of jobs and micro-entrepreneurial opportunities being created, but they require skills," Chandrasekhar, the Union minister of state for skill development and entrepreneurship, said.
"And why a lot of Indians today find themselves at a disadvantage, is that around 2014, of the 42 crore Indians in the workforce 31 crore were unskilled. Three out of four Indians after 65 years of Independence were left to fend for themselves without skills in the workplace and the last nine years we are dealing with that," he observed.
The minister said, "In a way, a legacy problem is being solved" through skills in the National Education Policy.
He said in the last nine years if one takes the 2.5 years of Covid out, 6.25 crore young Indians have been skilled through various programmes of the Modi-led government.
Chandrasekhar emphasised that the focus of this government and Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been to create more and more local economic opportunities and that traditional arts and skills that have existed for decades should be revived to facilitate the creation of products and provide market linkages for them to reach the global market.
The minister said for many years before 2014, the focus on creating entrepreneurship encouraging local traditional skills had disappeared.
"This was a wider broader approach to economic policy-making by then government. Whether it was electronics or handicrafts, we had almost surrendered ourselves to imports. If you surrender yourself to imports, of course, a traditional art-driven product will always be less easy to obtain than some cheap Chinese import or something like that," he said.
Chandrasekhar was speaking after flagging off the first shipment batch of Namda art Articles of Jammu and Kashmir under Skill India's Pilot Project to the UK.
"We sanctioned a pilot project in September 2021 to implement the vision of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to deliver skills and create capabilities in the local community and make products and help them reach the international markets," he said.
He said this has been a journey to revive traditional art, skill 2,500 artisans in traditional art and create world-class competitive products for world markets out of that skilling programme.
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