A meeting under the banner of Forum for Group Discussion on Economic Issues (FGDEI) commenced on 30th June 2013 in Dawat Nagar, Okhla, New Delhi. This forum has been formed by Sahulat Microfinance Society in association with Radiance Viewsweekly in order to deliberate upon issues relating to Islamic economics, finance and banking. The meeting started on a welcome note delivered by Mr Arshad Ajmal, Vice President, Sahulat Microfinance Society. Mr Abu Osama Saifi, Consultant (Skills & Placement) National Rural Livelihood Mission, Govt. of India delivered a presentation on the topic of "Experience Sharing on Aajeevika Skill Development Program (ASDP)-An Initiative of Ministry of Rural Development, Govt. of India."which is the part of his assignments in NRLM. During the presentation he introduced AAJEEVIKA Skill Development Program in detail and the various schemes under the scheme.


While speaking on ASDP he told that "India has the world's largest population of young people. If we invest adequately in their education and employability, this youth power will turn into the potential to transform the Indian economy. Turning this into reality is one of the most significant initiatives that the Central and the State governments need to have embarked upon. One estimate shows that India has the capacity to create 500 million skilled and certified technicians by the year 2022. If this is done it would make India's growth more inclusive and shared. This is the reason why AAJEEVIKA Skill Development Program is required". Further he added that ASDP is a time bound training and capacity building program to cater the occupational aspirations of the rural youth who are unskilled and poor to generate skilled work force and to diversify the incomes of the rural poor. The ASDP Program is being scaled up to reach 50 lakh youths during the 12th five year Plan. Till date under ASDP around 8.67 lakh rural youths have been trained and 6.88 lakh placed.

At the time of discussing the key features of ASDP he told that ASDP provides customized residential and non-residential training of minimum 624 hours with modules on trade specific skills, IT and soft skills. Special programs for Jammu and Kashmir, Minorities and Most critical Left wing Extremist Districts have been implemented under the supervision of the central and state governments. ASDP promises to provide 75% assured placement above minimum wages and also post placement support. The scheme also provides food and transport support during the training.

Further he elaborated the programs which are covered under ASDP namely 1) Himayat 2) Roshini and 3) Parvaaz.

1) While discussing the key features of Himayat he told that the objective of the Himayat Programme is to provide options and opportunities to the youth of J&K, ranging from school dropouts to college educated, to select training programs for salaried or self- employment as per their interest. The placements will be in the private sector, both within and outside J&K. The Programme intends to cover 1 lakh youth from J & K in the next 5 years and will be implemented through competent training providers from the private sector and non-profit organizations to provide jobs to at least 75% of them. To implement this scheme Training centres will be developed in each block (geographical area), catering to the specific needs of the local youth. Support will be available for trainees after training and during placement.

2) Discussing about Roshini he added that this scheme is designed to cover 50,000 youths from 24 most critical left-wing extremist affected districts in three years. Beneficiaries aged between 18-35 years with requisite aptitude depending upon the trade or job requirements are to be selected as per the Participatory Identification of Poor (PIP) or BPL list. At least 50% of the candidates covered under the scheme should be women and special efforts will be taken to proactively cover Primitive Tribal Groups (PTG's) on a priority basis. In this scheme training will be imparted through public- private and public-public partnerships. The educational institutions, corporate entities, entities that provide training and placement for improved public service delivery, commercial and not for profit training providers will be roped in for implementing this scheme. Four training models with the duration ranging from 3 months to 1 year will be taken up to meet the diverse needs of youth depending on their entry level qualifications so that a market driven and placement-linked skill training can be provided. It will assure jobs in the organized sector to at least 75% of trained candidates. The projects will be funded jointly by the central and state governments in the ratio of 75:25. National level agencies will be designated to act as monitoring and coordinating agencies for Roshini.

3) Further he discussed about Parvaaz. He told that Parvaaz is a pilot program on Comprehensive Skills and Education Program for Rural BPL Minority Youth. The main objective of this program is to bring minority BPL youth into mainstream of the country by empowering them with education, skills & employment. It is specifically designed to provide a continuum based learning on a graded curriculum ensuring quality of education for minority youth school drop-outs/left-outs.

On the issues of monitoring he spoke that ASDP has a well-developed monitoring framework to ensure quality of training. National level institutions like NIRD and NABCONS are roped in and made responsible for field level monitoring and appraisal. Apart from this a web based information system is also in place to monitor at various levels.

A live and healthy discussion followed the presentation. Mr. ArshadAjmal, Dr. Ausaf Ahmad, Dr.Waquar Anwar, Mr. M.S. Khan, Mr. Shahid Jamal Ahmad and Dr. Hasan Raza shared their views on the issues raised by the speaker.