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Caste dominates in Bihar’s third round polling

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Patna: Caste, caste, caste… As Bihar readies for the third phase of assembly elections on Wednesday, caste seems to have taken the centre stage yet again.

Although rival claimants for power are talking about issues related to economic development, political activists and voters think it is caste which will finally determine who votes for who.

That has made the Bihar battle all the more tough for everyone.

A total of 50 of the 243 constituencies, nearly a dozen of them urban centric and in the fertile belt in Bihar’s six districts, go to the polls on Wednesday. The five-phase elections end on November 5.

In the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, this region, like most of Bihar, voted overwhelmingly for Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

The BJP-led four-party alliance wants to repeat the show now.

So the third phase will be a litmus test for Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s claims of having provided development and good governance.

Nitish Kumar’s home turf Nalanda, known as ‘Kurmistan’ due to the dominance of his Kurmi caste, is likely to back the Grand Alliance of his JD-U, RJD and Congress.

Lalu Prasad’s prestige is at stake as his sons — Tej Pratap Yadav and Tejaswi Yadav — are in the fray.

They are contesting from Mahua and Raghopur seats respectively in Vaishali district. Lalu Prasad has vigorously campaigned for them. His wife and former chief minister Rabri Devi has confined herself to the two constituencies.

In both seats, Lalu Prasad’s community may decide the fate of his sons.

The BJP and its allies’ campaign managers know the voting may not follow the Lok Sabha pattern when a Modi wave bulldozed everyone else.

Comments against job reservation made by the RSS chief — later disowned by BJP leaders — has been a major campaign issue.

To counter it, the BJP has claimed that the Janata Dal-United, Rashtriya Janata Dal and the Congress are trying to ensure job quotas for Muslims.

Modi has presented himself as a “son of poor EBC” (extreme backward caste) tea seller.

Nitish Kumar has taken on Modi over his caste comment.

“From a development driver, he first became an OBC and now he is calling himself an EBC. Don’t be surprised if he becomes a Dalit also in course of time,” the JD-U leader quipped.

The BJP is banking heavily on the EBCs and Dalits and other backward castes, including Yadav voters, to get the winning votes.

It appears confident of the overwhelming support of upper castes along with some OBCs and EBCs as well as Dalits, mainly because of its alliance with former chief minister Jitan Ram Manjhi and LJP leader Ram Vilas Paswan.

But in election rallies, both Modi and his foes talk about how to develop Bihar.

About 14.5 million voters are eligible to decide the fate of 808 candidates on Wednesday. Most of the 14,170 polling booths are in rural areas. The six districts where polling will be held are Patna, Saran, Vaishali, Nalanda, Bhojpur and Buxar.

The first phase of voting on October 12 saw polling in 49 assembly seats, followed by 32 constituencies on October 16.

According to the Association for Democratic Reforms and the National Election Watch, 215 candidates in the third round face serious criminal charges including those of murder.

(Imran Khan, IANS)

 

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Everything You Need To Know About The Skill India Program

Skill India aims to develop those sectors which require skills and skill development.

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Skill India Campaign is aimed at developing skills of Indian Youth. Twitter

By Ruchika Verma

  • Skill India by Prime Minister, Narendra Modi aims to develope skills in Indian youth
  • This campaign will help youth in developing their careers
  • Skill India campaign has many features which makes it distinct and successful

Narendra Modi’s government in its term has launched many programs which aim at improving the economical condition of India. The programs which are aimed at improving employment in India have been moderately successful.

'Skill India' is PM Narendra Modi's another dream project. Wikimedia Commmons
‘Skill India’ is PM Narendra Modi’s another dream project. Wikimedia Commmons

After successful initiatives like ‘Digital India’ and ‘Make in India‘, the BJP Government launched another program, called ‘Skill India.’ It is another dream project of the prime minister, Narendra Modi, which was launched on 16 July 2015. The project aims to train 40 crore Indians in different skills by 2022.

Here is the list of all the things you need to know about the Skill India Program :

Objective

Main aim of Skill India is to tap the vast potential of India’s indigenous manpower. The goal is to create opportunities and scope for the development of Indian youth.

Skill India aims to develop those sectors which require skills and skill development. The campaign also aims to identify new sectors for skill development. The main focus is to not only develop skills but also to inculcate entrepreneurship in the youth.

Also Read : Skill India Mission: How PM Modi can take forward UPAs work to make skilled India a reality

The aim of developing skills in 40 crores youngsters by 2022 is to be completed by running the campaign in each and every year of India.

There are also many other missions which Narendra Modi launched to fulfill this purpose. These missions are :

Prime minister Kaushal Vikas Yojna is one of the initiative launched under Skill India. Facebook
Prime minister Kaushal Vikas Yojna is one of the initiative launched under Skill India. Facebook
  • National Skill Development Mission
  • National Policy for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship
  • Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (Prime Minister Skill Development Scheme)
  • Rural India Skill
  • Skill Loan Scheme

Other features of the Skill India campaign are :

  • Skill India provides training and support for all traditional occupations like carpenters, masons, nurses, blacksmiths, tailors, etc.
  • Not only traditional occupation, it also lays emphasis new, modern areas of occupation like  like designing of jewelry and apparel,  banking and investment, finance, real estate, construction, textile, tourism, or any other field where skill development is needed.
  • For this program India has collaborated with countries like U.K. and Japan. This is done so that the training programs would be standerdised as per the international level. It will enable our  youth to meet domestic as well as international needs, if needed.
Skill India campaign has several advantages for youth as well as economy of India.
Skill India campaign has several advantages for youth as well as economy of India.
  • Courses offered under Skill India consider various factors such as age, location, language and financial status, to ensure that the candidate learns all the required skills like communication, management, etc.
  • The course methodology of Skill India is very interesting, interactive and  innovative. It includes games, group discussions, practical experiences, case studies etc.
  • Another important feature of Skill India campaign is the project called, Rural India Skill. It will standardize and certify the training process, as per the International standards.

Advantages of Skill India campaign and what makes it different.

The Sill India campaign has many advantages. It will raise the confidence and productivity of the youth through proper skill development. It will help them get well-reputed blue collar jobs. Soft training given during this course will not only help professionally, but also in personal development. It will also improve entrepreneurship in our country.

Apart from creating job opportunities, this campaign will also help in the growth of Indian industries by providing them with skilled man-power. While improving the lives of the youth,  this campaign will also help in improving India’s economy.

Also Read : Indian Consulate General in Chicago hosts “Make in India” seminar

Skill India aims to empower youth. Twitter
Skill India aims to empower youth. Twitter

What makes this campaign different from the other similar onesin the past is, the new approach. Skill India is not just a campaign, but a movement, as per the P.M. Narendra Modi. This program is also not for a certain strata of society, this program is non-discriminatory and is for every Indian who aspire to improve their skills and career.

Skill India campaign also doesn’t focus on just one type of professional skill, it is for all kinds of professions – be it traditional or modern. The certifying committee is also under a new ministry which will ensure that there no discrepancies.

Skill India campaign till now is running smoothly, benefiting many Indians and their careers. Hopefully, it will continue to run properly and will increase in its effectiveness.