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Budget targets to fill the vocational training gap in employees

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New Delhi: Aiming to accelerate India’s economic agenda, the government increased 74% in the budget provision for skill development and entrepreneurship from Rs.1,038 crore ($160 million) for last year to Rs.1,804 crore ($264 million) in 2016-17. 100,000 trainers are needed to execute skill-development programs across the country.

According to India Spend, only 2% ( 9 million ) of workers in India are officially trained in which only 5.5 million enrolls in vocational course per year. Enrollment in China is 90 million and 11.3 million in the United States.

Only 209,000 out of 1.4 million got the job in IT sector in 2015 which is only 17%. Similarly, 33,224 are reported to be hired in the banking sector, government and private banks in 2015.

According to a survey of National Sample Survey Office in 2011-12, around 10.6 million Indians are unemployed, in which 7.8 million are from age group 20-59 years and 474 million are the part-time employees. India needs 23 million jobs annually but only 7 million jobs are produced every year from the last 30 years.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, announced his plans during the third budget on February 29, to invest Rs.1,700 crore ($200 million) to open 1,500 multi-skill training institutes across India.

Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY), Prime Minister’s Skill Development Scheme (launched on July 15, 2015) targets to skill 10 million youth over the next three years, in accumulation to setting up the National Board for Skill Development Certification in partnership with industry and academia. It is a skill certification and reward scheme which is likely to benefit 2.4 million people.

Rs. 1,771 crore had spent last year for PMKVY under the foundation of a separate ministry for skill development and entrepreneurship in which National Skill Development Fund/Corporation (NSDC), aimed to receive the most Rs. 1,350 crore fund from both government and non-government sectors for skill development.

NSDC achieved less than 15 percent of its 3.7 million skill-training targets in the first six months of the current financial year. NSDC had achieved less than 30 percent in terms of training and 10 percent in terms of certification, and a target of 2.4 million, as of February 2016.

According to data verified in Lok Sabha, around 19 million people have been skilled under 40 different skill-development schemes over the last three years and 5.5 million people are presently enrolled in skilling courses, with 231 million Indians aged 15-24 needing to be skilled, reported IndiaSpend.

According to NSDC study, the employment rate is set to increase 461.1 million in 2013 to 581.9 million in 2022, across 24 sectors. The supplementary requirement in many sectors, such as construction, retail, and wellness, is claimed to be 109.7 million by 2022, with the top 10 sectors accounting for 80 percent of the jobs needed.

31.1 million people are required in building construction and real estate sector, followed by logistics, transportation and warehousing (11.7 million) and beauty and wellness (10.1 million). Maharashtra needs 15.5 million more people, Tamil Nadu (13.6 million) and Uttar Pradesh (11 million).

Around 100 ‘’model career centres’’ are planned to set by 2016-17under the National Career Service, an online portal that matches job-seekers with jobs. About 35 million job-seekers have registered since the launch of this portal in July 2015.(IANS)

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Opium Cultivation Goes Down by 20% in Afghanistan: UN

It noted that opium poppy weeding and harvesting provided for the equivalent of up to 354,000 full-time jobs to rural areas in 2017.

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oPIUM CULTIVATION
In this April 11, 2016, photo, farmers harvest raw opium at a poppy field in the Zhari district of Kandahar province, Afghanistan. VOA

A new United Nations survey finds that opium cultivation in Afghanistan has decreased by 20 percent in 2018 compared to the previous year, citing a severe drought and falling prices of dry opium at the national level.

The total opium-poppy cultivation area decreased to 263,000 hectares, from 328,000 hectares estimated in 2017, but it was
still the second highest measurement for Afghanistan since the U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) began monitoring in 1994.

The potential opium production decreased by 29 percent to 6,400 tons from an estimated 9,000 tons in 2017.

The UNODC country representative, Mark Colhoun, while explaining factors behind the reduction told reporters in Kabul the farm-gate prices of dry opium at the harvest time fell to $94 per kilogram, the lowest since 2004.

Afghanistan, Opium cultivation
FILE – Afghan farmers collect raw opium as they work in a poppy field in Khogyani district of Jalalabad east of Kabul, Afghanistan, May 10, 2013. VOA

The decreases, in particular in the northern and western Afghan regions, were mainly attributed to the severe drought that hit the country during the course of the last year, he added.

“Despite these decreases, the overall area under opium-poppy cultivation is still the highest ever recorded. This is a clear challenge to security and safety for the region and beyond. It is also a threat to all countries to and through which these drugs are trafficked as well as to Afghanistan itself,” said Colhoun.

He warned that more high-quality low-cost heroin will reach consumer markets across the world, with increased consumption and related harms as a further likely consequence.

“The significant levels of opium-poppy cultivation and illicit trafficking of opiates will further fuel instability, insurgency and increase funding to terrorist groups in Afghanistan,” he said.

 

Afghanistan, Opium cultivation
Raw opium from a poppy head is seen at a poppy farmer’s field on the outskirts of Jalalabad, afghanistan. VOA

A new United Nations survey finds that opium cultivation in Afghanistan has decreased by 20 percent in 2018 compared to the previous year, citing a severe drought and falling prices of dry opium at the national level.

The total opium cultivation area decreased to 263,000 hectares, from 328,000 hectares estimated in 2017, but it was
still the second highest measurement for Afghanistan since the U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) began monitoring in 1994.

The potential opium production decreased by 29 percent to 6,400 tons from an estimated 9,000 tons in 2017.

The UNODC country representative, Mark Colhoun, while explaining factors behind the reduction told reporters in Kabul the farm-gate prices of dry opium at the harvest time fell to $94 per kilogram, the lowest since 2004.

The decreases, in particular in the northern and western Afghan regions, were mainly attributed to the severe drought that hit the country during the course of the last year, he added.

Opium cultivation
Afghan security personnel watch as flames and smoke rise after opium and narcotics are burned in a ceremony in Kabul, Afghanistan. VOA

“Despite these decreases, the overall area under opium-poppy cultivation is still the highest ever recorded. This is a clear challenge to security and safety for the region and beyond. It is also a threat to all countries to and through which these drugs are trafficked as well as to Afghanistan itself,” said Colhoun.

He warned that more high-quality low-cost heroin will reach consumer markets across the world, with increased consumption and related harms as a further likely consequence.

“The significant levels of opium-poppy cultivation and illicit trafficking of opiates will further fuel instability, insurgency and increase funding to terrorist groups in Afghanistan,” he said.

Colhoun noted that while there is no single explanation for the continuing high levels of opium-poppy cultivation, rule of law-related challenges such as political instability, lack of government control and security as well as corruption have been found to be among the main drivers of illicit cultivation.

The UNODC survey estimated that the total farm-gate value of opium production decreased by 56 percent to $604 million, which is equivalent to three percent of Afghanistan’s GDP, from $1.4 billion in 2017. The lowest prices strongly undermined the income earned from opium cultivation by farmers.

 Afghan security personnel watch as flames and smoke rise after opium and narcotics are burned in a ceremony in Kabul, Afghanistan
Field Of poppies, Opium. Pixabay

The study finds that 24 out of the 34 Afghan provinces grew the opium-poppy in 2018, the same number as in the previous year.

The survey found that 69 percent of the opium poppy cultivation took place in southern Afghanistan and the largest province of Helmand remained the leading opium-poppy cultivating region followed by neighboring Kandahar and Uruzgan and Nangarhar in the east.

It noted that poppy opium cultivation weeding and harvesting provided for the equivalent of up to 354,000 full-time jobs to rural areas in 2017.

A U.S. government agency, the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR), has noted in its latest report that as of September 30, Washington’s counternarcotics-related appropriations for the country had reached almost $9 billion.

Also Read: The Elections in Afghanistan

“Despite the importance of the threat narcotics pose to reconstruction and despite massive expenditures for programs including poppy-crop eradication, drug seizures and interdictions, alternative-livelihood support, aviation support, and incentives for provincial governments, the drug trade remains entrenched in Afghanistan, and is growing,” said Sigar, which monitors U.S. civilian and military spendings in the country. (VOA)