To boost skill development at the district level, the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MSDE) has signed a contract with the Indian Institute of Management (IIM) Bangalore for introducing a two-year fellowship programme Mahatma Gandhi National Fellowship (MGNF) programme.
Designed under Skills Acquisition and Knowledge Awareness for Livelihood Promotion (SANKALP) the fellowship aims to address the challenge of non-availability of personnel for implementation of various programmes at national, state and district levels.
The MGNF programme has an in-built component of on-ground practical experience with the district administration. Launched on a pilot basis in 75 districts across Gujarat, Karnataka, Meghalaya, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand, eligible fellows for the programme have to be in 21-30 years age-group, have a graduation degree from a recognized university and be citizens of India. Proficiency in official language of state of fieldwork will be mandatory.
Commenting on the partnership, Dr. KP Krishnan, Secretary, Skill Development and Entrepreneurship,said, “A dearth of individuals who can implement and manage skill development programmes at the grass roots level is a deficit we seek to address with this fellowship programme with IIM Bangalore. MGNF seeks to create a cadre of young individuals and train them in a blended academic programme that provides both academic inputs and a component of field immersion at the district level. Besides allowing for an immersive experience to fellows under the programme, MGNF will also be an attractive proposition for those who wish to eke a career in public policy. It is only fitting that we have launched this programme on the 150th birth centenary of Gandhi ji who was strong believer in decentralized planning.”
“Through this endeavour we are ensuring participation of a larger community for local merit good and we are certain that this program will attract great talent which will further strengthen the skill component at the district administration level,” he further added.
R. Subrahmanyam, Secretary, Department of Higher Education, Ministry of Human Resource Development, said, “Today, our nation's youth is willing and is anxious to contribute to our nation building exercise and to the society at large. It has to be our effort to ensure that they are given the right opportunities to extend their support. This is a great initiative by MSDE and I am sure that it will see through all the challenges at the district level and come out to be a great outcome based program.”
In the course of their training, fellows will work under the close supervision of state skill development missions (SSDM) and will spend time and effort in understanding skilling challenges and gaps in the district. They are expected to enrich skilling programmes by bringing in fresh thinking to local planning, execution, community interaction and outcome management. Fellows will receive a stipend of Rs. 50,000 in the first year and Rs. 60,000 in the second year. On completion of their engagement, they will be awarded a Certificate in Public Policy and Management from IIM Bangalore.
G Raghuram, Director, IIM, Bangalore, said, ““The Mahatma Gandhi National Fellowship programme is aimed to identify and train a group of young, committed and dynamic individuals, who will leverage the IIMB ecosystem in management, entrepreneurship and public policy and work with the district administration in strengthening the process of skilling to create a vibrant local district economy. Its unique design will allow the Fellows to take academic learning at IIM Bangalore and use it in the field under faculty mentorship with the goal of understanding challenges and barriers that the district ecosystem faces in fostering growth and development.”
Launched by the Government in January 2018, SANKALP is a World Bank loan assisted project that aims to strengthen institutional mechanisms for skill development and increase access to quality and market-relevant training for youth across the country. Four key result areas have been identified under SANKALP viz: (i) Institutional Strengthening; (ii) Quality Assurance; (iii) Inclusion; and (iv) Expanding Skills through PPPs