In a reference to the profile of trainees in the Karaikudi centre, the Minister said that a majority of them hailed from families of farmers, with a monthly income of Rs 2000 to Rs 5000. Their average qualification was tenth standard.

The Union Government had a multi-pronged strategy to facilitate skill development among youth in order to deliver their families from poverty, said the Union Home Minister, P. Chidambaram, on Saturday.

Addressing the first anniversary celebration of the New Emerging Technology Skills Nodal Centre of the Tiruchirappalli Regional Engineering College-Science and Technology Entrepreneurship Park (TREC-STEP) at Karaikudi in Sivaganga district, Mr. Chidambaram said that the government was implementing different programmes through its various departments to make the nation's youth productive. In a reference to the profile of trainees in the Karaikudi centre, the Minister said that a majority of them hailed from families of farmers, with a monthly income of Rs 2000 to Rs 5000. Their average qualification was tenth standard. There were also wards of goldsmiths, washermen and masons. The government could not afford to neglect these youth, whose future seemed uncertain with their economic and educational background. Since they were remained uncared for in the last two to three generations, their families now found it difficult to come out of poverty. In some States, the youth took to extremism. The government, he said, could not remain silent on this. Hence programmes to make the youth from backward communities productive were being implemented in several States with the involvement of various agencies. Efforts were on to create a National Skill Development Corporation. The project, 'Incubating new emerging technology skills by creating sustainable models,' was being implemented with funding support from the Department of Science and Technology and the European Union in Karaikudi in Tamil Nadu, West Bengal and Maharashtra. The Karaikudi centre had so far trained about one thousand youth in four areas. Mr. Chidambaram gave away certificates to the second batch of 500 students on the occasion.

R. M. P. Jawahar, Executive Director, TREC-STEP, said that the training programme enabled the youth from the backward district, especially women, to earn a monthly income ranging from Rs 3500 to Rs 12, 000. Over 30 per cent of the trainees were women, he added. Arno Schaefer, Head of Operations, Development Cooperation, EU Delegation in India, explained the initiatives of the EU in poverty reduction in developing nations. B. K. Shukla, adviser, Department of Science and Technology, called for more partnerships with the private sector and multinational companies for skill development. Gita Chengappa, Manager, TREC-STEP, proposed a vote of thanks.

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