1,500 more ITIs proposed during 12th Plan period

Union Minister of State for Labour Kodikunnil Suresh on Friday said the Union Labour Ministry was considering a comprehensive project to establish 1,500 Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs) under the Koushal Vikas Yojana and a technical university during the 12th Five-Year Plan period.

Addressing a Meet the Press programme organised by the Kesari Memorial Journalist Trust here, Mr. Suresh said the ITIs would come up in development blocks that did not have one. In addition, his Ministry had proposed the setting up of 5,000 labour training centres under the public-private-participation model, which would provide skill certification for youths undergoing the course.

He said the Ministry was examining the prospects of setting up the technical university and the claims of Kerala would also be considered. The Centre also proposed to broad base the Rashtriya Swastya Bhima Yojana to include more sections from the unorganised labour sector. During 2012-2013 financial year, the Centre had sanctioned Rs.176.99 crore under this scheme and 18 lakh Smart Cards had been distributed.

He said Kerala was yet to effectively implement the Modular Employable Skills Programme. The Centre had earmarked Rs.550 crore for this, but only 4,542 persons had taken advantage of the scheme. He urged non-government organisations, labour training institutes and educational institutions to come forward and utilise the programme. He would bestow attention to the completion of building construction of Choruvazhi, Perinadu and Mylam ESI dispensaries.

With regard to EPF pensioners’ demand, Mr. Suresh said the Labour Ministry had approved a proposal to hike the minimum pension to Rs.1,000 a month. The proposal was awaiting clearance of the Union Cabinet.

Earlier in the day, Mr. Suresh was felicitated by the Thiruvananthapuram District Congress Committee on his induction as Union Minister. Addressing the gathering, Minister for Health V.S. Sivakumar said Mr. Suresh’s induction in the Central Council of Ministers was a well deserved recognition. A large contingent of DCC leaders were present at the function.

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