Special Correspondent

NEW DELHI: Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee on Tuesday asked the National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) to expedite efforts towards a nationwide “call for proposals” and suggested the launch of a website to disseminate details of such suggestions. Addressing the NSDC members here, Mr. Mukherjee agreed that the unorganised sector’s problems should be given specific focus in the on-going efforts and urged the Corporation to study ways and means of utilising funds earmarked for training under the NREGA for enhancing the skills of rural and landless people.

Outlining the core vision of the Prime Minister’s National Council on Skill Development on creating a skilled manpower pool of 500 million by 2022, the Finance Minister stressed on the collective responsibility of all the Central Ministries and departments and the NSDC in achieving the ambitious target. The NSDC, he said, should aim for convergence with the activities of the Ministries to develop synergy and achieve the vision achieved in a time-bound manner.

Mr. Mukherjee recalled the specific mandate with which the NSDC had been formed, namely, to stimulate and coordinate private sector initiatives in the area of skill development. He expressed satisfaction over NSDC’s activities so far, in particular, the inception of a study on skill mapping in 21 high priority sectors and in taking up nine specific project proposals for consideration out of which have been shortlisted for scrutiny and possible assistance.