Shri Rajeev Chandrasekhar, Minister of State, Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship; and Ministry of Electronics and IT, digitally launched a pilot project today for upskilling the cane and bamboo artisans of Nagaland under Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL), component of Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY). The objective of this initiative is to upskill the local weavers and artisans to enhance their productivity through RPL assessment and certification in traditional handicrafts. The project targets to upskill over 4,000 craftsmen and artisans.
The upskilling project under RPL is expected to improve the competencies of the unorganized workforce existing in the geography. The artisans and weavers will be aligned with the standardized National Skills Qualifications Framework (NSQF). It will provide access to existing artisans and weavers to sustain their livelihoods and enhance their skills, and technical knowledge. Additionally, the pilot project will augment the marketing skills and techniques, promoting traditional and local crafts of cane and bamboo artisans. The initiative will add value to the traditional handicrafts through Upskilling Bridge Module through Government of India certification. Under the initiative, each batch shall run for 12 days with 12 hours orientation and 60 hours Bridge Module. Further, after the orientation programme along with the Bridge Module, the artisans and weavers shall be certified with the Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) Type-1. The training delivery partners for the upskilling initiative are Cane Concept and Handloom Naga.
Launching the initiative, Shri Rajeev Chandrasekhar said that traditional techniques of craft and artwork are a significant part of India’s rich heritage and there is an urgent need to preserve these skills. He further said that it is the vision of our Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi to create the right synergies and build infrastructure for the country’s youth, from North to South and from East to West. It is an article of faith for him that the future of India will be defined by the efforts, energy, and success of our youth population including the 4100 artisans who are going to be trained in Dimapur. This is not an isolated movement but a part of a larger vision of enabling youth with skills, he added.
Shri Chandrasekhar stated that skilling the youth is an important mission for us and that is why we have gathered here to launch this event that trains and motivates artisans. He shared that during his visit to Nagaland, he realized of the potential that the region has and its role in economic progression. This prompted the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship to come up with this program in a bid to meet the economic aspirations of the local youth and take them on the path of development, he added.
The project will be implemented in different phases including selection of artisans and weavers, Training of Trainers (ToT), and upskilling of artisans and weavers through RPL with Bridge Module. The artisans and weavers will be selected from the traditional crafts clusters of Nagaland. The selection will be made basis the existing experience of these candidates. The trainers will be selected either from the existing database or a Training of Trainer (ToT) programme will be conducted for the existing artisans and weavers from the proposed clusters. The artisans and weavers will be trained in innovative and upgraded techniques of making handmade products. Post training all the artisans and weavers will work in micro units which are set-up in their respective clusters. During this time the beneficiaries will be encouraged to participate actively in external deliberation so that at the final stage, they are able to manage market linkages on their own.
National Skill Development Corporation, the nodal implementation agency for the Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship, supported by Handicrafts and Carpet Sector Skill Council (HCSSC) will monitor the day-to-day progress of the project. The project aims at achieving learning outcomes including entrepreneurship development, digital literacy, communication skills at workplace and development of sales, and marketing skills. The project will also be backed by industry participation which is vital for the successful implementation of this project and the ongoing support. The industry will be supporting in areas like training of 150 trainers, infrastructure, providing raw material and promotion of crafts in domestic and international markets.
In September 2021, Shri Rajeev Chandrasekhar visited Nagaland and Jammu and Kashmir (J&K). Post his visit, he expressed the need to organise a project for the preservation and revival of dying traditional crafts in the respective regions as the handicraft sector is the major employment generator in these geographies. It was observed that the heritage and traditional skill clusters require skilled artisans from villages to meet the demand for traditional crafts in Nagaland and J&K. In addition, the project in J&K was conceptualized and delivered within two months of minister’s visit, as assured. This initiative aims at industry and market linkages, encouraging micro-entrepreneurship.