Green Skill Development Programme to cover nearly 5 lakh people by 2021: Harsh Vardhan

Emphasising that the Green Skill Development Programme (GSDP) will go a long way in reaping the demographic dividend in the country, Union Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Dr. Harsh Vardhan has said that the Green Skill Development Programme (GSDP) aims to get 80, 000 people imparted green skills and in filling the skill gaps in the environment sector.

Speaking after launching the Mobile App of Green Skill Development Programme (GSDP) at the Ministry premises, Harsh Vardhan pointed out that more than 30 programmes have been identified, which will be conducted in 84 institutions across the country. He also stressed that such an initiative will complement the vision of the Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, of skilling India’s youth and strengthening the resolve to conserve and protect the environment.

The Minister said that the number of people to be employed under GSDP will be increased to cover 2.25 lakh people next year and to about 5 lakh people by the year 2021.

Harsh Vardhan pointed out that the objective of GSDP is skilling the youth of India, especially dropouts and in increasing the availability of skilled workforce.  Recalling his positive experience from the interactions with the people who underwent training as part of the pilot project during his recent visit to Botanical Survey of India (BSI) and Zoological Survey of India (ZSI), Kolkata, Harsh Vardhan underlined that those who imparted the training skills and those who received it were highly enthused.  “The programme will be modified and strengthened from time to time”, he averred.

Addressing the gathering, Senior Economic Advisor, MoEF&CC, Dr. Anandi Subramanian said that 31 percent of children are dropouts from school after the secondary stage itself. She said that skill development is one of the key priorities of the Government, with the objective to develop skill sets with employability linkage.

Subramanian said that while there is a need for skilled workforce, there is also a shortage of middle-level workforce.

Realizing the need for developing the green skills, the Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change (MoEF&CC) is utilising the vast network and expertise of Environmental Information System (ENVIS) hubs and Resource Partners (RPs). The Ministry has taken this initiative for skill development in the environment and forest sector to enable India’s youth to get gainful employment and/or self-employment.

The programme endeavours to develop green skilled workers having technical knowledge and commitment to sustainable development. It will help in the attainment of the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), National Biodiversity Targets (NBTs), as well as Waste Management Rules (2016).

The pilot project of GSDP was launched in June, 2017, for skilling Biodiversity Conservationists (Basic Course) and Para-taxonomists (Advance Course) of 3 months duration each at 10 locations, spread over 9 bio-geographic regions of the country. 94 trainees successfully completed the basic course qualifying as skilled Biodiversity Conservationists and 152 Trainees completed the Advanced Course qualifying as skilled Para-taxonomists. ENVIS RPs in Botanical Survey of India (BSI), Zoological Survey of India (ZSI) and their respective regional offices were the nodal Centres for the pilot programme.

Based on the feedback received from the stakeholders, the GSDP is being scaled up to an all-India level.  More than 30 skilling programmes will be conducted during 2018-19.  The skilling programmes cover diverse fields such as pollution monitoring (air/water/soil), Sewage Treatment Plant, Effluent Treatment Plants and Common Effluent Treating Plants (STP/ETP/CETP) operation, waste management, forest management, water budgeting, auditing, conservation of river dolphins, wildlife management, para taxonomy, including Peoples’ Biodiversity Register (PBRs), mangroves conservation, bamboo management and livelihood generation. The duration of the courses ranges from 80 hours to 560 hours approx. In the first stage, a pool of Master Trainers/Specialists is being created, who can further train the youth across the country. All courses will be National Skills Qualifications Framework (NSQF) compliant. The Ministry will give Certificates indicating the skilling levels to all successful candidates.

Economic Adviser, MoEF&CC, Shri Yashvir Singh made a presentation on GSDP on the occasion. The programme was also attended by senior officers/officials of MoEF&CC, as well as representatives of the ENVIS RPs located in Delhi.