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Underlining the importance of skills in the Indian culture, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday exhorted the stakeholders to continuously “skill, reskill and upskill” to achieve ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’ (self-reliant India) goal, and that India providing smart and skilled manpower solutions to the world should be at the core of the strategy of skilling our youth.

He said skill development of the new generation is a national need and is the foundation of ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’ to take India forward from 75 years to 100 years.

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Taking note of the huge demand for reskilling due to fast-changing technology, the Prime Minister emphasized that there is a need to expedite it, recalling how “our skilled workforce helped us in fighting an effective battle against the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic”.

While speaking on the occasion of the World Youth Skill Day, the Prime Minister called for giving momentum to the Skill India Mission by capitalizing on the gains of the last six years.

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Modi further stressed the link between the importance given to skill development and ‘upskilling’ and progress of the society.

He dwelled on the traditions of celebrating skills like Vijayadashmi, Akshaya Tritiya, and Vishvakarma Puja where skills and vocational implements are worshipped. Citing these traditions, the Prime Minister called for due regard for skilled professions like carpenters, potters, metal workers, sanitation workers, horticulture workers, and weavers.

The Prime Minister noted that due to long periods of slavery, the importance of skills in our society and education system got diluted.

The Prime Minister pointed out that while education tells us what to do, skill guides us in the actual operational implementation, and this has been the guiding principle of the Skill India Mission. He expressed happiness that more than 1.25 crore young persons have been trained under ‘Pradhanmantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana.

Stressing the need for skills in everyday life, the Prime Minister said that learning should not stop with earning. “Only a skilled person will grow in today’s world. This is applicable to both people and countries.”

The Prime Minister also referred to the vision of Babasaheb Ambedkar, saying “he placed great emphasis on skilling the weaker section”.

Modi said that the nation is fulfilling this visionary dream of Babasaheb through the Skill India Mission.

For example, he said, programs like ‘Going Online As Leaders’ (GOAL) are helping the tribal population with areas like art and culture, handicraft, textiles, and digital literacy among tribal areas leading to entrepreneurship development among the tribal population. Similarly, Van Dhan Yojna is effectively connecting the tribal society with new opportunities.

“In the coming days, we need to make such campaigns more widespread and make ourselves and the country Aatmanirbhar through skilling,” concluded the Prime Minister.

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