BJP's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi Monday slammed the UPA government for not fulfilling its promises made to the youths.
"In the last general budget, the Union government had promised skill development of ten lakh youths. Till now, they have just given training to 18,000 youths," Modi said while inaugurating various skill development schemes of Gujarat's labour and employment department at Mahatma Mandir here.
"The Union government had announced Rs 1,000 crore for skill development schemes and to provide skill development certificates to youths during the last year's budget...what happened to it?" he asked.
With the election code of conduct to come into effect soon for the general elections, the Centre will get a reason to set aside its promises, the Gujarat chief minister quipped.
Taking potshots at his political rivals, the 63-year-old senior BJP leader said, "If we do something, some people lose their sleep. But they don't ever feel that the whole country is sleepless now only because of them. If I tell the truth, they feel the pain."
On the plaguing employment scenario in the country, he said, "China has taken a big step to capture the job market in the world. But as a youthful nation, we are not visible in the job market. We have to plan a strategy for the youths."
Referring to his government's work in the skill development sector, he said they have launched 165 new Kaushalya Vardhan Kendras (skill development centres), four Kaushalya Raths (mobile skill development centres), e-skill scheme for online training programme and overseas employment centre for guiding youth regarding visa, passport, stamp and travel process.
"Even the central government had appreciated skill development scheme of Gujarat government and given award," he pointed out while asserting that all the states have to overcome the traditional models.
"Gujarat has shown the way, you follow," he said.
Highlighting his government's achievement in starting mobile skill development centres, Modi said, "The word 'Rath' makes some people raise their eyebrows. We do not care, they will not understand. These Kaushalya Raths will go to the villages so that we don't need to establish ITI centres. They are our readymade ITI centres."
On skill development centres, he said, "We have asked industrialists to come and start skill development programme and we will certify their (of ITI students) skills."
"This programme will run in the industry, by the industry, for the industry and beyond the industry. This is the mantra we have given. Our Kaushalya Vardhan Kendra's network has expanded. Now, every person in Gujarat's villages will have a Kaushalya Vardhan Kendra in a radius of 15 km," he stated.
Stressing on his focus towards the youths, he said earlier governments had the tendency to leave the youths to their fate. "We have talented youngsters. We need to focus on them, cannot leave youth to their fate," he said.
Calling for dignity of labour, he said the society has a mindset that a person who does extensive labour is useless.
"To change this mentality, the state government has given equal importance to ITIs as accorded to engineering or medical science colleges," he said.
The work of a government should be to open the doors of opportunity, he said.
On the occasion, some industrial houses signed memorandum of understanding with the state government to start skill development centres.
Skill development certificates were also awarded to nearly 5,000 students of various ITIs on the occasion.