BHUBANESWAR: Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Saturday announced a whopping 10-time hike in cash incentives for Biju Patnaik Dakhyata award given to winners of the World Skills competition every year. The Chief Minister said, gold medal winners will get Rs 1 crore, silver Rs 50 lakh and bronze medallists will get Rs 25 lakh from this year, up from Rs 10 lakh, Rs 5 lakh and Rs 2.5 lakh respectively.
Besides, the institution which nurtures the gold medal winner will also be provided Rs 5 crore for setting up a Biju Patnaik Centre of Excellence. Addressing a function organised to honour the winners of India Skills competition at the Lok Seva Bhavan here, Naveen said, Odisha will put the best resources available towards training them as they go through gruelling preparations for the World Skills competition to be held in Shanghai later in October this year.
The Chief Minister also set the target of winning two gold, three silver and four bronze medals for the competitors from Odisha at the Shanghai competition. Odisha won 59 medals at the India skills competition held at New Delhi in January. “Winning is a habit, so is excellence. I believe, our children have now formed the habit to excel, to compete with the best in the world and win,” he said and congratulated all the winners, their parents, coaches, institution and industry partners.
Chairman of Odisha Skills Development Authority Subroto Bagchi said the winners of India Skills come from the bottom-most strata of society which reflects the aspirational outlook of the entire State. He said what the Chief Minister has done for hockey, the same will be achieved in skills sector too. Minister for Skill Development and Technical Education, Premananda Nayak outlined the efforts of his department for realising the dreams of Odisha in skills.
The Chief Minister also felicitated Santosh Ojha, gold medallist in cabinet making, Sona Behera, gold medal winner in painting, Swati Kumari and Nausin Nigar - gold medallists in robotics system integration.