Project UNNATI: Skill training of MGNREGS workers lags; Centre blames it on the States

Source: The post is based on the article “Skill training of MGNREGS workers lags; Centre blames it on the States” published in The Hindu on 23rd November.

What is the News?

The Union Rural Development Ministry wants to link the performances of the States under the project UNNATI with its labour budget for the next financial year.

What is Project UNNATI?

Unnati was launched with the intention of upgrading the skill base of MGNREGS workers to help them transition from partial employment to full employment.

Aim: To train one adult member (18-45 age group) of a household who has completed 100 days of work under the MGNREGS.

Funding: Full expenditures towards a stipend, against wage loss compensation, are entirely borne by the Central Government.

Types of skill training: The selected candidates are skilled using three established training programmes — the Deen Dayal Upadhyay Grameen Kaushal Yojana (DDU-GKY), the Rural Self Training Institute (RSETI) and the Krishi Vigyan Kendra.

Note: The DDU-GKY is a placement-linked programme, in which 70% of the trained candidates have to be compulsorily employed with a minimum salary of ₹6,000 a month.

Read here: Project UNNATI under Mahatma Gandhi NREGA
Why does the Ministry want to link the performance of Project UNNATI with its labour budget?

The government targeted to train two lakh persons. To achieve that, at least 20% of the households that complete 100 days of work under the MGNREGS should be targeted by the States under the project. The project was slated to end in March 2022 but has been extended by two years.

However, since its inception in 2020, just a little over 25,000 persons have been trained under the project. Similarly, the performance of the project so far has been far below the 20% target.

So, the Ministry wants to link the performance of Project UNNATI with its labour budget. This will make the labour budget of the States to be influenced by their performance under the project.

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