Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan. (File Photo/ANI)
Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan. (File Photo/ANI)

Dharmendra Pradhan launches second phase of Mahatma Gandhi National Fellowship

ANI | Updated: Oct 25, 2021 20:40 IST

New Delhi [India], October 25 (ANI): Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan on Monday launched the second phase (phase-II) of Mahatma Gandhi National Fellowship (MGNF), a two-year programme conceived to create opportunities for young, dynamic individuals to contribute for enhancing skill development at the grassroots.
The two-year fellowship seeks to combine classroom sessions by academic partner IIMs with an intensive field immersion at the district level to create credible plans and identify barriers in raising employment, economic output, and promoting livelihoods in rural areas.
Pradhan, who is also Union Minister for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, called upon fellows to act as catalysts of social change at the grassroots by driving skill development efforts.
He also called upon district collectors and academic partner IIMs to facilitate the fellows and script a success story of change through this fellowship.
Noting that the country is moving towards an Aatmanirbhar Bharat, he said that tremendous transformations taking place across sectors will create demand for new skills and more skilled professionals.
The minister said this calls for skill mapping at the district level and directing skill development efforts accordingly.
He called upon the fellows to work with global thinking and local approach including integrating local language in the skill development efforts.
Speaking about the National Education Policy 2020, Pradhan outlined the vision to create strong convergence between education and skills and recent initiatives in this direction including the Academic Bank of Credit.
He called upon the IIMs to make the fellows aware about the National Education Policy.
Skill Acquisition and Knowledge Awareness for Livelihood Promotion (SANKALP), a World Bank loan-assisted programme, was launched by the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship in January 2018.
SANKALP engages with District Skill Committees (DSCs) to effectively reduce the mismatch between the supply and demand of skilled manpower in the country, creating decent opportunities for the youth to work and earn.
An official release said MGNF programme under SANKALP was designed to provide a cadre of professionals at the district level who not only know about governance and public policy in general but vocational education too.
MGNF is a unique blend of academic and work-based training handled at the IIM campus and the districts respectively, the release said.
It said MGNF is an opportunity for young women and men in the age group of 21-30 years who already possess some level of academic or professional expertise for providing "catalytic support to the district administration" to improve the skill development programme delivery.
MGNF Phase-I (Pilot) was launched with IIM Bangalore as an academic partner and 69 fellows are currently deployed in 69 districts across six states.
MGNF Phase-II was launched today with 661 MGNFs who will be deployed across all districts of the country. Eight more IIMs are taking part in the programme besides IIM Bangalore. (ANI)