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Nirmala Sitharaman On Startups’ Contribution In The Fight Against Manual Scavenging

Nirmala Sitharaman On Startups’ Contribution In The Fight Against Manual Scavenging

She was speaking at the fourth anniversary celebration of Skill India Mission

The minister urged the youth to actively participate in the implementation of govt schemes

She also noted SBI’s initiative to offer loans to safai karamcharis

Speaking on the occasion of World Youth Skills Day (July 16), India’s finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman said that the government schemes can only be brought to life with the contribution of people and institutions. 

She added that the startups’ work on building robots to mechanise the manhole cleaning process in India, is exemplary in terms of how the innovative use of government scheme (Standup India) can help fight social problems. 

A Kerala-based startup Genrobotics has built a remote-controlled robot Bandicoot, which has the capability to go inside a manhole and clean the manhole in 20 minutes as compared to the over two hours of time taken by manual workers.  

The finance minister also noted State Bank of India’s initiative to offer loans to safai karamcharis to own sewer cleaning machines. 

Similarly, Skill India scheme needs to be brought to life through people and institutions, who are hungry for acquiring new skills. “Don’t settle for something just because it is next to your house,  look for the course that you want to learn,” she said.  

Nirmala Sitharaman also urged the skill development ministry to keep evolving its roster of courses, in order to stay relevant in today’s fast evolving age. 

The finance minister was speaking on the fourth anniversary celebration of Skill India. The government has yesterday announced that 1 Cr youth are being enrolled under the initiative on a yearly basis.

At the event, the government has also announced multiple partnerships with banks such as SBI and HDFC, along with startups like UrbanClap and corporates such as Maruti Suzuki, and DASSAULT, to further expand its Skill India mission. 

Further, it was announced that, Skill India has till now trained 67 lakh people, and 25K PM Kaushal Kendras have been setup across the country. Also, 4.45 Lakh trainees are said to have received apprenticeship training every year through the government’s skilling initiatives. It was claimed that the employability factor of Skill India graduates is at 50%. 

In future, the Skill India is aimed at providing skill training in the unorganised sector. Most notably, the government is working with startups to fulfil skill-based training for potential employees in the private sector.