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Mukul focus on job skills for GeNext
- Meghalaya hopes to fill China vacuum

Shillong, June 19: With China reportedly struggling with an “aging population”, Meghalaya wants to utilise this opportunity to line job avenues, especially in the manufacturing sector that would be opened up for India’s “young population”.

Media reports indicate that China’s above 60 population is expected to exceed 300 million by 2025 and hit 30 per cent by 2050. In contrast, India is set to become the world’s youngest country by 2020 with 64 per cent of its population in the working age group.

The country’s population in the age group of 15-34 years increased from 353 million in 2001 to 430 million in 2011. Current predictions imply a steady increase in the youth population to 464 million by 2021, and a decline to 458 million by 2026.

Chief minister Mukul Sangma is of the opinion that at least in the next 10 years, the manufacturing giants, which are at present parked in China, would have to turn their attention elsewhere because of the anticipated change in the demographic pattern.

“It is expected that in the next 5 to 10 years, because of the aging population in China, many of the manufacturing giants, which are at the moment operating from China, will have to shift their units or even look at outsourcing,” Sangma said after a cabinet meeting here today.

He said this would open up huge opportunities in creating an environment where investments and job opportunities would be created, provided the country has the manpower required for these manufacturing giants.

Perhaps with this anticipation, the Sangma cabinet approved a proposal where Parametric Technology (India) Ltd would invest in training youths in areas concerning automotive, advance manufacturing tools and other manufacturing components.

Among others, the government felt that through such exercises, the state’s human capital development would be created by making the youths employable. Initially, three centres of excellence — in the existing polytechnics of Shillong, Jowai and Tura — would be created where the global firm would train around 2,500 in each of the centres. Such centres would be further expanded in the course of time.

The investment, which would be on a 90:10 basis, in each of the centres would be to the tune of Rs 160.56 crore, of which the state government will have to invest around Rs 15.55 crore. Sangma said the investment by the firm is part of its corporate social responsibility exercise.

To set the ball rolling, the government will appoint a project implementation director who would have to oversee the overall requirements of these centres.

The eligible candidates for these centres would be those who have passed out from and those who are still pursuing their studies in the polytechnics, and others.

Deputy chief minister R.C. Laloo said even students from outside Meghalaya could be urged to join if there are not enough candidates from the state. However, these students from outside, unlike their Meghalaya counterparts, would be admitted only on payment of the requisite fees.

The tie-up with the firm is for an initial period of three years, but which could be extended upto 10 years.