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AICTE proposal on start-up funds junked

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The New Indian Express | Sanjay Singh  |  Express News Service  |   30th October 2016 |

NEW DELHI: The Union HRD Ministry has junked the AICTE proposal formulated during Smriti Irani’s tenure last year to provide around one lakh start-up funds for skilled and semi-skilled technical students passing out from the ITI and polytechnics.  Top MHRD officials, though, said the proposal had not been scrapped and it would be weighed and evaluated later as the scheme would impose a Rs 1,000 crore burden on the exchequer. And Irani had mooted the proposal late last year.Sources, however, said that before Smriti Irani could take a hard look at the AICTE’s start-up proposal and take it up with  Prime Minister Narendra Modi, she was moved to the Textiles Ministry in July. According to another official at the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, the AICTE proposal was raw and lacked foresight.  “ There were no concrete suggestions on checks and balances to authenticate and ensure that the funds allocated would be utilised properly.”“ Such big-ticket proposals require a lot of groundwork and vigilance on the part of various government agencies. And that is again very complicated and the experience has not been good for the other government agencies, as far as the issues of recovery of these funds are concerned.

The state governments too do not cooperate fully, when it comes to the issue of Centrally-sponsored funds,” said the official.Actually the scheme was dubbed an extension of the ongoing Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY) scheme for technical institutes to impart skill-based training to the students during the off-college hours. And the AICTE launched the PMKVY scheme, which imparts engineering skills to the unemployed youth as per the National Occupational Standards (NOS) stipulated by the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, in some of the ITIs and polytechnics this year. The additional cost of the course is borne by the AICTE.  Aimed at creating 18 lakh jobs, the Union Cabinet had in June approved the setting up of ‘Fund of Funds for Start-ups’ with a corpus of Rs 10,000 crore in line with the Start-up India Action Plan unveiled by the Centre in January. The announcement about the ‘Fund of Funds for Start-ups’ was made in the Union Budget of 2015. The government had spent over Rs 500 crore in the 2015-16 fiscal and already utilised Rs 900 crore in 2016-17, for funding technical start-ups.  The fund is meant for the next 10 years ending 2025 and the AICTE proposal for start-ups has been positioned on this, said an official of Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship. –  Courtesy


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