Alleging discrimination: Protesters lay siege to Modi’s Skill Development Ministry office in Delhi

Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY) is a flagship scheme of the Narendra Modi government which aims to tackle the issue of employment through skill development.

But several training partners and franchisees on 28 June stormed into the office of the Skill Development Ministry in New Delhi, protesting against non-allocation of seats or skilling targets under the government’s flagship PMKVY 2 scheme, reports The New Indian Express.

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According to the report, Union Minister for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship Rajiv Pratap Rudy was meeting Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh in Raipur, at the time of the protest.

The protesters carrying banners and placards laid siege to the ministry’s office at the Shivaji Stadium annexe, alleging that influential training partners were being allocated centres whereas they were left out.

According to the report quoting senior officials, the government has suspended further allocation under the skilling scheme PMKVY 2.0 in three states, including Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Rajasthan, after finding irregularities like fraudulent enrolment of ghost candidates by the franchisee skill centres.

Talking to PTI, many protesters threatened to commit suicide, saying they were neck-deep in debt since they had invested heavily in setting up such training centres by taking loans and could not repay them as they were not allocated seats.

The National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) has been tasked with implementing the Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY).

“We are not shutting down all franchisees, but only the bad ones. There are some good franchisees whom we will engage as direct training partners. So eventually, franchisee system will go. A formal decision to this effect has been taken by the ministry and will be announced soon,” NSDC MD and CEO Manish Kumar told The New Indian Express.

He refuted allegations about discrimination in allocation of seats or skilling targets, saying these were being levelled by disgruntled people who have been identified as bad players.

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