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Guwahati: Nagaland stands at the crossroads of skill development and economic transformation. With a focus on equipping its youth with relevant skills, Nagaland has emerged as a promising destination for those seeking to understand the dynamics of skill development in the context of a diverse and culturally rich state.
The state is currently seeking to establish drone schools in their area to boost employment and education among its youth and to foster skill development.
In the exclusive interview with Business-Northeast (BNE), Moatoshi Longkumer (ML), the Advisor to Labour, Employment and Skill Development and Excise departments for the Government of Nagaland, shed light on the state’s skill development sector and highlighted concerns related to the unorganised labour sector, discussed various aspects of skill development in Nagaland, emphasising the importance of providing training and education to equip the state's workforce with relevant skills.
BNE: What Nagaland has done so far in the skill development sector?
ML: Skill development (department) in Nagaland is doing a lot of work for training youth. In fact, most of the projects that are being implemented are through skill partners. There are different schemes under the Government of India. We are promoting skill development through various institutions affiliated with these skill partners.
Nagaland is actively engaged in skill development initiatives, with a particular focus on equipping the youth with valuable skills. Many of the ongoing projects in this sector are being carried out in collaboration with skill partners. These skill partners encompass a range of educational and training institutions that work in tandem with the government to deliver skill development programmes.
The state is leveraging national programmes to bolster its skill development efforts and enhance the employability of Nagaland’s youth and contribute to the state’s economic growth.
BNE: What plans are there to develop the skill development sector?
ML: Nagaland is planning a lot of development. We have urged Rajeev Chandrasekhar, Minister of State for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, to provide a school of drones to utilise drone technology in sectors like disaster management, agriculture and land surveying. Establishing drone schools is essential as it can create employment opportunities for many youths.
Nagaland has ambitious plans for the skill development sector. We are seeking support and resources from the central government. Nagaland is keen on embracing emerging technologies and providing relevant training and education to its youth.
BNE: So far, how many skilled centres have been set up in the state and what is the number of unemployed and skilled youths?
ML: We have nine Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs) to train the youth in fields like motor mechanics, cutting tailoring, machinery carpentry and computer electronics. Nagaland currently has approximately 78,000 unemployed youths and we are making efforts to provide them with skill training opportunities. Through initiatives like the North East Skill Centre (NESC), we have successfully trained nearly 3,000 youths. Additionally, programmes such as the Pradhan Mantri Kushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY) and the Employee’s State Insurance Scheme (ESIS) are being utilised to upskill the youth in the state.
BNE: What are your focused areas in skill development?
ML: In addition to traditional skills, our focus is on upgrading ourselves to advanced skills. During the Manthan Conclave, we proposed the establishment of a drone technology school to enhance employment opportunities in Nagaland. Given the technological proficiency of today’s youth, we believe that technology-based training, such as drone schools, should take precedence. Our primary objective is to provide pathways for unemployed youth. The proposal for a drone technology school is seen as a way to harness the IT-savvy nature of Nagaland's youth and create employment opportunities in emerging fields. Furthermore, we are in the process of planning a Centre of Excellence in Media and Entertainment, and we are hopeful that the central government will release the necessary funds for this initiative soon.
BNE: Can you elaborate on the labour sector and labour welfare laws of the state?
ML: The labour sector in Nagaland is quite complex. It encompasses various categories of workers, including migrant labourers, unorganised labourers and farmers. For organised labourers who work under contractors or companies, there is a need for registration. This registration allows us to track their movements and earnings, monitor and regulate their work conditions and ensure that labour welfare laws are applied effectively to protect their rights and interests.
The diversity of the labour sector in Nagaland includes both organised and unorganised labourers as well as those from outside the state.
BNE: As an advisor to the excise department of Nagaland, what’s the plan to revamp and regenerate revenues?
ML: Nagaland currently operates under the Nagaland Liquor Total Prohibition Act (NLTP), which means that we do not generate any revenue from liquor sales as of now. Instead, our focus is on enforcing the implementation of prohibitions under this act.