Dispur readies roadmap to generate jobs in Assam

The Tarun Gogoi government has started preparing a roadmap to create a pool of skilled personnel for employment generation in the state.

With an emphasis on creating job opportunities in the state, the chief minister on Thursday said the roadmap would focus on how to create skilled human resources and engage them in diverse sectors.

Gogoi's decision came after his meeting with S Ramadorai, the former TCS head and now adviser to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, here on Thursday. Representatives from both public and private sectors, including tea industries, trade bodies and chambers of commerce, also attended the meeting on skill development.

The chief minister said his government was planning to set up council that would coordinate and give advice to the cabinet on sectors that needed skill development.

Keeping in mind the Prime Minister's vision of creating at least 500 million skilled personnel by 2022 across the country, the meeting discussed how the Northeast could contribute to this pool. Ramadorai said, "The critical component of skill development is employability and employment opportunities. And technology will be the great enabler in the creation of skilled workforce." He added that sectors such as construction, health, tourism, hospitality, IT-enabled services, agriculture and food processing came up for discussion.

"These are the sectors that have the potential for creating jobs. Besides, green job sectors, such as energy efficiency field, water resources management, waste management and carbon trade, have tremendous opportunities. We also discussed these fields of job," Ramadorai said. Gogoi said, "Ramadorai was instrumental in opening a TCS shop in Assam. Now, he being the adviser to the PM on skill development, Ramadorai will be of great help for us for paving the way for employment generation through skill development."

According to Ranjit Barthakur, the former investment adviser to the chief minister, the infrastructure development sector alone is estimated to create four million new jobs in the region, while agriculture sector is set to generate three million jobs by 2022. Barthakur, who is currently engaged in preparing the employment generation roadmap for the northeast, said, "Tourism and healthcare are estimated to create two million jobs in each sector, while education and water resources are projected to engage one million jobs. By 2022, there will be new jobs in sectors like biodiversity, security, surveillance and technology."

He added that the number of unemployed in the region might reach 2.5 million by 2022 from the present 1.8 million if the present rate of unemployment remained unchanged.

Currently, Assam has an unemployment rate of 6.1 per cent. By 2022, an additional 11.5 million people will be looking for employment.