OIL plan to train local youths


Jorhat, Nov 29 : Oil India Ltd will launch an initiative to train over 25,000 youths from Assam and other parts of the Northeast in the next five years to address unemployment and rural poverty in the region.

The company will sign memoranda of understandings with Construction India Development Council, Indian Institute of Entrepreneurship, Guwahati, and IF&FS Education and Technology Services Ltd, Guwahati, to train these youths for placements in construction companies, industrial sewing, housekeeping and hospitality industry, management, jewellery making and gemstone cutting and polishing.

A senior OIL official told The Telegraph today that the company’s long-term corporate social responsibility would be a big help in addressing the unemployment scenario in the region, especially in the rural areas.

“These youths will be selected from areas where the company has its operations and will be provided free training in various fields,” the official said.

The company, which has its field headquarters at Duliajan in Dibrugarh district, has been under tremendous pressure from various organisations, demanding jobs for local youths and development activities in the interior areas of Upper Assam.

The company had recently announced that it had suffered a loss of at least Rs 200 crore during the 2012-13 fiscal because of frequent agitation called by numerous organisations in three Upper Assam districts of Sivasagar, Dibrugarh and Tinsukia, where the company has oil and gas fields.

Baghjan, Berakuri, Makum, Halfjan and Digboi oil fields in Tinsukia are the most important hydrocarbon reserves of OIL, which is the main supplier of gas in the region.

The All-Assam Moran Students Union and the Assam Tea Tribes Students Associations have been up in arms against the company, accusing it of not carrying out any development activities in Upper Assam, where the company has several oil fields, and not recruiting local youths.

The company, however, denied such allegations and said it has been dedicated to carry out development activities.

The OIL official said the company has been spending huge amounts of money under its corporate social responsibility schemes to develop areas where it has its operations.

Last year, the company spent Rs 51.9 crore and more than 90 per cent of the funds were spent in the development of the Northeast.

The official said the company also plans to launch an initiative for entrepreneurship orientation programme (EOP) for the teachers/faculty, entrepreneurship awareness programme (EAP) for the colleges students and entrepreneurship awareness camp (EAC) for schoolchildren very soon.

OIL, in partnership with State Institute of Rural Development, has supported over 6,000 self-help groups under Project Rupantar that has benefited over 35,000 families in around 200 villages in Upper Assam.

The company has made an investment of around Rs 9 crore in this project, which was launched in 2004.