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Border Areas Skill Development by AR Growth Engine For The Act East Policy

IGAR (South)

Imphal Aug 13,

 

Moreh, the border town on Indo - Myanmar Border with multi ethnic composition, plays a pivotal role not only in Indo Myanmar relationship but also in the ambitious ‘Act East Policy’ of the Government of India. The town is already seen as the commercial capital of Manipur and India’s gateway to South East Asia. However, a significant portion of economy of Moreh depends on illegal trade and large scale smuggling of Drugs, Gold and Teak Wood. The state barely has any industry. Agriculture in Manipur is restricted to single crop and it is almost negligible in areas along the Indo Myanmar Border adjoining Moreh Town. 

The recent trends with positive developments show that situation is rapidly changing. Regular meetings are being held at multiple levels to include the meetings by various departments within the government both at the level of State and Centre, meetings by the government officials with the stake holders as also meetings at the levels of Government of India and Myanmar, the latest being the Inter Ministerial meeting between both the nations organised last month. The aim of these meetings has been to resolve all challenges being faced in implementing government policies meant to enhance cross border trade and expedite infra structure development under progress.

Standing on 160 Km Tamu - Kalewa Friendship Road in Myanmar, right across the huge and promising Integrated Border Trade Facility, the Integrated Check Post (ICP), one can get a bird’s eye view of future course of developments in this remote part of the world. Over the last decade, India handed over Myanmar, the two lane highway to Kalewa and is now pumping nearly Rs 1500 cr in converting it into Trilateral Highway connecting Thailand. ARs 1630 cr project has been rolled out to upgrade the 110 km Imphal-Moreh Highway to ensure future movement of large container trucks. This cross border connectivity is expected to open doors of opportunity to Manipur as a state with Moreh Town being the focal point.

The indications are clear that this part of world will witness sea change in a span of next 5 to 10 years competing with all other South East Asian Nations. At this juncture a million dollar question arises. When there is a time to reap the benefits of this major infrastructure development with huge amount of funds being invested by the Government of India, is the youth of Moreh who is expected to move the resources on ground, skilled enough to undertake this huge responsibility? What actions have been taken to ensure that the people of Moreh are ready for the visible future prospects as a result of these government initiatives?Keeping all these developments in view, the Moreh Battalion Assam Rifles under the aegis of IGAR South has taken a unique initiative of Skilling the youth of Moreh through Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojna (PMKYJ), enable them to be ready to reap the benefits of government policies and bring legitimacy in functioning of Moreh Town. It all started in a systematic manner with Assam Rifles carrying out liaison with National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) the implementing agency of PMKYJ, carrying out laision with all the CSOs of Moreh to motivate youth to participate, identifying the job roles to be offered to the youth as also the training providers, organising the Mega Skill Development. Drive for counselling followed by selection of youth in various job roles, providing infrastructure for smooth commencement of Skill Development training and finally commencement of training. The mega Skill Development Drive conducted on 02 April was attended by 370 young boys and girls of Moreh town and adjoining areas. The Skill Development Centre was inaugurated on 30 May with training commencing with effect from 01 June 2019. Keeping the priorities of key sectors, skill training of key job roles commenced are so far Field Technician Computer Programme, Beautician, Retail Sale Associate and Tailoring. There are other courses in pipeline which include Tourism and Hospitality, Food and Beverages, House Keeping Attendant which are likely to commence in the near future. The already commenced training has invited huge response from the youth of Moreh and they have shown immense enthusiasm to continue honing their skills through structured training. 

The sincere efforts of Assam Rifles to encourage the youth in their future building are appreciated by various organisation of Moreh. The president of Meetei Council Moreh (MCM) applauded Moreh Battalion for generating opportunities for youth and shaping up there future. Wherein another social organisation of Moreh, Hill Tribal Council (HTC) expressed there gratitude towards Assam Rifles. The president HTC, Moreh praised Moreh Battalion for taking the unique initiative of skilling the youth of the border village of Moreh through Regular Skill development classes. The overwhelming enthusiasm of the local population has resulted n establishment of two more skill development centres at Pallel&Chandel for which registration is in progress. There are approximately 2000 youth within the age group of 16 to 25 in Moreh. The aim of the skill development is to provide training to 400 youth by end of this year and 800 by Jun next year with an overall aim of skilling 1000 youth each year while achieving this target demands willing cooperation from all stake holders but suffice to say that by June 2021 the entire population of Moreh would have achieved desired skill for a gainful employment proposition. This initiative by Assam Rifles will go a long way in providing opportunity for Skilling the youth in multiple job roles in order to ensure that there is simultaneous overall development to include the infrastructure development through ambitious Government schemes as also development of the youth to enable them to be available as skilled manpower at the point of implementation. It will also provide bouquet of opportunities to the unemployed youth so as to be gainfully employed and act as meaningful contributor to the national development. They will not only be able to gain employment but will also be able to prevent themselves from the menace of drug abuse and getting influenced by Anti National Elements.

William Gurumayum

William Gurumayum, Sub-Editor of Imphal Times is a resident of Sagolband Salam Leikai. He has been with Imphal Times since 2013. An avid adventure lover, writes mostly travelogue. He can be contacted at [email protected]

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