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K.C.Reddy, Rajiv Yuva Kiranalu Progamme, Chairman

Interview Date : 15-06-2012

When the world says, “Give up,”
Hope whispers, “Try it one more time.”

We can give it all to whoever christened all our government’s schemes, be it the Arogyasri, Udyogasri or Rajiv Yuva Kiranaalu (RYK) (which incidentally has the State Chief Minister’s name). RYK is truly a ray of hope for the youth, eagerly looking forward to eking out a living, bidding goodbye to their laziness and lackadaisical attitude. Says Mrs Shanti Kumari, Mission Director, Commissioner Tribal Welfare, looking at the youth whiling away their precious time and energy we felt something needs to be done. Thus was born Rajiv Yuva Kiranaalu, which is truly gearing up the youth to take a step towards shouldering responsibility in a meaningful way. 

Studies done by Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) showed that by 2015, manufacturing and service sector activities like Pharmaceuticals, Bio-Technology, Construction, Textiles, Healthcare, Tourism, Retail management etc., will require 70-80 lakh workers in Andhra Pradesh alone, of which about 30-35 lakh will be in unskilled category and the remaining in the skilled category.
A large labour force without skill and Industry grappling with dearth of labour is the paradox that we are facing today. Such a mass of unemployed youth with no/poor employable skills will have long-term negative impact on the social stability besides underutilization of human resource and consequential loss of economic growth.
Rajiv Yuva Kiranaalu a programme conceived by the government of AP is targeted towards building specific job skills among the unemployed; place them in the industry at appropriate levels in a mission mode. The mission proposes to employ 15 lakh youth in jobs in the private industry by 2015.
Key stake-holders identified in this mission are, unemployed youth, Government, Training and Placement Institutions and the Industry.
The Career Guide (TCG) met with Mr K.C Reddy, Chairman -Rajiv Yuva Kiranaalu Programme and Mrs Shanti Kumari, Mission Director, to discover interesting facts about the programme, its power and potential to revolutionize the economy of the state in a huge way!


Mrs Shanti Kumari….
Whose brain child is Rajiv Yuva Kiranaalu?
It is mainly our Hon’ble Chief Minister Mr Kiran Kumar’s brainchild. Looking at the semi-qualified, semi-skilled or the unskilled youth, who think they are too good for agriculture and prefer wasting time, he felt we must definitely show them a way, which will keep them occupied the way they would be happy too. Interestingly, whenever we made field visits we would see these youth loitering around aimlessly, realizing that whatever they are doing is a sheer waste of time. The youth in their late teens think job is the only way, to which they do not have an easy access.
The thrust of this program is to make them employable in the private sector, focus is not government jobs. For the kind of jobs these youth are aiming, there isn’t a layered skill-building strategy; it’s just a few months or in some cases just a few days of training, after which employment is assured.
 From a minimum training period of 10 days to 3 months, these youngsters are educated sufficiently to do their job well. If it’s a job of a security guard, tailor, machine-operator then the training would be longer. Sometimes if the industry requirement is huge, we have in-house training modules, mobilizing students for them.
We do run large number of short-term courses, mobilized by the Govt. through ITI’s. The advantage of such courses is that the certificate which is given by the end of the course is accepted in the industry.  Here the employees have the freedom to shift jobs.

Are there any special courses/ preferences for girls/women in RYK?
There are many options for girls; especially the entire textile sector requires girls to handle that kind of work. In the retail sector at the entry level, many employers prefer girls. Hospitals as we all know would like to take women employees as the retention rates are high.
People generally would not like to relocate to a completely new place. But sometimes it becomes mandatory, For example, if you take a place like Adilabad, where there aren’t many industries, we have to place them in some other town. Dropout rates are more in cases where relocation is involved.

You were talking about education and skill development; can you elaborate on skill development please?
It is actually employability programme, more than skill enhancement. It does not end with skill building but links it necessarily with placement. In fact, we do not train anyone without a job being ready for them. It operates like this, if I am starting a training session for 40 students, we would have located 40 jobs for them somewhere.
This way if at all there is a dropout it’s on account of student’s own choice.

Where is the maximum job absorption? Which area?
In terms of job production it has been estimated that 35 lakh jobs are being made available in AP at entry level and immediate next level. Even at skilled and highly specialized levels, there are an equal number of jobs. At entry level maximum scope is in the construction area, followed by textiles, and then variety of other industries, like hospitality, retail etc. When it comes to construction, preference would be for men.

Is RYK only for the rural unemployed and for those who are not very well-qualified? If so what about those who have prestigious degrees and yet remain unemployed? Is RYK doing anything for them too?
We have a portal where candidates register themselves, (http://ryk.cgg.gov.in/CandidateRequirement.do?lang=english) around 20,000 registrations are happening in a day as of now. Most of these registrations are from matriculates or intermediates pass or fail. There are even non-literates; around 30% are polytechnic, engineering and MCA graduates, MA. M.Com etc from not very standard institutes. We have different levels in our system for such students. Typically, they would go through a longer training session for skill building. Thus they graduate from one level to the other step-by-step.

So all the aspirants must be tech-savvy/ know how to operate a computer?
Our registration form is available on the public domain; today anyone can access the internet. They just have to key in their personal details, qualifications etc after which they obtain a Temporary Identity Number (TIN). We segregate into different areas for our convenience; one is the rural area invariably.  For urban areas, we have two to three wings.
We are an umbrella organization under which all the different areas function.
Even for PGs and disabled people we have a separate wing. We also try to list out all the jobs available in the State. Any employer can also file a request for manpower with us. Today lot of money and energy goes into the HR work, identifying the right persons for the organization. We provide these services too; our only interest is to take the job opportunity information to remotest areas.

Is media, the only medium to reach out opportunities?
This is one of our ways. We also have district offices (RYK facilitation centre) where students can register manually. Every district has this with a full-time counselor. All public offices at mandal and district levels are notified centers too.

What has been your experience with RYK?
I am only three months old here and it’s been an excellent experience to be associated with a meaningful project like this! RYK surely has a legacy of its own, benefits are imminent, but challenge lies in streamlining and implementing it.  We have to develop competent systems and run it on a mission-mode. We are planning to promote it in a planned systematic way, being Commissioner of Tribal Welfare I would leave no stone unturned to reach out to the tribal youth. Employment awareness amongst these youth is very poor, though we have graduates sitting there at the helm of things; their ability to step up and look for a job is poor. We have to do positive campaigning.

What were your field-work experiences?
There is a want of something like this, which should have happened long back, I am not saying this just because I am into this, but the immensity and outreach of RYK would be tremendous! When we used to meet these youngsters with a lackadaisical attitude, with their elders worried about their future, we thought we must show them the way. In fact, even they feel so. Statistics say that in our country more than 50% is in the age group of 35 years has the prime energy. So we are sure the programme will do well. 

How is the RYK progressing now?
We have almost 700-800 district centers across the state. We have almost 200 industries enlisted in this and almost all the trainees coming out the session will be absorbed almost immediately. Our CM had announced one lakh jobs by December and now there is no looking back. By 2014, we expect the figure to be 15 lakh. We need to develop systems really well for this to run successfully.

Please can you give us a break-up of the Plan of Action?
We operate like this—we are an umbrella organization with seven working departments, of this maximum load bearing is shared by the Rural and Urban department. As we all know rural development has a fixed set up, which offers an excellent functionary to set the ball rolling. This takes care of the mobilization that needs to happen at the cutting edge level. District Collectors are seriously into this programme. Likewise rural development sector has functionaries in every slum. They also have organizational support, which has roots into the right demographic segments. These organizations do the required field-work, coordinate with training centers and do what’s needed. They play a major role in identifying the right employer for these youth and right systems to monitor.
We have regular interactions and meetings.

If experience and passion are personified, it would probably look like Prof K C Reddy, Project Director RYK. TCG’s interaction with this academic stalwart turned out to be interesting with ‘lively’ facts, aspirations and ambitions pinned on to RYK…
RYK as we all know focuses on the entire gamut of the unemployed and under employed youth of the State. It is misunderstood RYK is confined to the rural youth, in fact, we have five submissions (categories), of which one is for the rural other for urban and third for those in the ITI category, fourth for the technical education (engineering, polytechnic etc.).
Remuneration would be anywhere between Rs. 3,500 to Rs. 15,000. This is for range starting from illiterate to literate to unskilled to skilled youth. Certain jobs are meant for certain level of skills, hence to bring in more clarity we are having two portals. One which talks about the registration of unemployed and underemployed youth at different level, here every detail of the person is taken. Their choice is naturally given preference. This suits those who are not too keen on relocation. Number of hospitality industry HR personnel is approaching us for assistance in this area. We are building the database to keep track of registrations, so far we have had 304,000 registrations, since two months.
We are looking for opportunity for these youth outside the State too. Like for the Metro rail project. We are studying and trying to understand the needs of the industry and mobilize people in that direction. With people already having required skills it becomes easy to add on. There are people who are willing to work in any area; the only problem is the want of information.
Another problem which I see is not many people are willing to take up jobs in private sector, our tendency is to go for government jobs as they are ‘safe and secure’. Very few people understand that there is more growth and upward mobility in private sectors compared to government. We now plan to counsel people to change their mind-set, help them come out of such stigmas and showing them the tremendous opportunity in private sector.
The best way to convince these people is to show them a good job.

Do you have trained counselors?
Yes, we do have them at every district. They are trained and placed at district RYK facilitation centers. These counselors talk to youngsters about different job opportunities in relation to their background and skills. We are also planning to tie up with Open Universities to give these students proper educational support. The dual advantage here is not just getting a certificate that qualifies their prowess but giving them the liberty to switch job if they wish to. For example, if a fitter wishes to become a supervisor he needs a certificate. This is a good take away for them. We have training centers at MEGMA, where you can meet our counselors.

What are the job preferences?
Thanks to the software boom, today’s youth wants to sit at the system and loves a job like data-entry, but if everybody goes for this who would work in fields? Hence to attract these youth we have better incentives and better pay for those working on field. We are now working on the general mindset and attitude of people. Dignity of labor is something that needs to be developed. Actually this needs to be instilled right from the childhood.

Please can you quickly run us through the registration process?
After the first step, i.e. the registration, we give them a Permanent Identity Number—PIN, for those who just want to log in without serious intentions of getting enrolled we have a TIN or Temporary Identity Number. Registrations can happen from any part of the world, but if the youth have no access to a computer, we call them to the centers to register.

What after this?
After we validate, we collaborate with our training partners, MEGMA has a tie-up with ITI. Each training partner comes up with the list of opportunities. Training per se is not really relevant without a job option. Trained and unemployed people are more dangerous to handle! So we wouldn’t like to take any chances on that. So, all our training partners come up with assured jobs. Our students after training will be segregated into batches depending upon the requirement for 30, 45 or 180 days. Training module cost per head for us ranges between Rs. 3,000- 15,000, as we support our training partners with stay, food costs. Most of the programmes in EGM category are residential, in MEGMA it is not like that. We prefer residential programmes as the absorption and retention rates would be high.
After this, it would be placements, in which now we are thinking of post placement monitoring. For those who have relocated for job-sake, adjusting to the new environment is definitely challenging. We are also looking at proper counselors / psychologists for these youngsters, to build positive attitude and awareness.

Was there any committee designated for this? How long did the ground work take
Core committee for RYK is a counsel comprising of Hon’ble Chief Minister, myself, 9 cabinet ministers, 9 Principal Secretaries and 10 industrialists, including GMR, GVK, Health Foundation of India Chairman, CII, APSCHE, Infosys etc. all the policies, strategies are extensively discussed and decided by the core committee.

How about the retention rates?
Right now the information is that attrition rates are high—around 30-40%, we would like to come up with a solution for this. The biggest issue now is accommodation, people don’t get a proper place to live when they relocate, and hence, they leave in a very short span.

Are you not cutting off the option of Higher Education for these youth?
Not at all, it is like this, we are not encouraging youth to give up studies and work; in fact, we want them to study more. This option is only for illiterates, dropouts etc. Also many people who have graduated from engineering colleges also can benefit out of this. RYK is clearly not cutting into Higher Education (HE). In a classical sense, we are talking of Higher Education as a resource and source for enlightenment. We look at HE as an instrument for empowerment. Our attitude towards HE has changed. Education without employable skills is now considered a burden not only on the family but on the society as well. If we look at the positive side of it, Higher Education certainly aids personal and national productivity. Education should be translated into activity. Twenty years ago education was more or less generic, but today almost every activity is specialized. Corporate sector today has become a dominant player in activities and they want skills. We need to address that.

What about vocational and paramedical education?
Those are our focused areas. In fact, we have the current medical advisor to the President of India Dr Srinath in our counsel. He is coming up with a strategy to start large number of paramedical institutes in AP. Today, our concern in the country as well as the state is that we have enough doctors but very poor paramedical support. Our aim is to build this.

1. Background:
     It has been estimated that more than a crore youth in the age group of 15-35 years will enter the job market every year for the next 15 years in India. A major part of the job seekers are school dropouts, matriculates (pass/fail). Their employability is low due to lack of both soft skills (communication English language) and technical skills.
Studies done by Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) showed that by 2015, manufacturing and service sector activities like Pharmaceuticals, Bio-technology, Construction, Textiles, Healthcare, Tourism, Retail management etc., will require 70 to 80 lakh workers in Andhra Pradesh alone, of which about 30 to 35 lakh will be in the unskilled category and the remaining in the skilled category.
A large labour force without skill and Industry grappling with dearth of labour is a paradox that we are facing today.  Such a mass of unemployed youth with no/poor employable skills will have a long-term negative impact on the social stability besides underutilization of human resource consequential loss of economic growth.

2. About Rajiv Yuva Kiranaalu (RYK)
    Rajiv Yuva Kiranaalu is a programme conceived by Govt. of Andhra Pradesh to build job specific skills among the unemployed and place them in the industry at appropriate levels in a mission mode. The mission proposes to employ 15 lakh youth in jobs in the private industry by 2015. 
     Key stake-holders identified in the mission are, Unemployed Youth, Government, Training and Placement Institutions and the Industry.

3.  State level arrangement: 
     To operationalize the programme, government has constituted
 i.  A High level council ‘Rajiv Education & Employment Council of Andhra Pradesh (REECAP)’ under the Chairmanship of Hon’ble Chief Minister with 9 cabinet ministers, Principal, Secretaries of relevant departments and 10 representatives of the industry / academia for creating necessary policy environment and guiding the implementation process.
ii. An exclusive State Level Society “Rajiv Education & Employment Mission in Andhra Pradesh” (REEMAP) has been constituted to coordinate the efforts of employment initiatives of different Government Departments.  REEMAP is fully empowered and funded to address the common needs of all the sub-missions and ensure that each sub-mission performs to its expected level and objectives of RYK are achieved in letter and spirit.
iii. REEMA will function through seven sub-missions:
     A. Sub-mission for rural employment: Employment Generation and Marketing Mission (EGMM)
     B. Sub-mission for urban areas: Commissioner, Employment & Training
     C. Sub-mission for urban slums: Mission for Elimination of poverty in Municipal Areas (MEPMA)
     D. Sub-mission for placements in Educational Institutions: Commissioner, Technical Education
    E.  Sub-mission for Differently Abled: Disabled Welfare Department
     F.  Sub-mission for Minorities
     G. Sub-mission for Twin cities
     All sub-missions will function under the operational control of REEMAP towards the common goal of honing skills and employing 15 lakh unemployed youth in A.P by Year 2015.

4. Strategy for implementation:
•  The REEMAP will take up
            i.    Registration of the unemployed in AP
             ii.   Mapping of available job vacancies in the industry in AP and surrounding areas
             iii. Job specific, Industry focused skill building programmes with partnership from industry either  
                directly or through professional training partners
            iv. Placement of trained youth in private sector.
•  District Collectors have been advised to prepare “Rajiv Yuva Kiranaalu implementation Plan” which identifies jobs available in the private industry and trade, design Customized training programmes which are linked to vacancies in the surrounding Market.
•  District Level RYK Committee& RYK facilitation centers: A District Level Committee to plan, implement and monitor RYK is set up with government departments and Industry representatives.
            The Committee has to meet every fortnight to provide overall direction, guidance, review and monitor the progress of RYK program. Facilitation centers will offer a range of services, mainly on-line registration of unemployed youth in RYK portal, counseling etc.

5. RYK Portal  features
  i. Candidate registration for jobs
  ii. Man Power requirement registration by Industry
The registrations will be online. All the registered would figure in a common database and there would be a separate database for industry where man-power requirements would be registered. The data will be used by all Sub-Missions involved in the implementation.

6. Year-wise plan
Sl.No.    Year    No. of placement        to             be achieved(in lakhs)
1.    2011-12    2.466
2.    2012-13    4.994
3.    2013-14    6.142
4.    2014-15    1.754
    Total    15.356